Flash Open-Source Goodness at Levitated.net
Peyton Crump, Former Design Director
Occasionally, the design team here stumbles across a site that merits a good "wow." Levitated.net presents visually beautiful, technically advanced, open-source Flash experiments that explore some of the "outer limits" of Flash. Two greater points that we'd like to make about this site are: 1) We love it when Flash is not only used appropriately, but when it's utilized for some of its advanced capabilities. In many of these examples, Flash is used to emulate realistic movement through code that supports and applies the laws of physics to mimic the way objects behave in nature. Through this approach, users are presented with a piece of art/interaction that is dynamically generated and behaves so. In other words, each time you explore one of these pieces, you likely will not get the same results. They're dynamic and organic and, therefore, remain engaging and interesting for repeat visits and uses. 2) We learn from and appreciate seeing the code. Flash, by its nature, outputs files (.swf's) that are not explorable from a code standpoint. While this protects the integrity of the code, it leaves everyone except the creator in the dark about how and why it works. We applaud the efforts of the contributors at Levitated to share their source code (.fla's) and let us salivate at their brilliance. As we often say here at Viget, "The code behind the creation is often as beautiful as the creation itself." Perhaps, though, they say it best in their own (and fewer) words:
Levitated.net contains visual poetry and science fun narrated in an object oriented graphic environment. The sketches and applications generated as a byproduct of research are provided online as open source Flash modules. These pages are attempting to fasten a usable structure around a continually evolving computational ecology, so that it may be observed and enjoyed by participants of the network.Visual, experimental, intelligent, and community/knowledge-friendly. A good recipe in our book.