Playing just to the side of Facebook’s intended use is just too much fun to pass up. For a concept I called Better Scroll Down, I wanted to see if I could use Facebook’s album view (similar to my album Breaking the 4th Wall) to create a user controlled animation. As you scroll down the page the album becomes a film projector and when your eye fixes on to a position on the screen suddenly the character comes to life, bouncing from one side of the album to the other one frame at a time. Here are a few random screen grabs that show the basic motion and Facebook album view layout:
That was the idea anyway.
Unfortunately it didn’t work. When scrolling down the effect was lost entirely, first because the character’s motions were bouncing upwards as a viewer was scrolling down which confuses the brain, but second, and more importantly, it was hard for the eye to keep from moving upwards with the images. Even though the effect works on the same principle as film projection, your eye either needs something stationary to lock on to (like a screen) or the frames need to go by so quickly that your mind can’t perceive the motion for the illusion of animation to occur.
Nope and nope.
Still, it is a good idea that I wanted to share. Below are the individual motion frames (remember, the character is bouncing from left to right between the Facebook album squares so she appears cut off at times when she leaves the visible area. This is a portion. In total it took 200 images). Considering how many people use Facebook, it is the currently the greatest platform for entertainment, storytelling and artistic expression. Maybe someone will figure out how to make it work, or hopefully come up with something better.