"Invade Terra Nova" is a short animation that I created for the animation class based on another much much larger interactive project called TERRA NOVA that I am paired with Evan Emolo ( Big Screens @ITP) that is going to be shown in about 2 months at IAC building in NYC. The actual pixel size of the application is 11520 by 1080. To be able to run that big of a display we needed to figure out how to synchronize 3 computers each displaying 3840 by 1080 piece of the whole thing. During the implementation we wanted to create little movies that will be playing on top of a semi static background and users will contribute to the overall experience by texting a number.
I don't want to give away too much that's why I will keep it strictly related to the animation aspect of the project.
One tool that I ended up developing is to trigger different videos on top of the static background. We needed buildings coming up and cities appearing but there was no way to keep their alpha channels in processing. The only way to use alpha channels - which is to keep just the moving parts visible but not the background - was the use png sequences. Our movies ended up being up to 10 seconds but 30 frames by seconds and at least 6 movies running in the same time was a big burden to the machines. The end product needed to be 11520 by 1080 as resolution and all the loading time for pngs , we decided to go to another route. Instead of creating a full movie, I ended up cropping the part that I need while rendering from After Effects then use those exact cropping numbers to trigger the movie on top of the background in processing. I rendered the movies with the backgrounds and without using alpha. Knowing exactly from where I cropped for the render helped me to place them to match the static background perfectly.
Basically for all of the movies we rendered the same way and I kept a journal of all of the cropping numbers and coordinates of each movies. When we placed the numbers in the processing code it was very simple. Here is a sample code.
Although the short animation is not the end product, it is a good representation of what we were trying to accomplish. I learned a lot during the Open Source Animation class and used bunch of expressions and tricks in After Effects.
Here are some illustrations
Here are some different character studies