Party Parrot Parade

Posted by Doug Haber on 2024-04-20
Click here to start the parade

Years ago I saw one of the amazing endless zooming sites and started wondering how it worked. I tried to make my own and ended up accidentally creating a parrot parade.

I'm actually totally uncertain how those sites really work. While there is likely a good write up somewhere, instead of looking for that I just hacked something together to see how it would go.

This initial result was a beautiful demonstration of my artistic talents:

At this point the exploration could have ended, but somehow I got the idea of using party parrots. The parrots are animated, which created new challenges, but browsers had been adding WebM support, and when trying it out, that worked perfectly.

With a little ffmpeg magic, everything was converted. The code was updated to take video input instead of fixed images, support for displaying labels was added, and then it was complete. Like most projects, it was then filed away and forgotten. I'm not certain how many years it had been, but recently I decided it would be worth sharing with the world.

For anyone unfamiliar, here are some resources about Party Parrots:

While preparing for release, I found that IOS Safari doesn't properly support WebM. I tried a few other formats. Maybe I missed something, but no format seemed to work consistently on all platforms and support video with transparency, so for now IOS Safari users will have to live without the parrot parade.

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