June 30, 2005

Slightly disturbing animation

Writing about web page http://www.izpitera.ru/lj/tetka2.swf

This Flash animation is quite clever; it models a human body falling through an infinitely deep void, bouncing off white spheres as it goes. The physics seem reasonably well worked out, although the body is too flexible in too many places to be entirely realistic. Eventually, the body gets stuck somewhere, and at that point you can use the mouse to pick the body up and "throw" it in a new direction.

What I find interesting about this, apart from it being mildly mesmeric to watch the body falling, is that it's also slightly icky and unpleasant, especially if you elect to use the mouse to throw the body. The reason isn't hard to deduce; it's a female body, clad just in a bikini, and somehow that makes the animation feel slightly sordid. But why? Would it be just some mildly clever physics if it was a stick-figure? A cartoon figure? A photo-realistic crash-test dummy? A fully clothed woman? A man? Would it be more unpleasant if the woman was nude? Or if it was a child? I wonder if the programmer was aiming for "slightly disturbing" or is entirely oblivious to this aspect of it.

- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Daniel Lawrence

    I can see what you mean there John, it brings to mind those child abuse ads with the kid falling down the stairs. It reminds me most of the craze for adding 'realistic' physics to games, bordering on an obssession with them epitomised by Half-Life 2.

    30 Jun 2005, 21:39

  2. Karen Mortimer

    I felt compelled to use the mouse to stop her falling, to let her rest.

    01 Jul 2005, 09:45

  3. Holly Cruise

    For some reason it's funnier when it's Tony Blair. I think it's his grin…

    05 Aug 2005, 17:32

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  1. Liquid man

    For every yin there is a yang, it seems. When I wrote about the way the Falling woman Flash animation disturbed me slightly, I should have known that there would be some mirror image animation somewhere which is just as pleasing as Falling woman is disturbin…

    Autology: John Dale's blog - 03 Jul 2005, 21:11

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