Happy Accidents


Gross, repulsive, aggravating—but not always. Sometimes, bugs come disguised as little helpers, useful warnings, or beautiful surprises. Every developer understands the need to deliver bug-free code, but, while striving to implement that perfect solution, a bug can sometimes unintentionally provide new insight to your task.

When we come across these happy accidents at Second Story, it’s a pleasant change of pace. The dreaded bug becomes a boon, even a source of inspiration.

Motivated by this tilt effect for images, we wanted to see if we could create the same subtle sense of depth to videos. A three-dimensional effect should occur by layering multiple semi-transparent videos on top of each other and allowing the user to tilt the videos on mouseover. The videos tilt towards the user’s cursor, creating the illusion of shifting the viewing angle of the scene. Simple enough. However, each of the videos buffered at different rates, causing them to fall out of sync.

This created a beautiful, ephemeral effect that reminded us of how we remember our dreams. Inspired, we began to think about how we could implement this effect in web interactives. However, a bug is still a bug and needs to be squashed. Here is our intended “fixed” version.

Our bug-in-disguise revealed to us an angle we never expected. As we continue these kinds of explorations, we hope to stumble upon more of these happy accidents.

– Hannah Cin, Interactive Developer


Second Story creates enchanting, informative, and entertaining media experiences with innovative technologies that empower connections to ideas.

Posted in Technology