Barbarian Group + Nervo = Awesome!
More often than not, the pipeline for a project gets overshadowed by the end result. The process of getting from point A to B is often overlooked because point B is just sooo damn sexy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. No really, it doesn’t.
A couple months ago, Nando Costa approached Barbarian Group and asked if we would help out with a project his new motion graphics company Nervo was working on for Fox Movies Japan. He showed us the boards and instantly we knew we wanted to collaborate because his vision for this project was quite beautiful and surreal.
What he needed from us was videos of flocking behavior. He had seen the previous experiments I have done with perlin noise flocking and thought it would work well for this project. All he wanted was a couple videos of flocking using a 3D crow (or is it a raven) he would provide. Simple enough. But given the tight deadline, the thought of doing a render and posting it and waiting for approval or changes and then implementing the changes then rerendering and reposting, etc… Well, it just didn’t make sense for this project. So we decided to try something different.
“Let’s deliver them an application.”
Using Processing, we started playing around with the flocking behavior to make it more customizable. The original version of the flocking experiment had very few controls and they had to be hard-coded. There was no run-time adjustment. This was the first thing addressed. Several new parameters were added. They included population density, gravity, drag, collision avoidance, flight range, camera position and tracking, and a few toggles such as tethering strings, floor plane, and bezier curves. Once the parameters were tweaked to the user’s liking, they need only to hit the spacebar and an image sequence of PNGs would start saving to the harddrive.
Processing made the delivery process as easy at it can get. Once completed, all we had to do was hit the ‘Export to Application’ button and Processing would generate Linux, Windows, and Mac applications. We delivered the application to Nervo, gave them some basic instructions, and waited.
The resulting work was fantastic!
The videos are posted at Nervo.tv. Look for the second and third from the bottom to see the spots that included the flocking renders.