Codecolors by PPG

After Killotrona came an invitation for euskal party 12, made with flash, and then, for that very party, this strange demo, Codecolors.

It was done in a quite complicated period of my life, since I was leaving a job and right about to move to a new city, so I don't really remember much about the circumstances or the motivations for each of the design decisions on this one. I don't even remember how did we decide to make something based on the idea of the "code colors", i.e. the type of colors a coder will probably use if left on his own.

But what I do remember is that we wanted to make something that was totally different from previous ppg productions, so that it would break people's preconceptions about what we were able to do. From the comments that followed the release, I gather that it worked, if we define "work" as being able to produce reactions. I guess it's better to get some kind of reaction than not getting a single response. I would say 40% of the people were surprised but although they didn't like the demo itself, they liked the new ideas; 10% decidedly liked the demo (or at least some part of the demo) and then there's the 50% of people which not only hated it but also insulted us, like if they had paid for it or something. Anyway, that's what happens when you let weirdos with no social life use the Internet. Oh well!


So the demo begins with an strange object with a continuously accumulated motion blur. It actually is a cube and a broken sphere, both built using an idea I was experimenting with for generating meshes by subdividing a basic one.

This was also the first time that I used the FFT values for directly modifying the appearance of something in the screen - without drawing an equalizer. The alpha value of the "dirt" layer ("mierda", if you look at the code) is directly related to the level of the bass in the music.

By the way, the structure of this demo is very similar to the structure of Killotrona. I didn't have time to innovate too much in that sense, specially since this demo was done in two weeks -- and I was preparing another one for tlotb at the same time!


The overlay changes to show the name of the demo --just in case someone had got lost--. The typography and the games with the letters were all a bit experimental as well; I was trying to make something more elaborated than what I had used until then. Trace gave me several suggestions but I think I ignored most of them, sorry! What I did indeed use was the font, which was quite nice.


The next scene continues with some more strange objects, this time an sphere over a nice and fruity hue of pink, which was different from the usual 0xFF00FF that we had been using before.


This scene was a verbalisation of what everybody would probably be thinking at that point of the demo, only to get them a tad more confused by presenting them with a series of rapidly moving cubes, all of them getting a generous layer of motion blur on top. The movements are somehow linked to the song's row so since the song also does some tricks to store space and jumps back a few rows, some movements get repeated. It didn't look bad so I just let it there. It added more weirdness to the mix!


Then comes probably one of my favorite scenes, the greetings. The texture with the groups greetings gets shown using an effect I had created for another demo we had in mind but that never materialised. I called it "VStripes", because it tears a texture in vertical stripes and finally shows it. Or makes it disappear, depending on what phase is it in.

It is shown on top of a point grid with variable colours (depending on their x, y and z position in the grid) and again the motion blur on top of them.

On a side note, the motion blur was something I did for another demo as well, but never really used it, so its feature in "Codecolors" was the first time it was shown actually.


Since the grid rotates it also creates some interesting trails, thanks to the motion blur. It really fascinated me how much effect you can get with so few stuff in the screen.


And finally we came to the end, but a true ending this time. Since we were superstressed with everything-ppg we thought we'd better call it a day and leave it up to someone else to continue it.


So we decided to quit the group. We also wanted to make it scene style, so that's why it was in a demo. (Interestingly, none of the other members of the group made anything else afterward).

What I really like from this scene is the subtle transition from the vibrant blue to the sad black background, while at the same time the points' size also gets decreased. I'm not sure anybody else noticed this subtle detail so I'm pointing it out just in case ;)


The code is in my git repo:

  • Browse it
  • Check it out: git clone git:// Then it is in the releases/ppg/ppg_05_cc directory