Reduce overlap in Random spreads?

I finally managed to land a VVVV job (provided I can pull this off), so when they pay me I can buy a licence! Yes, that’s probably backwards to how a licence is supposed to work but, as usual, I’m kind of broke right now.

Anyway, what the client wants to do is have a bunch of photos come falling down randomly (organically is the word they use) from the top of the frame. So I put together this patch but there are many places where the photos overlap too much. I’ve made the quads transparent (and running way too fast) for testing purposes.

Is there any way to gain more control over how the quads are arranged? I know that’s the opposite of “random” but I’m finding it very frustrating. If I was doing this in AfterEffects, I could just reach in there and move around whatever was bugging me, but not here where it’s all being done with math. I thought that maybe the Cross node was what I was looking for, but I couldn’t get that to work, or at least show up on screen so I must have done something wrong.

I was researching collision detection on the forums here, but that is probably overkill. Unfortunately, I’m not going to know how many photos there will be until the photographer hands them over, so even if I did manage to come up with the perfect combination of seeds to reduce the overlaps, I won’t get the same amount of photos I’m using to test with. I’ve been considering setting up 3 or 4 levels/folders and trying it that way. I feel like the answer is staring me right in the face but I can’t see it.

I’d appreciate it a lot to be pointed in the right direction, thanks!

No overlap.v4p (65.8 kB)

How many pictures do you want to show on screen in 1 go?

The cross just makes all possible combinations, so that not really helping.
Unless… you make a grid for all you pictures… and just wiggle those arround

Te trouble is in 3D, depending where the camera is, there is a good change your are overlapping you quads, now with a thing like fog, that can actually look nice.

Good luck.

No overlap-2.v4p (67.7 kB)

Thanks! That’s a different take on it, which might work I’ll have to change the camera and slow it down to see what it looks like, reduce the number of columns. As for how many pictures, I’m not sure. I would say a minimum of 2 and no more than 6 (depending on size). I was thinking earlier today that maybe a spread isn’t the way to go. Maybe if I made individual random photos that translated over Y I could control the placement better and avoid too much overlapping. I think the X could also be randomised per photo. I’m probably not explaining my thought correctly and it’s probably going to be a lot more work/uglier than your suggestion, I’ll have to try it and see. There can’t be too many photos onscreen at one time, but there also can’t be blank space, either.

This is meant to be used as what we call a “happy snaps” around here. While it’s important to be able to see the faces, IMO, very few people will actually watch it. Unlike a more traditional happy snaps (which would be done in PowerPoint given that all the photos are taken onsite), this is to add movement to the room as people mingle rather than people are going to be sitting in an audience watching it. Trying to explain to the client that no one is going to really pay attention to it, however, this is not something they want to hear. I already tried a slideshow looking patch on the client and they didn’t like it.