To view these animations you will need the latest Shockwave
Player. Your browser should automatically install it for you, otherwise
These animations have sound. They do NOT open in a new window.
I've now (July 14) set up a RSS2 feed for my animations, so if you want to receive updates add it to your newsreader...
I'll be discontinuing the RSS1 feed as RSS2 is better for my purposes, and Firefox has a handy tool for updating RSS2 feeds :-)
I've also licensed my puppetMaster animations under the creative
commons - you are free to use them except for commercial purposes.
Index of Animations
Gentleman vs. Mastodon
weird yet peaceful animation of some siamese twins in a dream-like
landscape. This features flash assets. The background has a video of
water incorporated into it. note: if it doesn't start when
you hit any key as instructed, click on the screen and try again...
For the Chinese New Year on the 9th of Feb I did a new animation with a flying dragon
I did this animation in response to the tsunami : wishing peace to those who were lost and the survivors.
These three animations are intended to be multifaith Holiday season celebration cards, albeit somewhat irreverent ones.
This dancing skeleton shows the range and speed of motion that the 'puppetMaster' can achieve.. and also its ease of use: it only took me about 15 minutes to do.
About the animations
Animations can be an effective way of entertaining your visitors. It can also be used to communicate ideas and emotions in ways that writing and static images cannot. I have wanted to do animations for some time as I have always enjoyed watching them. So I started experimenting with animating with Flash, either importing hand-drawn graphics from flip-books, or else drawing characters directly into Flash.
But I found the amount of work involved in drawing dozens of images for a few seconds of animation tedious, and the learning curve formidable. I guess I am lazy. So I started using some Actionscript programming to automate movements in flash. I had an idea for a program that would implement forward kinematics, which sets up a hierarchy in a character's limbs, and ensures that transformations to a limb are applied to it's 'children'. For example, if a characters arm moves, its hand should move also, so that it is always attached in the same place relative to the arm.
I developed a version of this program -- which I call the PuppetMaster -- in Flash, and it worked, but soon hit the limit of Flash's performance, because Flash is not very fast at animating bitmaps. So I learned Director, which has a better perfomance speed. It turns out to have a number of features that made the development of my program a lot easier, such as external casts, and the ability to write files directly to the users filesystem. And it can import .png files, which I use extensively because of their transparency support. I am now able to produce animations with it, though I still have much to learn about the art of animation itself... how to move characters convincingly, and to dramatic effect. I'm still at the stage of learning this, and I am enjoying the freedom of movement I am able to give my characters.