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Mar 21, 2013

Third Branch 4K Video

4K video!  4K means 2160p 3840x2160, which is really just twice as big (in X and Y) as 1080p 1920x1080.  (You'll need a 4K display to see the high res version; YouTube will present a lower resolution for most of us.  Still looks great.)  This video was made from a series of 2D images of a 3D model saved from JSL.  The attached JSL files build a branching structure out of spheres and send the camera down the green path for 3000+ frames (which were originally going to be played at 30FPS but wound up being 22FPS to fit the music).  The final frames have 280,000 spheres, lit by 4 lights, and several thousand stars in the background.  The 4 lights (in tetrahedron-corner positions) explain the number of bright spots on the spheres.  The stars don't provide any light but do help provide a frame of reference as the camera moves.

Watch the dramatic camera angles the algorithm chose: ThirdBranch - YouTube

(playing with YouTube links...fullscreen: ThirdBranch - YouTube​)

Wild Road Mapused a similar stack-based algorithm to build a 2D branching structure; the 2D version used the bitmap to identify collisions.  This 3D version uses an associative array of matrices to make a 3D grid of occupied locations to determine when a branch must stop.

There were a number of iterations getting to the final video: picking a path, adjusting the camera positioning algorithm, adding the red bands, adding the stars, making the stars bigger to survive video compression, adding some audio clues, trying to figure out what to call it.  It's time for it to be done.

Intermediate data table Third Branch Data with viewer script.

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