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Making Future Magic
September 17, 2010 2:23 PM   Subscribe

iPad light painting - an ethereal stop-motion animation, using long exposures and a locationally-aware iPad [ photo stills | via ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon (25 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Neat!
posted by brundlefly at 2:26 PM on September 17, 2010


I love the stills, the video, not so much...
posted by joelf at 2:27 PM on September 17, 2010


Sort of ironic that I can't watch the video on this iPad.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:37 PM on September 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


> Sort of ironic that I can't watch the video on this iPad.

YouTube link for iOS.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:50 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The original, non-embedded Vimeo version should also work on the iPad
posted by jedicus at 2:52 PM on September 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks, jedicus.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:53 PM on September 17, 2010


Pretty clever. Though starting the video with an explanation of exactly how you did the trick kinda ruins the "future magic". Let us try to figure it out before telling us how you did it, maybe the ways we think you did it will lead to us doing something equally cool!
posted by egypturnash at 3:08 PM on September 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


preeeeeeeeeeeeeety.
posted by The Whelk at 3:12 PM on September 17, 2010


It would work better with an AMOLED screen. (less back light) Maybe a samsung android tablet?
posted by blue_beetle at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2010


While this is a pretty nifty trick and sort of a nice effect, it seems like a very labor-intensive "going around your elbow to scratch your ass" way of doing something they could have done as well or better with existing CGI tools. Unless there's some other potential application here that I'm not seeing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:05 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit skeptical of the 'locationally aware' claim- it looks like the sequence was just a movie clip that played out dumbly while the people moved the iPads as smoothly as they could. Although I suppose the device would have an accelerometer, I don't see Apple making it too easy to interface with.

Cool idea, though. Needs more robots.
posted by Casimir at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is really innovative. I think another project will really refine the execution.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 5:38 PM on September 17, 2010


It would work better with an AMOLED screen. (less back light)

I actually think the glow from the backlight is what really makes this interesting...
posted by setanor at 6:54 PM on September 17, 2010


> Sort of ironic that I can't watch the video on this iPad

Well, their embedded Flash player would not work on my laptop.

So I guess the ultimate irony is that I had to use my iPad to get access to Vimeo's HTML5 video player in order to see this video, which I am now currently watching on my iPad, mounted on my Apple //c, as I type this comment on my MacBook while simultaneously enjoying a glass of wine.

The future is now.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Extrude the light.
posted by swift at 7:41 PM on September 17, 2010


Uh....I just watched it on an iPad. So...yeah.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:51 PM on September 17, 2010


Loved the video. When they start really messing with the speed at which they "extrude" the letters, and things get crazy... man! I dig it.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 8:48 PM on September 17, 2010


Etch-a-Sketch.
posted by kozad at 9:28 PM on September 17, 2010


Although I suppose the device would have an accelerometer, I don't see Apple making it too easy to interface with.

Why not? Checked the developer APIs?
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 10:54 PM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


it seems like a very labor-intensive "going around your elbow to scratch your ass" way of doing something they could have done as well or better with existing CGI tools.

What would be the point of doing that, though? People enjoy playing around with 'low-tech' special effects.

Although, obviously 'low-tech' isn't really the right word here, maybe 'in camera'? But I don't think as many people know what that means.
posted by delmoi at 10:59 PM on September 17, 2010


And the other thing is that even though you can obviously have floating leters using CG, you get a certain 'look' doing it this way, and getting that look might be difficult with off the shelf software. So for a short project, this might be easier if you're not someone who knows how to really get in and script and tweak the software.

In fact getting radiosity would be really difficult without either modeling the entire environment, or adding it via photoshop. Both of which I wouldn't consider labor unintensive.
posted by delmoi at 11:02 PM on September 17, 2010


While this is a pretty nifty trick and sort of a nice effect, it seems like a very labor-intensive "going around your elbow to scratch your ass" way of doing something they could have done as well or better with existing CGI tools. Unless there's some other potential application here that I'm not seeing.

You're missing the point.
posted by seagull.apollo at 12:53 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Being that the creators use a combination of powerful digital technology and what I can only imagine must have been a real-world pain-in-the-ass amount of time and effort to create something that stimulates thought and discussion.
posted by seagull.apollo at 1:00 AM on September 18, 2010


Why not? Checked the developer APIs?

Fair enough.
I guess what triggered my skeptical reaction was that there was no demonstration of the program linking a frame in the animation with a slice of physical space. If the guy had moved the iPad back and forth for the demo, scanning through the frames as though the overall object were persistently anchored in space, instead of the straight extrusion, I would be more convinced of the claim of 'locational awareness', is what I'm saying.
posted by Casimir at 11:34 AM on September 18, 2010


The 3-D extrusion aspect is neat, but the content strikes me as kind of sterile (mostly just fancy, pre-determined text).

While the technology is far lower-tech, I really like the light painting that the PikaPika group does. (For example, see the video for this advertisement.) Although their technique doesn't produce nearly as slick-looking a result, part of the appeal, I think, is the accessibility and the spontaneity. And the fact that they seem to be spending a lot of time just going around letting people play with their lights and camera— letting people bring characters to life and otherwise doodle in their environment.

Perhaps there's something even more exciting if we were to look at the intersection of these two approaches? You could probably use an iPhone as an advanced light source where, for example, the radius of the light depended on the acceleration of your hand (for a fake brush-stroke appearance), or the color could be tied to orientation. Or it could render simple dynamic cross-sections for extrusion... okay, who wants to lend me their iPhone?
posted by caaaaaam at 3:13 AM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


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