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Amazing Animation Art Design Science

Blooms 2: Extraordinary New Strobe-Animated Sculptures by John Edmark

January 10, 2017

Christopher Jobson

As artist John Edmark's sculptures wiggle, wobble, and twist before your eyes like some alien creature, it’s hard to believe that what you’re seeing is a real physical object—but we assure you it is, with a bit of trick photography and some heady mathematics thrown in for good measure. Blooms 2 (a year in the making) is the latest collection of wild strobe-animated sculptures that begin life as computer programs written in Python before being 3D printed and set in motion on a table, but the patterns you see are created, in a sense, by nature itself.

“Blooms are based on the same geometry nature uses in many plant forms, including artichokes, sunflowers, and pinecones, all of which share the same underlying mathematical pattern,” Edmark shares with Colossal. He explains in more detail how each sculpture is designed:

Blooms are 3-D printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. Unlike a 3D zoetrope, which animates a sequence of small changes to objects, a bloom animates as a single self-contained sculpture. The bloom’s animation effect is achieved by progressive rotations of the golden ratio, phi (ϕ), the same ratio that nature employs to generate the spiral patterns we see in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotational speed and strobe rate of the bloom are synchronized so that one flash occurs every time the bloom turns 137.5º (the angular version of phi).

While the strobe is necessary to witness the animation when viewing these pieces in person, for the sake of creating this video filmmaker Charlie Nordstrom set the camera to a short shutter speed that freezes individual “frames” of the spinning sculpture.

Many of Edmark’s pieces are now in galleries and permanent museum collections around the world. You can see several of his sculptures right now at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and the Technorama in Winterthur, Switzerland. You can also see some of his first designs in his original Blooms video, and for what it’s worth, we also carry his amazing Helicone sculpture in the Colossal Shop.

 

 



Art Design

Mathematically Precise Kinetic Sculptures and Toys by John Edmark

January 19, 2015

Christopher Jobson

kinetic

If you enjoyed John Edmark’s trippy 3D-printed zoetrope sculptures last week, you might also enjoy some of his kinetic sculptures that rely on excruciatingly precise laser-cut wood and internal mechanisms to create optical illusions and other unexpected behaviors. Edmark describes these as “instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.” Here are three of my favorites, but you can see many more on his website.

Update: John Edmark’s Helicone toy is now available in the Colossal Shop.

 

 



Art Design

Creating The Never-Ending Bloom: The Amazing Mathematical Wonders of John Edmark

May 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

We’ve long marveled at artist John Edmark's (previously) kinetic objects that function as a medium to express a variety of mathematical formulas and concepts. The spiral-like sculptures often defy description and even when looking at them it’s hard to understand how they work, something he refers to as “instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.” The folks at SciFri recently visited with Edmark in his studio to learn more about how he works and to catch a glimpse of some rather unusual sculptures he’s created over the last few years.

 

 



Art Design

Flux: A Mesmerizing 3D-Printed Zoetrope that Glows

December 14, 2015

Christopher Jobson

Created by German designer Dieter Pilger along with Janno Ströcker and Frederik Scheve, this dizzying 3D-printed zoetrope was designed around the mathematics of the Fibonacci sequence. Unlike similar devices we’ve seen, Pilger says their design isn’t photographed or viewed using a strobe light to create the animation effect, but instead appears to move when staring directly at it in regular light (or darkness). The team credits John Edmark as their inspiration due to his earlier work with Fibonacci zoetropes.

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Animation Art Design

Fascinating 3D-Printed Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures

January 14, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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These 3d-printed zoetrope sculptures were designed by John Edmark, and they only animate when filmed under a strobe light or with the help of a camera with an extremely short shutter speed. He shares about the project:

These are 3-D printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The placement of the appendages is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that one flash occurs every time the sculpture turns 137.5º—the golden angle. If you count the number of spirals on any of these sculptures you will find that they are always Fibonacci numbers.

For this video, rather than using a strobe, the camera was set to a very short shutter speed (1/4000 sec) in order to freeze the spinning sculpture.

If you happen to have a 3D printer handy, you can find instructions on how to make these over on Instructables. (via Stellar)