Inspiration can come from anywhere. Late last summer after some very overcast days there was an amazing sunset that broke through under the cloud base turning everything orange. Walking over the fields near where I live I managed to get several pictures & a few video clips. The leaves in the trees were barely moving and it was very surreal. I thought about how I could capture this somehow.
Within a trial of 3D Studio Max I created a short animation of a tree moving in the wind (the Maple one looked good hence the name), one with a sunset background the second with a white plate which would make it easier for making selections. I then took 4 or 5 key frames of this movie and blended them within Flash to effectively create a slideshow. Using the frames with white backgrounds I was able to give the effect of the tree rising out over the page itself. Many people dont even notice the leaves actually moving saying “nice tree” – until its either pointed out to them or they go cross eyed thinking they’re seeing things. I didn’t want the tree to look like it was in a hurricane & I think the effect is pretty effective.
The prototype of the site can be found here.