Pin Lane – How

My girlfriend asked me some questions after watching the video. this could be a sort of an FAQ for the project:

What program did you use to recreate the effects water would have on the buildings?
Did you write that?

The program is a 3D modelling program called Cinema 4D. I didn’t write the program, just used it to model the buildings and have them move and change colour with contact.

I’m assuming the map of the shapes is a map of the buildings…

Yes it is. Well, buildings and individual features -There is a car park, and some of the boxes represent enclosed spaces at the backs of buildings, and there is a garden as well.

And how much water power are you applying to each person?

The way it works is based on a system of rules I have set up (find them in full on my blog, but basically I treat a single person as a single unit, and a single car as a single unit (I don’t take size as a consideration). There are “hit zones” for each of the objects that are touching a road, the other boxes only move when touched by other boxes. The hit zones are effectively the path (not the road in the middle) and when a person comes into contact with a hit zone it pushes the relevant box 30 units (of whatever measurement it is in Cinema 4D) away from the person, fitting into space where possible.

When a box hasn’t been contacted for a while it returns slowly to it’s last stationary position – not the original position on the lane. If a person moves a box left twice, it can only naturally return to the first movement, not all the way.

Because there were very few people..and they had a huge effect…
Did you mean to do it like that?

Yes they had a huge effect. I did this show that the effect over a long time could be shown without craploads of footage. It takes ages to map the boxes out and the people, and also a while to render. I compressed it into a short space of time. That short animation has 6 pages filled with hand written co-ordinates.

Every time someone comes onto the screen I record the time they enter the lane, and the time they exit it. I then record the order of boxes they activate. I then have to convert the time that the video player gives me into a number of frames for the animation. It’s roughly equivalent to doing a 3600 frame animation completely manually, and having to synchronise it with a video. It’s not 3600 individual frames, but I have a keyframe (change event) roughly every 15 frames in the animation, so it’s at least 250 individual frames.


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