Videos for Creating Cool 3D Light Objects Using Only a Tablet and Camera


We’ve shared a few pretty cool cross-section light painting projects before, but none of them were ever very… shall we say… cheery. Both projects — 21:31 and Andy Leach’s hologram photo — were created using the same eerie video of human slices from the Visible Human Project. But for those who wanted to toy around with cross-section light painting and re-creating 3D light objects in their photos, that’s all they had.

Well, not anymore. Photographer Hugo Baptista has put together a Vimeo group called “Cross Section Objects for Light Painting“. It contains a number of videos that you can load onto your tablet or smartphone and use to create 3D light painting objects.

That 3D light painting of a Lambo seen above was created using this video:

Here’s another photo/video example, this time of a monk:


If this sounds intriguing you’ll have your choice of monks, crocodiles, sharks, Lamborghinis and more for your first foray into three dimensional cross-section light painting.

To make it work, all you have to do is swipe the tablet, computer, or smartphone the video is on across the frame as you shoot one long exposure. Each object will take about 10 seconds to create, and you can rotate them in space however you’d like based on the direction the video is moved.

It’ll take a bit of trial and error, and it’s not the most intuitive thing at first, but the results speak for themselves. It might not qualify as fine art, but this project can definitely make a boring Saturday night at home a lot more interesting.

Cross Section Objects for Light Painting [Vimeo via DIYPhotography]

  • Greg Borenstein

    This looks quite a lot like the Making Future Magic work that Berg London did for Dentsu quite a long time ago:

  • Hugo Baptista

    Well observed Greg. “making future magic” is what inspired me to create these animations as I explain in the description of the group.

  • Ralph Hightower

    I want my two minutes of life back. The first video was nothing but repetitious.

  • djkevinjames

    Maybe if you read the article you would understand why that video looked the way it did.

  • Aron

    awesome! mine worked really well! confused all my friends =D

  • Hugo Baptista

    Nice one Fred. If you’re on Vimeo feel free to add your brain to the group. Both literally and figuratively. ;)

  • Hugo Baptista