The making of: Nokia Friends, generative characters from postspectacular on Vimeo.

Karsten Schmidt sends us a behind-the-scenes mini-movie that reveals how he created pudgy, bouncy animated characters using generative code in Processing. It’s fun to watch these cute creatures evolve through a process of iteration, from bare-bone physics to the finished product. The results are now in flagship Nokia stores worldwide as well as in a big installation at England’s Heathrow Airport in Terminal 5.

From Karsten:

This is the process documentation of this collaborative project with & for Universal Everything, our journey creating a generative motion graphics piece of unique squishy characters commissioned by Nokia originally for their Heathrow Terminal 5 presence, but used throughout their flagship stores worldwide too.
The physics engine used for this project is available from:
Concept & Creative direction: Matt Pyke ( )
Design, Behaviours & Code: Karsten Schmidt (
Music: Mike & Rich (Mike Paradinas & Aphex Twin)

Sure, the recent Radiohead video gave you a little bit of source code and some data, but toxiclibs is an even more important free download, with a range of terrific utilities and functions Karsten (aka Toxi) has developed in his work. (See, from late last month, New toxiclibs for Processing: Must-Download for Visual Coders, covering the most recent update.)

Toxi promises more background on his blog later today; I’ll update this post when it’s up.

And even if you don’t fancy a dip into the deep, complex waters of Processing, this video is certainly a benchmark in how to make great documentation. If I could print it out and paste it to my wall as a reminder to document projects this well, I would. (Also, a bit thanks for keeping it short and sweet. I wish DVD extras were compact like this.)

Last seen here:

Happy Floating Generative Peoples at Heathrow, Verlet Physics, And Global Felt-Tip Animation