Structure #003A

A surface filled with one hundred medium to small sized circles. Each circle has a different size and direction, but moves at the same slow rate. Display the instantaneous intersections of the circles.

Implemented by Jared Tarbell
20 April 2004
Flash MX

It should be noted that there are probably more efficient ways to implement this structure in Flash. Regardless, there was no way we were going to be able to get 100 moving circles (plus up to 100 intersection lines) rendered in Flash in real time. The killer is probably the summation of 100 sqrt operations (100 + 99 + 98 + 97 + ...) per frame!

I am shocked at the slow speed of the Flash implementation. I knew it would be slower, but I didn't realize there would be this much difference from the Processing version. A different structure might have the opposite effect, as Flash is much faster at drawing and Processing is much faster at calculations with multiple objects.

Ahh, a perfect illustration of why I became interested in Processing in the first place. I often found my Flash experimental work to be lacking because in some cases, thousands of objects would be needed in order to show the intended effect but Flash would only let me get away with a couple of hundred at the most.

My goodness! The piece is almost static (about 2 frames per second on my computer.) I often wonder why Flash is so slow to process loops... however, Flash can be very good for other purposes, like keyframed animations.