The Wind Walker

The Wind Walker likes to use his head to feel for subtle variations in wind currents. He moves if he feels uncomfortable or bored.

Play with the Wind Walker on OpenProcessing (requires Java)

Behavior is more important than visual realism in creating the illusion of life. We observe this in Karl Sims’ “Evolved Virtual Creatures”, a simulation in which evolved box creatures interact with their environment in surprising and often humorous ways.

With this principle in mind, I sought to invent a charming creature with lifelike mannerisms. I drew inspiration from two sources: the dutch artist Theo Jansen, and the Kikkerland line of Wind Up Toys.

A wind-powered Strandbeest (Dutch: strand = beach) roams a beach
A charming toy that teaches children about the perils of the adult world

I wrote a custom spring system based on Hooke’s Law to control his limbs, and the sketch runs using the P3D renderer. It is interactive in a limited sense – if one clicks, the Wind Walker turns to face the mouse.

Preliminary sketches with greasy fingers

Author: miles

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