Basic Animated Jellyfish

Hold on there! This blog article is taken from my previous website and quite old. It may be not as interesting or relevant as it used to be, a lot of information may be deprecated.

In order to work towards a final goal for this assignment I was thinking of creating a simple creature that could be animated trough code.  At first I was thinking of creating a snake, a fish and even a frog. But these animals where not the thing I was looking for. Than I realized I should give jellyfish a try, I know these creatures can be really beautifull, and also the way they move is fascinating. So after some short search I stumbled upon a blogpost called Stunning Pictures of Jellyfishes over at And these pictures are stunning indeed!

Also there are a lot of nice videos showing the movement of jellyfish over at Vimeo, for example, check this one out:

After analyzing some video's I started with drawing some vector shapes in Illustrator for the body. Keeping in mind I wanted to animate this shape by moving its points. So next step was trying to move the points and handles so I would end up with a different shape that represented the end of the animation. After calculating and converting the coordinates I entered them into the code to create a basic shape animation.

Also I added the tentacles I created before, that would follow the jellyfish where ever  it goes. To make the animation more fluent I used some easing code that I found for Actionscript. After that I turned my attention to making the jellyfish move a bit more realistic by linking its velocity to the animation stage. This resulted in the program shown below:

You may download the source code or win32 executable if you like.