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.
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.
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.