Tag Archives: gifs

New Animated Portraits by Romain Laurent Explore Quirky Isolated Movements 

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French photographer and director Romain Laurent (previously here and here) started making portrait-based GIFs as a way to produce work outside his commercial jobs, a spontaneous project that would encourage him to produce consistently for himself rather than clients. Each GIF is simple in its concept—a snap of the finger, a twist of the hand—yet is elegant in its composition of muted colors and subjects often centered squarely in the frame. Although GIFs often incorporate the whole subject, Laurent’s work highlights one or two specific movements, isolating gestures rather than animating the whole image.

Laurent studied product design at the National School of Applied Arts in Paris before realizing photography was his medium of choice. Laurent nows works in New York City and has collaborated with clients such as Reebok, Hermes, Lacoste, Nissan, Google, and GQ. You can see more of his inventive portraits on his Tumblr, and access his GIFs directly on his Giphy page here.

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Newly Digitized ‘Phenakistoscope’ Animations That Pre-Date GIFs by Over 150 Years 

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Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection

Since first stumbling onto an early type of image projector called a magic lantern over 40 years ago, Richard Balzer became instantly obsessed with early optical devices, from camera obscuras and praxinoscopes to anamorphic mirrors and zoetropes. Based in New York, Balzer has collected thousands of obscure and unusual devices such as phenakistoscopes, one of the first tools for achieving live animation.

The phenakistoscope relies on a disc with sequential illustrations to create looping animations when viewed through small slits in a mirror, producing an effect not unlike the GIFs of today. These bizarre, psychedelic, and frequently morbid scenes (people eating other people seemed to a popular motif) were produced in great volumes across Europe in the early to mid 19th century. Balzer and his assistant Brian Duffy have been digitizing and animating these discs and sharing the results on Tubmlr since 2012 (previously). Seen here is just a sampling of their efforts over the last year or so, but you can see plenty more here.

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An early Phenakistoscope design

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Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection

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Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection

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Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection

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Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection

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Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection

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Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection

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Japanese Artist Places a Modern Spin on Centuries-Old Woodblock Prints Through Animated GIFs 

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A Japanese artist is placing a modern spin on a centuries-old technique, animating Japanese woodblock prints in the style typically reserved for TV show recaps and continuously looping memes. The artist, who who goes by Segawa thirty-seven, uses Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to alter the static images and inlay elements of sci-fi and modern culture—bringing in Segways and alien spaceships into the fixed landscapes-turned-gifs.

Other gifs produced by the artist are far more subtle, one in particular showing a crowded street of people lit by moonlight, their shadows traveling from the right to the left side of the screen as the moon travels through the sky. Another shows a scene of people gazing out the window as a high speed train endlessly rushes by.

You can see more of Segawa thirty-seven’s woodblock print animations on his Twitter(via Spoon & Tamago

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Artist Charles Young Completes Work on Daily Paper Model Project After Designing 365 Structures 

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It’s daunting to witness the labor poured into a 365-day creative project, be it taking a daily photo, doing a quick sketch, or even writing a few lines. Edinburgh-based artist Charles Young (previously) gets particularly high marks for completing his daily paper model project that he started a year ago today as a way to explore design, architecture, and model building.

Every single one of his 365 models were designed, cut, and assembled daily using 220gsm watercolour paper and PVA glue, with many of the structures incorporating moving components that Young photographed to create quick animations. The pieces are frequently infused with bits of whimsy and ingenuity, probably the result of any undertaking requiring so many different random ideas. Although he’s now stopped working, Young hopes to eventually display the cityscape somewhere in its entirety. You can find more of his paper architecture on Etsy.

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New Hand-Drawn Animations and Rotoscoping GIFs by Matthias Brown 

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Working with ink, paper, leaves, scissors, and other materials, Atlanta-based graphic designer Matthias Brown (previously) loves to experiment with rotoscoping and other traced animations that he shares on his Tumblr, Traceloops. Each animation is physically drawn, cut, carved and scanned frame-by-frame to create what you see here. Brown has also lent his design sense to a host of brands including Tate Modern, Converse, MTV and others, and you can get lost in more of his trippy animations here.

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Historical Photos and Artworks Set in Motion by Nicolas Monterrat 

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One of my new favorite Tumblrs to follow is Un gif dans ta gueule… (roughly ‘A gif in the mouth…’) run by French photographer and animator Nicolas Monterrat who brings his surreal sense of humor to historical photos, paintings, and other borrowed imagery by creating bizarre and humorous animations. Collected here is just a sampling, do yourself and dive into his archive, you won’t regret it. (via Lustik)

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