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MMD > Archives > April 2004 > 2004.04.10 > 04Prev  Next

Animated Piano in "Butterflies in the Rain"
By Rob Goodale

This will be of particular interest to those who enjoy mechanical music
or MIDI.  Apparently a few graduate students from the University of
Ohio animated a piano as part of their graduation project.  This
involved using MIDI data interfaced with an animation program that was
specially written for the application (hence the student's project).

The work consists of an animated vintage Ampico upright player piano
which is being played by raindrops falling onto the keys.  A butterfly
dances to the music as it flies around the piano and then enters the
interior.  The animated movement of the action is fantastic.

According to the author of the web page, in addition to winning at
a computer animation festival, the success of this project led them
to career positions with Pixar animation studios (now a division of

You can download the animated movie in it's entirety although it will
take a very long time, (about 3-1/2 hours using dial-up).  Even so
the movie is somewhat small in size.  Nevertheless a real treat!
To download go here:

 [ Quicktime of Butterflies in the Rain, 1/4-size screen ] (38.01 Mb)

Rob Goodale, RPT
Las Vegas, NV

PS: Later I contacted the creator of the "Butterflies in the Rain"
piano animation movie.  He has set up a special link just for us for
a much higher resolution copy for your viewing pleasure.  We are
hereby granted permission from him to download for distribution among

The download is a whopping 98 megabytes but worth it.  The link is
below.  I recommend right-clicking and then selecting "Save Target
As..." and then saving it to your desktop.  With a dial-up connection
it could take as long as four hours but it is well worth it!

 [ Quicktime of Butterflies in the Rain, 1/2-size screen ] (97.3 Mb)

Rob Goodale, RPT
Las Vegas, NV

 [ MMDer Mark Fontana was one of the three students who created the
 [ 1997 animated film!  :-)  -- Robbie

(Message sent Fri 9 Apr 2004, 19:40:36 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Animated, Butterflies, Piano, Rain

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