One more curtain mesh…

It should probably be said that the things on this blog are not exercises in design, they’re technical exercises . And they’re experiments more generally, hence the name.
The curtain mesh for example was not something I thought about putting into an app, actually. Because I do think it’s somewhat tacky and generally a bit much. You could probably get away with it in an app for kids or something. It is, however, also satisfying to use and people seem to like it, so that’s in a sense the ideal outcome of one of those posts - to rethink things. 
The curtain mesh has quite a lot of variables one can change and experiment with. You can obviously increase folds, change their subdivisions vertically and horizontally, change the way their width changes from left to right, change the way they form, the way how the curtain bunches up and many more things. Sometimes things end up looking unrealistic but still sort of interesting. Here is one of those examples.

Curtain Mesh with Video

The curtain mesh is probably a lot nicer to use with video. It sort of struck me how few things people do with video in the UI department. Obviously, video is somewhat resource intensive but I did find it to be still surprisingly performanent to map the video onto a mesh and play with it. There’s still a ton of crazy things one could do with video and meshes, and I will probably revisit this at some point.

Curtain Mesh

A colleague showed me this concept pic and I thought I might try my hand at actually implementing it. It was surprisingly straightforward and way less work than the last experiment. There’s one more iteration of this to come.

Edit: Here’s the concept pic. Found it.

So, here is a more in depth video about this carpet mesh builder GUI. It’s one of those things that are impossible to do in AE but reasonable to do in code (well, ok…), so I thought it might be a nice test scenario to build the framework around. 

The GUI for creating this animation touches on a lot of things that are vital to building a standalone UI framework, for example some of the not so easy gesture interactions, a way to save information, it needs proper aliasing (fake, in this case), shader handling, transparency sorting, normal creation, touch handling and a bunch of other things that a UI framework can’t do without (well, normal creation maybe it could do without or the transparency sorting). 

The final animations are not of a quality I would put in an app. You would need to make the timing better and you would also need to have some non-fake anitalising for the 3D edges, which is actuallly mostly trivial but beside the point here.

So the GUI basically allows you to trace a picture and place a kind of hose-shaped mesh around it with bones in-between the segments that will later be used to drive the animation. You can save everything to an XML format and you can subdivide and smooth the mesh.

There are two basic modes in which the final mesh can then be used. You can animate the rotation of the bones and then it will curl up. But you can also animate the scale of the bones and then it will look more like a brush painting-in the paths (there are better ways to make this latter animation, though). And then there is the time when I misplaced the bones and it just randomly looked like cloth flying away. So I also included that in the video.

This is the GUI for a specific type of animation I want in my upcoming app. An app that I haven’t started, yet, just, you know…
Anyway, it runs on Meek in C++ and iOS. Not only does is facilitate making the animations I want to make, it also served as an elaborate test case for my framework. I used it to add functionality, to test functionality, to test performance and so on and so forth. 
The icons and the general design - it’s just intended to be functional and for me only, really. So be aware.
I will post a video and some more info on what it actually does in the upcoming days, hopefully.

This is the GUI for a specific type of animation I want in my upcoming app. An app that I haven’t started, yet, just, you know…

Anyway, it runs on Meek in C++ and iOS. Not only does is facilitate making the animations I want to make, it also served as an elaborate test case for my framework. I used it to add functionality, to test functionality, to test performance and so on and so forth. 

The icons and the general design - it’s just intended to be functional and for me only, really. So be aware.

I will post a video and some more info on what it actually does in the upcoming days, hopefully.