War Machine – Interactive Flash Animation

war_machine - click here to launch the animation

This interactive Flash animation spawned from a course I took at Virginia Commonwealth University called “Socially-Engaged Media.” I was toying with a lot of different ideas surrounding conformity, social structure, and the mechanization of our society. Originally I had only planned to make a print of the illustration, but it dawned on me that it would be much more powerful (and cool) if it was moving.

The war_machine was my first successful gallery piece. After being featured in VCU’s Fine Arts Gallery, the piece was accepted into the Dallas Video Festival, and went on to the New Genre Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I hosted a behind-the-scenes workshop on its construction. In addition, war_machine won first place in the West Virginia Animation festival in the category of “experimental animation.”

This was my first real Flash project, hacked together with Actionscript 2.0. A wise man once told me “I don’t give a f@#k how you made it as long as it looks good,” but a visiting lecturer in my web programming class told me, “I have never seen anyone write code this way” while shaking his head. I timed all the separate animation loops to match up and not overlap, and then offset copies of each loop with code. It worked, but since then I’ve learned much more sane ways of writing programs.

Here are some stills from the development phase:

war_machine - found images
war_machine - machine operators connected
war_machine - social structure assembly line
war_machine - experiment with color
war_machine - added wheels and soldiers

And here’s a guided video exploration of war_machine, narrated by yours truly:

war_machine – a guided video exploration from Deven James Langston on Vimeo.

All design and Flash work was done by me, Deven James Langston. Special Thanks to Rodger Perry and Bob Paris.

%d bloggers like this: