Week 12

2 May, 2021

This week I thought I’d share more of the process behind the background graphics of superultra.dk.

The idea came from having some sort of interactive element on the front page which builds on the concept of super ultra. The story behind the name is that it’s an ironic take on my design aesthetic. I like simple, minimalistic, understated objects that unfold in use, but I thought it would be fun to use the prefix super ultra for whatever I create - a super ultra toothbrush for example.

To example the idea of unfolding meaning in use, I decided to design something scattered that would form a united whole through interaction. Rhino+Grasshopper are among my favorite tools to sketch in 3D, and I love oscillating between sketching in parametry design, hand drawn CAD, and a physical notebook. I started out by generating “super ultra” as curves, and then used that as the input for my grasshopper sketch. The three versions display the process: curves -> dividing into fragments using a voronoi pattern -> extrusion to give it a third dimension.

curves -> fragmentation -> extrusion

curves -> fragmentation -> extrusion

Getting it properly into THREE.js was the biggest challenge, but eventually got it working by exporting to a DAE-format and generating a GLB-file. This allowed me to take each fragment in THREE.js, and scatter them along the Z-axis. I built the scroll-mechanism to assemble the fragments. To encourage interaction and create some ambient motion, I built a timer that starts scattering the fragments even further when not scrolling for a while.

timer

After 3 seconds, the fragments will start moving by themselves

At this point I was happy with the scattered logo, but still felt the site could use more life. One of the main messages of super ultra is designing for life away from screens, so I want the site to feel spatial. I decided to create a particle system that would create the feeling of an atmosphere with dust and debris in it.

The final result can be seen at superultra.dk. At the time of writing, it doesn’t work well on mobile, but I hope to address that in the future.

final

When scrolling on the website, the pieces come together

Week 11

25 Apr, 2021

I missed a couple of weeks there! The weather has been excellent here in Denmark, and I’ve spend the last couple of weeks in Copenhagen enjoying the sights and good company of friends.

Recently, I gave a talk about ‘innovation in practice’ to a Danish tax audit company, which reminded me that I should have a company to refer them to, so I’m spinning up my old company that barely ever existed: superultra.dk.

I really want to do something fun with the site, and with my newly acquired THREE.js skills, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I spent a couple of hours Saturday creating the company, setting up domain and email hosting, but also snuck in some time to fiddle around in rhino and grasshopper with the 3D objects that I want to use in THREE.js.

sketch of fragmented company logo

Sketch of fragmented company logo

Week 8

4 Apr, 2021

It’s Easter holiday and I have prioritized spending quality time with friends and family instead of working on side projects.

I did manage to finish up the last two projects in my Experimental Javascript course! First project is a Google Earth’y project and the second one is a cute poly cat.

Week 7

28 Mar, 2021

It has been a busy couple of weeks, but I did manage to sneak in some side project time this week. Primarily on the Experimental Javascript course where I played around with THREE.js: https://tiny.kevinandersen.dk/project4/

I have also been working on an open call application for a 20" container at Institute for X - a creative enclave in my hometown. I’m hoping to get a space where I can work on my side projects and have all my tools and materials immediately at the ready.

This also marked the final week of the Sun of Denmark project this time around. Last night we changed the clock and moved to Daylight Savings Time. It’s been fun and challenging doing a side project revolving around writing on social media. Although I didn’t reach a big audience, it was a fun exercise trying to make each daily tweet interesting and significant.

Week 5

14 Mar, 2021

Light week this week. Spent most of my side project time continuing my Experimental JavaScript course.

I completed a lesson using PIXI.js to play with WebGL. See demo of lesson over at https://tiny.kevinandersen.dk/project3/.

I also completed a lesson using matter.js to play with physics. See demo of lesson over at https://tiny.kevinandersen.dk/project2/.

As usual, I also wrote weekly tweets for @SunOfDenmark. I realized that this is the second to last week before going over to standard time, which ends the stream of tweets. It has been a fun experience writing daily tweets and trying to find creative and appealing twists on the emergence of daylight, but to be honest also has become a bit trivial here at the end.

I had hoped to work on Project Caramel this week, but only did a light bit of reading. I happened to stumble upon a thread mentioning that MicroPython’s built-in ADC only reads in the 0.1MHz range, which might be one of the reasons why I’m not seeing enough data. I need much faster data than that, so I will investigate whether I can build my own MicroPython module in C to gain the required speed. Otherwise, I’ll have to move into building my own C application.