Last year, we shared an interesting video showing a blank white room that could be completely transformed in an instant using 3D projections beamed from two projectors overhead. The music video above, created filmmaker Filip Sterckx for the song “Sweater” by Willow, takes the idea of 3D projections in a blank room to a new level. Although it looks like the actor visits all kinds of crazy locations, everything is actually happening inside a small “room” consisting of one white floor and two white walls. The surfaces serve as canvases for imagery beamed from three $1,000 Panasonic PT-LB90 projectors. A moving treadmill on the ground adds to the effect.
It looks like Sterckx chose to go with CGI for the projected imagery, but imagine what this could look like if done with photos and videos of real locations. The next time you need to do a shoot in some exotic location, just buy a few projectors instead of a plane ticket!
Here’s an awesome TED lecture in which digital artist Erik Johansson discusses creating realistic “photographs” of impossible scenes.
Erik Johansson creates realistic photos of impossible scenes — capturing ideas, not moments. In this witty how-to, the Photoshop wizard describes the principles he uses to make these fantastical scenarios come to life, while keeping them visually plausible.
German scientists have been awarded a Guinness World Record for “fastest movie” after successfully capturing two images of an X-ray laser beam 50 femtoseconds apart. One femtosecond is equal to one quadrillionth (or one millionth of one billionth) of a second. Here’s some science talk explaining it:
[...] the scientists split the X-ray laser beam into two flashes and sent one of them via a detour of only 0.015 millimetres, making it arrive 50 femtoseconds later than the first one. Since no detector can be read out so fast, the scientists stored both images as superimposed holograms, allowing the subsequent reconstruction of the single images.
With these experiments, the scientists showed that this record slow motion is achievable. However, they did not only take the world’s fastest but probably also the shortest film – with just two images. Thus, additional development work is necessary for the use of this method in practice. [#]
For a fine arts project at his university, art student Joel Brochu spent a whopping 8 months meticulously recreating a photograph using tiny nonpareils (the tiny sprinkles used on cakes and donuts). 221,184 individual sprinkles were placed on the 4-foot-wide board, which was covered with double-sided tape and a thin layer of glue. Each sprinkle was placed by hand using jewelry tweezers. Read more…
We’ve shared a couple stories in the past month on how human eyes are very subjective and horrible as light meters, and here’s yet another mind-boggling example of how easily our eyes can be fooled by context. In the image above, the “blue” and the “green” stripes are exactly the same color.
According to the smart folks over at MIT, this video shows footage that was captured at an unbelievable one trillion frames per second. It appears to show some kind of light pulse traveling through some kind of object. Here’s a confusing explanation found on the project’s website:
We use a pico-second accurate detector (single pixel). Another option is a special camera called a streak camera that behaves like an oscilloscope with corresponding trigger and deflection of beams. A light pulse enters the instrument through a narrow slit along one direction. It is then deflected in the perpendicular direction so that photons that arrive first hit the detector at a different position compared to photons that arrive later. The resulting image forms a “streak” of light. Streak cameras are often used in chemistry or biology to observe milimeter sized objects but rarely for free space imaging.
Here’s a mind-bending video in which someone created the famous checker shadow illusion in real life. The optical illusion takes advantage of the way our brains process lighting and shadows.
As with many so-called illusions, this effect really demonstrates the success rather than the failure of the visual system. The visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter, but that is not its purpose. The important task is to break the image information down into meaningful components, and thereby perceive the nature of the objects in view. [#]
Interesting huh? Our eyes aren’t very good as a light meters, since they’re easily deceived by context. Read more…
As the world of photography collides with the world of computing in smart phones, we will undoubtedly be seeing many mind-boggling applications (e.g. augmented reality translation) that utilize cell phone cameras in the near future. A new app called Meal Snap fits that description — it’s an app that analyzes photos you take of food, telling you both the ingredients and the number of calories you’ll be consuming. It’s only available for iOS 4+ and costs $3 from the App Store.