virtual pop-up book in papervision 06.12.2008, 7:56 AM
posted by sebastian mary
Ecodazoo is a beautifully-animated if slightly inscrutable site created in Papervision, a real-time 3D engine for Flash. Scrolling around the page takes you to a series of animated 'pop-up books' that tell vaguely eco-educational stories.
It's pretty, even if it's unclear who it's aimed at. The heavy 'book' styling made me think though. Will the children of the future only experience pop-up books in animated form, onscreen? Or would the pop-up book conceit only have resonance for those raised on the paper versions?
To put it another way, would an animated 'book' enchant or simply baffle an adult raised since infancy on screen-based reading? If so, the many well-meaning attempts to transpose codex-like qualities into the digital realm ultimately serve only to comfort those dwindling generations (of which, at 29, I'm probably the last) for whom in early years print took precedence over digital text.
Kathleen on June 12, 2008 10:13 AM:
I just wanted to disagree with your last statement. I am 10 years younger than you, and my youth was wholly taken up with print taking precedence over digital text. When I did come in contact with a computer (at the age of maybe 7 or 8), it was to play games (on MS-DOS no less!), not to read things. So sorry, but you are not the last generation of print-readers.
sebastian mary on June 12, 2008 10:44 AM:
You're right - even assuming our path towards digitization is monolithic and inexorable, itself a big assumption - it'd be a while yet before the very young commonly encountered digital reading before they encountered the physical sort. Certainly, if such kids have appeared, they've not grown up yet.
What interested me about the speculation, though, more than pinpointing some imaginary moment where a balance might have shifted between print and screen, was using it as a way of thinking about the generic markers of print text and the ways in which they are reproduced - or not - onscreen. While text-like attributes are appealing to those overwhelmingly accustomed to those forms, I wondered if maybe future (and/or present) net-native generations might simply find such window-dressing redundant at best.
Huysmans on June 12, 2008 11:47 AM:
You guys have certainly raised some interesting questions. I agree with the idea that pop-ups are no where near "deletion" (to use a more digital word) and furthermore I am also of the mind that to translate pop-ups into a digital format is only a temporary creation as I would suggest that a medium never succeeds when it tries to replicate another medium, it is in doing just the opposite that we find the most beautiful and critical works in a medium. Therefore we need not worry about digital pop-ups but rather something entirely new that will ultimately/maybe replace the sensations achieved by the physical form. Though as one friend described to me when talking about Second Life, we should never use "replace" but rather "augment" as the established forms of art will never completely be replaced by something new. They may however have to redefine themselves in light of something new.
Anyway, very interesting work being done, from an educational point of view I have to also comment that recently I witnessed a kindergarten classroom using computers during spelling exercises. To me that is reflective of the fact that today's world seems more concerned with touch typing abilities than it does with penmanship. Or it could just be one schools idea.
Great post though, thank you,
sol gaitan on June 18, 2008 4:39 PM:
Of a generation that was raised all the way to graduate school on print books, I am quite aware of the fluidity with which the youngest children in my family, three, five, seven, twelve years old, move from print books to the screen. With the exception of the twelve years old who prefers electronic games, though they do not take priority over his playing baseball and basketball, it doesn't seem to me that these children are making a conscious choice in one direction or the other. They rather follow their own rituals, preferring books at bedtime, the television when bored, DVDs when they are in the company of other children, the computer when doing things related to school or traveling. They all love books, but they don't depend on them as their only source of entertainment or knowledge. Their learning experience is very rich thanks to animation, music, dance, and action, a process that engages all their senses. And, they don't have to do this at times dictated by children programs, learning channels, or even in a T.V. room, but at their own pace, place, and time.
Gary Frost on June 29, 2008 5:03 PM:
In my view the tipping point scenario is not appropriate to shifts in reading behavior. Reading is such a small portion of communication and perennial differences of preference of younger and older readers obscures specific shifts within much larger contexts. Most ambivalent is the ability of technologies to advance legacy formats as much as emergent formats. Digital printing and print imaging are examples. And what conclusions have been achieved to assure that transmission via physical objects will be superceded by transmission via screen simulation? More likely the two modes will accelerate each other and enhance the exclusive attributes of both print and screen reading.
Artur on September 24, 2008 2:04 PM:
One thing to mentioned here, this nice project is not made it in papervision, is built in a new framework called Sharikura 3d, made by one guy check it out in roxik.com. This doesnt mean that papervision rocks!.