Virtual Ball Pit from Kevin Atkinson on Vimeo.
Update: This is effect is currently being used by the band The Killers in their onstage visuals during their current world tour. It's deeply satisfying to see it being used in a high-profile setting.
I quite like how this one turned out. I've been playing with real-time physics libraries for a while, both 3d and 2d, and I've been wanting to do something for a while, but I've found it surprisingly difficult to come up with anything that grabbed me. But a couple weeks ago I had a brainwave and wrote this in just a couple days.
For those interested in such things, I didn't use Erin Catto's Box2D, which seems the current champ in developer mindshare in this tiny niche. I started out using it, and it's quite nice, but it just wasn't fast enough when I used enough circles/pixels to generate an intelligible representation of the video stream (there're about a 1000 used in the demo above). Luckily, I chanced across Scott Lembcke's chipmunk physics library which uses some kind of fancy-pants geometric hashing to speed up collision testing, and it works quite nicely in real-time with 1000 pixels/circles.
As ever, I'm impatient with the whole documenting process, which is why these demos are a tad perfunctory and under-(non-?)rehearsed at times. So yes, if you listen close, you'll hear me say to my wife, "I just want to get this stupid thing up on the web...."
P.S. Some people have told me they have trouble with the vimeo video, so here's a link to the (ghastly, artifact-riddled) youtube version.
P.P.S. Here's quicktime of the vid.
P.P.P.S. if you liked this one, you'll probably like these as well:
The wobbly effect!
the flowy-fluid effect!
The wavy effect!
The freaky time-shifting effect!