Visual programming for movies, games

the ANSWER project:

ANSWER will produce a notation system for describing the creation of multimedia content, thus offering a bridge between digital media production and animation for game design.

with a demo in flash; watching it makes me think it would be nice if the visual language had a textual representation and one could switch back and forth between them.

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Prograph, mTropolis, Director... none of them ever works out in the end. I don't think that's an accident.

Clearly, such artistic works can't be formalized...

[poking at Paul Snively's hot-button] *poke*, *poke*


*bzzzzzt* *crackle* *puff of smoke* :-)

Programming Paradigms for Artistic Works

I'd like to see a survey of paradigms that might be suitable for the sort of work ANSWER is attempting to answer. Here is what I have:

Constraint Programming
Describe some general limits and some heuristics, and allow the machine to provide a solution meeting the needs of the designer. With enough

Physics-based / Rules-based
Describe some initial relationships and rules for how relationships and rules change over time. Introduce interactive input into the model as a relationship that changes over time outside local programmatic control. Compute states over time. Has been implemented in many paradigms, though the denotational FRP implementations seem cleaner than most.

Focus on Domain Specific Languages
Ensure the artist can express his ideas clearly and concisely in a DSL. Not really a paradigm, but important to those 'initial conditions' and 'constraints' and such. It has been observed that artists almost always need to escape the optimized syntax to handle the corner cases, so an embedded DSL - with access to more power when critical - might be the wise option (lest you end up reinventing a GPPL).

That's all I have, though I could probably name more variations on the rules-based approaches.

Context Free Art

Kind of weird:

I'm thinking about this a lot

I'm thinking about the tool I would love for my story. It's a story about technology and innovation, shouldn't I tell it using technology and innovation?

I'm not thinking about rules at all, but more examining the kinds of "things" I need to show. Perhaps also looking at universal iconography to help bring the "rules" into focus.

What's happening with maps right now is a perfect example. Almost anyone can now throw up a map and post stories. And have others contribute. Their story relationship is inherent in the map.