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My Next Flash Project Idea - a Flash Roller-Coaster Ride

Date/Time Permalink: 07/04/07 11:59:35 pm
Category: Flash

This time, don't get your hopes up. I'm just blogging this mostly for me, to get the idea down, and publishing it maybe as a way to goad myself into attempting it.

Imagine a Flash animation that shows the point of view of riding a roller-coaster. Not only is this idea to do that, but to write a program that generates a random coaster! I like to generate 3D landscapes when I can, so that way it surprises me, too.

This isn't so far-fetched as one might think. I could start with POVray: design a series of track sections, in simple unit blocks. Write a script to lay these blocks out in a track. Define ground and sky. Define a series of camera positions around the track. Run it. Save the images in a series. Have another script compile the stills into an animation.

I've done the two halves of this before in other projects. The POVray part - designing a series of blocks which a script then assembles - is how I generated the buildings in wallpapers like this one and this one. More to the method of laying track, it's how I got the walkways and stairs in this one and this one. Before anybody asks, I tossed those scripts out when I moved computers, thinking I'd re-do them better. Dumb, eh?

Anywhere in my gallery where you see apparently endless complexity stretching out to the horizon, that was usually a script. It's awesome because I can just define different camera locations and re-render them, and run around exploring these little worlds my program created.

Anyway, defining a series of renderings and compiling them into a Flash animation is how I did the logo in Flash tutorial four. There you have it: put both concepts together, and you'd have a program that could surprise you with a different roller-coaster ride every time.

Does this sound cool as snow, or what? I hope I get the time to do it.

UPDATE: There's a difference between a pipe dream and actually working out how to do all the pieces. There are problems in implementing this which I have not yet learned how to solve. Don't hold your breath waiting for me to do this.

Anybody out there who is more technically skilled than I is MORE than welcome to do it themselves and leave a link to their implementation in the comments!

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