Tails fails

Nature of Code
The original idea

my original idea was to create animal tails that look organic for audiences to swing and play with. Details are at the following link.


Difficulty I encountered

I was using toxiclibs to draw springs, but the joints are not under control. I kinda what a structure like this.

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However, with accurate different variables and calculations, they still twist a lot. This is what I actually got.

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Why not make it into something else?

The time was too tight for me to figure the whole thing out and connect it with Kinect. I decide to develop the tail idea later, but make it into an elastic toy instead first. The movement and the sense of out of control remind me of toys I had when I was a kid. I liked to watch them fall down in the wind with an unpredictable path. It also created an illusion of they actually have thoughts or being alive. The randomness add few character into it.

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Tails! – Idea Proposal

Nature of Code

Tails are cool! Who doesn’t want one?

What is this project?

It gonna be an interactive experience using Kinect and P5 to allow the audiences play with ‘their tails’.

Why & what’s the inspiration?

  1. I was inspired by another class: Sense Me, Move Me that the interaction and movement we design for the audiences could break through the limitation of the shape of the human skeletons. Instead of redesign a human skeleton, the first step could be adding something onto it. And tails were one thing that we all wondered ‘what if I have one?’ when we were young.

2. I came from an animation background, I love to simulate physic and vivid movement. But before Nature of Code, everything I did was by frame by frame hand-drawn animation. Now, I have the coding as a secret weapon!

What would it look like?

  1. Basic: one audience would be able to see his/her tail attached to his/her body on the screen. He/she can control the tail by moving the hip joints. The tail and the movement would be soft and nature as a real one. The texture would be cartoon style.
  2. Advance: each user has an animal shape on the screen. More different kinds of tails can be simulated, for examples: fox, fish, lion, bear. And multiple audiences can play together.
  3. Ideally: different tails could be controlled in different ways. For instance, fish tail requires the movement of the whole body, peacock can display feathers with arms and legs at a certain angle.
  4. Even better: besides tails, the audiences have reflections of their body on the screen according to the animal they got assigned.  That is to say, if an audience gets a dinosaur tail, he will also get two dinosaur-short-arms.  The movement would also limited by the length of them.

How to make it?

1.The code would be written in P5.js. For the tail simulation, I’m considering chains in Matter.js.

2.The interaction would include Kinect.

3. One question: I know physical libraries can simulate the 2D tail movement very well, but how come when the audiences facing sideways?