If you’ve been to the Walker recently, you may have noticed that the Bazinet Garden Lobby has a bit more light in it these days. You may have also noticed that the Vineland kiosks have a new screensaver on them.
The screensaver on those kiosks is something that Eric had played with before. I also made a version of a screensaver that uses more of Walker Expanded, and posted about it a few months back. In depoloying it to the iMacs, though, I ran into some trouble. The machines we’re using have their graphics driven by a lowly GeForce FX 5200, the 64mb lame dog of the quartz extreme world. When I put the screensaver on them, it would create horrible drawing problems, similar to the artifacting you would see on a jpeg file at the highest compression, except worse.
This hung me up for a while, but at some point I decided to try again. Through a process of trial and error, I figured out the magic bit that was missing was the Clear object:
Paints the entire rendering destination with a constant color and clears the depth buffer. This is usually the first rendering operation a composition should perform, in order to reset the rendering destination to a known state and prevent visual artifacts. If the rendering destination is intended to be composited over some other visual content, make sure the alpha component of the color used to paint is smaller than 1.0.
Dropping a clear object in there did the trick and the saver was now running quite well. Sometimes it is the simple, obvious things that are missed the most easily. Here is a rendered preview of the kiosk screensaver.
The trick to getting the background pattern bars to swoop in the way that they do is to use two different interpolation objects, one for X position, and one for Y rotation, feeding into a sprite. Both objects should be set to the same duration. The X position simply moves the sprite from left to right (-4 to 4), and the Y-rotation (-30 to 30) changes the tilt as it moves right to left. Since they’re both running at the same duration, the animation appears very smooth. Put this all in a macro patch, copy and paste a bunch, changing the duration, pattern and color, and you have our flying identity patterns.
I would love to give away this screensaver so those of you on Mac’s could enjoy it, but it depends the fonts Walker Expanded and Avenir. It is possible that I could convert the identity patterns to images and change the typeface to Arial or Helvetica and get pretty close. Would anyone be interested?
Here’s a larger image of the Kiosks in the Bazinet Garden Lobby, with the new Vineland entrance being prepared in the background: