Friday, February 1, 2019

EasterEggs in EasterLegs : The Jesus Leg Apparition

The animated Flash film 'The Gift Factory' (myTHself 2004) is a creation myth for the Easter Legs.  It was published on the Flash film makers portal NewGrounds and at in 2004 (in Flash ID [Infinite Definition!]) and on YouTube in 2010 (limited quality pixel encoded edition).

I Made it in Flash (Wikipedia) when the web was slower.  Traditional pixel based video could not download its necessary data in real time quickly enough for watchable video. Flash could use vector animation which simulated frames re-drawing them 'on the hoof' in the browser at the desired frame rate.  Vector drawings define line and area using maths.  The pictures are made from drawing algebraic graphs, giving each line and area its specific colour, thickness etc.  Designing with this in mind could give moving pictures with a tiny file size compared to pixel based video. 'The Gift Factory' movie is 6 minutes long but can be described in 700 kb of data, and half of that is the music! 

Flash movies are more like games than traditional films.  They are composed of a library of reusable graphic objects and characters.  Characters, character parts and whole scenes are made by nesting animations inside one another Russian doll style.  Flash had a simple coding language called Actionscript (Wikipedia) which could make parts of the screen responsive to user mouse clicks and cursor movement.  These areas named 'buttons' could be developed using timeline loops to make complex animated characters.  The movie maker could, game like, hand the power of directing these characters over to the mouse controller.  The resulting user manipulable virtual entities were called 'sprites'. The Easter Legs are sprites!


When I was testing the EasterLegs animated interface I unknowingly created a blank browser window appear with the JesusLeg alone and bleeding.  Initially I had no explanation for this screen.  A little freaked I undertook to find out how I had summoned this virtual space.  After extensive tests I realised that the window was a result of clicking and pressing the mouse over the Jesus' Leg and then moving the 'cursor' off  the 'leg image' with the mouse button still pressed.  The Jesus leg animation  is deliberately horrorful on continued mouse button pressing, did the movie's horror induce recoil in my mouse hand and thus the Jesus Leg apparition?

Having explained the phenomenon I was able to furnish this new space with intention - a few words and colours.  A miracle unaverted yet explained.  A serendipitous easter egg in


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