Trouble In London
A humorous take on buildings of London in three periods of history: “Brexit Britain”, “During the War”, “Sleepless Knights”
produced by: Russell Yallop
Concept and background research
During my research I saw so many works using beautiful evolving colors and mesmerizing geometric shapes. This inspired me to formulate my first objective: to create a piece that doesn’t use beautiful evolving colors or mesmerizing geometric shapes. Instead, I would try to draw inspiration from the building-like pieces I had chosen to project on. After a few days of creative contemplation yet still drawing a complete blank I realized the answer was staring me in the face— I would choose a theme based around buildings.
The first draft of the concept was a journey through history showing the most iconic architectural styles and the fractious political events they bore witness to. The castles at the turn of the second millennium with wars lead by conquerors; the neoclassical apartment blocks of Paris and the struggles of the revolution; the Georgian town houses of London battered by the bombs of The Blitz. The projection would sweep through the streets of history and play out a multitude of moving scenarios characteristic of each point in time. Then, after the first long day of coding, an urgent conceptual development became apparent to me: the need for a second draft.
The natural limitations of code and my ability to do it lead me to a radically simplified second and final draft— the version you see in the video. Three epochs in London’s history play out: the battles of the Norman invasion, the Blitz in the second world war and present day with today’s divided city.
The buildings were created by mapping the windows using a nested for loop on top of a layer of brickwork. The windows themselves also had two layers, the frame and background, enabling figures to be seen inside the buildings. The most complex animations are described below.
The fire was created using a nested for loop of triangles of different shades of red, yellow and orange that would bounce rapidly up and down before being released as their speeds ‘escaped’ the space they were allocated. In doing so they would appear to climb up the building and burn the poor woman trapped inside to death. Fortunately she was just a jpeg.
The helicopter’s movement uses Perlin noise to create the sporadic motion characteristic of a police helicopter trying to follow the erratic driving of a 14-year old moped robber. The helicopter’s beam was created by drawing lots of lines from the helicopter’s location that mapped around the edge of a circle that represented the focus of the beam. The illusion of a bright beam itself was created by a linear interpolation from black to transparent that followed the focus of the beam around. The beam’s movement then was set to randomly bounce around underneath the helicopter to mimic the frantic search for the guy with the backpack of iPhones.
The birds were created using a nested for loop of bird locations that used Perlin noise to move about their location and Perlin noise to move randomly around as a flock. The direction the images faced was set to flip when they changed direction from left to right. Sadly the resolution was not high enough to animate any droppings.