Simone Seagle

Simone Seagle

Independent Web and Educational Software Developer

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Evolving Ideas

Evolving Ideas

February 23, 2017 Simone Seagle

My favorite books to read to my kids at bedtime are Dr. Seuss books. While it's impossible to pick just one, I one of my favorites is Oh The Thinks You Can Think. I have it in both the abridged board book format for my 1 year old son and in the longer version for my preschooler daughter. Every time I read it, I want to go out and just make something. It's beautiful to me that Dr. Seuss, who might have had the greatest imagination of all time, wants to encourage kids to follow his lead. I wanted to make an animated version of the 'You can think about red...' page.

You can think about red...

A page from Oh The Thinks You can Think, found at Compose Create

When I was playing around with the samples on the PIXI.js website, I found one that showed a mesh warping a texture. This looked like it would make a really fun tree, so now all I needed to do was replicate those trees. I made just the trunks in Photoshop, but it didn't really look right. Then I made some tufts inspired by truffula tufts and stuck them on, added the mesh, and this is what I got:

A first draft of the animation

A first draft of my Oh the Thinks animation

While cute, I don't like the colors and the tufts kind of look like a kind of sub-par video game. I thought maybe what was wrong with them was the faux-3D-ness I added, so I randomly got the idea to draw them on paper and then scan them so they would look very flat. I drew my next set of assets on the pages of a magazine with a Sharpie and then cut them out.

Pieces cut out on my kitchen counter

The pieces cut out on my kitchen counter. Yay Sharipies!

So after I did that, I scanned the pieces and cut them out with Photoshop. I simply replaced the assets in my original creation with the new ones. I'm not really 100% happy with it yet, but it's a work in progress that I aim to keep playing with. If you want to pet some wiggly word trees, check it out.