The Meadowlands Conservation Trust is the agency charged with the acquisition and protection of sensitive environmental lands within the New Jersey Meadowlands. It is, as they say, “in but not of” the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.
- use the colored-pencil drawings of the Meadowlands featured on their wildlife conservation vehicle license plates, and
- make the egret fly.
So we translated their illustration into a functional and fully responsive custom theme retaining all its hand-drawn charm. (A few years later, we ditched the custom coded theme for a customized child theme under the Genesis Framework.)
We wanted the egret to look natural and smooth, so we requested two separate animated images from the artist. One shows the egret “loitering”, bobbing its head and rustling the reeds around it. The other shows the egret flying.
To keep these heavy files from slowing everything down, we first show a static and much lighter image while the rest of the site loads. This is automatically replaced by the loitering animation, to be switched with the flying animation on mouseover.
Here’s the effect: the egret begins by standing motionless. When the animations are ready, the egret’s bobbing head catches a viewer’s attention, and – voila! – it flies away when “disturbed” by a cursor.
See what Debbie Lawlor, our liaison throughout the Meadowlands Conservation Trust project, had to say about the project.