As I have been going through my old Java applets, I am rediscovering things I had long forgotten. Mainly I am remembering how I would lift ideas from some of my projects and apply them to later projects.

For example, at one point I created an interactive animated character in the form of a desk lamp. I was basically doing a riff on Luxo Jr., but as an interactive Web character.

The very next thing I made was an interactive fish character with facial animation. I realize, looking back on it now, that to animate the fish swimming around, I just borrowed the movement of my Luxo lamp character.

I simply made the lamp invisible, and placed the fish where the lamp head would be. The lamp is still there moving around, except you can’t actually see it.

This simple trick created nice organic looking flowing movements for the fish character, because you should always to animate a character in a curved path, never in a straight line (straight line movements look incredibly fake). The trick ended up working really well.

The funny thing is that I had completely forgotten that I had done this, until I went back and revisited the Java applets. I wonder how many other things I’ve forgotten about my own work.

I suspect this sort of thing happens a lot. How many things about your own work have you forgotten?

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