Nucleal, The Exploding Photo Experiment

Particles. Photos. Exploding motions. The outcome of experimentation of more particles done this year. Check out http://nucleal.com/


This might probably look better in motion

Without boring you with large amount of text, perhaps some pictures to help do some talking.

First you get to chose how much particles to run.


Most decent computers could do 262144 particles easily, even my 3 generation old 11″ macbook air can run 1 or 4 millions particles.

On the top bar, you get some options on how you may interact with the particles, or select which photo albums if connect to facebook.

At the bottom is a film strip which helps you view and select photos from the photo album.

Of course at the middle you view the photo particles. A trackball camera is used, so you could control the camera with the different buttons of your mouse, or press A, S or D while moving your mouse.

Instead of arranging the particles in a plane like a photo, you could assemble them as a sphere, cone, or even a “supershape”.

Static shapes by itself aren’t good, so physics forces could be applied the particle formation.

Instead of the default noise wave, you can use 3 invisible orbs to attract particles with intensity relating to its individual colors

Or do the opposite of attracting, repelling

My favorite physics motion is the “air brakes”.

This slows and stops the particles in their tracks, allow you to observe something like a “bullet time”.

While not every combinations always look good, it’s pretty fun to see how what the particles form after sometime, especially with air brakes between different combinations.

Oh btw noticed the colors are kind of greyscale? That’s the vintage photo effect I’m applying in real time to the photos.

And for the other photo effect I added, a cross-processing filter.

(this btw is my nephew, who allows me to spend less attention and time on twitter these days:)

So hopefully I’ve given you a satisfying walk-through of the Nucleal experiment, at least way simpler than the massive Higgs boson “god” particle experiment.

Of course some elements of this experiments are also not entirely new.

Before this myself have also enjoyed the particle experiments of
Kris Temmerman’s blowing up images
Ronny Welter’s video animation modification
Paul Lewis’s Photo Particles

Difference is now that brilliant idea of using photos to spawn particles can reach a new level of interactivity and particles massiveness, all done in the browser.

While I’m happy with the results, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Since this being an experiment, there’s much room for improvements in both artistic and technical areas.

A big thank you again to those involved in three.js, for which this was built on, to those adventurous who have explored GPGPU/FBO particles before me, to those who blog and share their knowledge about GLSL and graphics for which much knowledge was absorb to assemble this together, and not the least to Yvo Schaap who support me and this project.

Thank you also to others who are encouraging and make the internet a better place.

p.s. this is largely a non-technical post right? Stay tune for perhaps a more in-depth technical post about this experiment :)

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