Like all good things in life, it started with a gif.

Unlike my previous submissions to the Christmas Experiments, this time I’m not using a hybrid man-deer. I wanted to come up with new ideas, but the first ones were rubbish like ‘I’ll do a low poly santa walking down the beach…’ It wasn’t until I started looking at gifs for inspiration that the idea really kicked in.

The experiment pretty much coded itself when I found this gif:

white_xmas, by mr. div

I asked myself: how would this sound like? What if it was in 3D?

I started to work on an algorithm to distribute items on a triangular grid – which was not as trivial as I thought. Then dusted off my 6th grade geometry formulas and started rotating tetrahedrons – with a big help from this page.

Once positions and rotations were sorted I moved on to post processing and was lucky to find this library by vanruesc. I ended up creating my own film shader by mixing up good bits from different shaders – special thanks to mattdesl for filmic-gl.

And for sound I finally got the chance to work with Tone.js. It is such a nice library. It was a joy to work with.

My music skills are quite basic, but enough to figure out the notes of three famous Christmas songs. The mechanic is simple: mouse over, play next note. The tempo is up to the user. It is a little surprise. Maybe users don’t realise that there is a song there and just play a bunch of notes. Maybe there is that ‘ah!’ moment when they recognise the song.

The same is true for switching scenes. There are three scenes and tree songs in the experiment. I’m not sure people will figure that out. Maybe some users will check the first one and think that that’s it. I could add an info box somewhere and write ‘click and hold’, but that would ruin the surprise.
Edit: actually I did just that, just added an info box with instructions =)

Spoiler Alert

I’ve added the konami code again.
I know it is a bit old school, but like I wrote above it is nice to find little surprises, isn’t it?
Go ahead and try it. Open the experiment and press:
up up down down left right left right b a

So there are actually four scenes and four songs in the experiment.
For that last one, I would like to credit musescore, MidiConvert, Online Sequencer and LCD Soundsystem.

Check the experiment here: https://christmasexperiments.com/2017/09/tetra/

Hope you like it and Merry Christmas!

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