Dominoes for all for the holidays : Twist Image Holiday Humanoes

Want to see more than 2400 dominoes in 3D ?(why would you not?) Head over the Twist Image holiday card, see the Holiday Humanoes and make some with your friends’ faces on them.

I know that for every project I say that it was the most complicated one that I did, but this one really was the most complicated I ever did. There even was a night where I didn’t sleep because I wasn’t sure I could make it happen.

My big challenge was to create an experience that was close to what the design team was imagining but that wasn’t too CPU intensive (like all my other projects). I think I did manage to do that. It runs pretty smoothly even on some bad computers. I let Papervision3D do all the heavy lifting but I kinda trick the user into think that there are a huge load of dominoes while at any time there is only 300 of them max (you could consider this object pooling). A second challenge was to position those 2400 dominoes so the they make the final path. The design was done in Illustrator so what we did was that we exported the .AI file as a .SVG file. SVG is just an XML so I made another program that would read the SVG and output (trace to the console) ActionScript code that I would paste into the main application. Finally, the last challenge was to show a zoom out with all the dominoes fallen revealing the message. As I said earlier, if I had 2000+ dominoes at the same time that would be too hard for the computer and run really slow. So I replaced the scene with a bitmap. To get that final bitmap I had to make yet another program that would render me the final path with all dominoes fall and that a screenshot of it.

So I ended up doing 2 more ActionScript projects to end up with the finished product: The Holiday Humanoes.

Oh yeah, just a little trick to finish up, when you deal with COLLADA models, make sure your 3D guy exports the model without the textures if you don’t want the Flash Player to query the server each time you create a DAE. That is what was happening at first and it really scared me.

Holiday Humanoes

Holiday Humanoes

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  1. #1 by Fardeen - January 4th, 2010 at 14:36

    Nice work !

    I just don’t really like the way the domino falls but i’m picky ;)

  2. #2 by zedia.net - January 5th, 2010 at 14:01

    Thx. I wish I could have spent more time on the domino physic (on everything actually), but projects are what they are and time is always limited. Once I had a believable movement, I went on to the next challenge and I never had the time to get back to make it better.

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