Screen Savers

A couple months ago I was at a dinner party with my wife. During a break in the excitement, I made my way over to the living room and noticed the HD television was running a screen saver that displayed the family photos.

Where normal people would probably think “look at the cute family photos”, I thought “that would be a great OpenGL project”.

The advantages of such an assignment:

  • a non-game application for 3D Graphics knowledge
  • experience working with files systems
  • experience working with Windows screen savers
  • challenge of working with “uncontrolled assets”

In class I briefly described the simple screen saver I had seen at the dinner party. The images (loaded from the user’s photo directory) were displayed with the correct aspect ratio at random locations and random depths, and moving at various speeds across the screen.

It was very cool to see that a week later all the students provided almost exact replicas of what I saw that evening, but each with their own personalized touch.

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