Tag Archives: optical illusion

A Picture Frame Powered by Strobe Lights Turns Everyday Objects into Slow Motion Sculptures 

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For over 15 years, scientist and artist Jeff Lieberman has been fascinated by how objects move in slow motion since first mastering high-speed photography at MIT. His experiments eventually landed him a hosting gig at Discovery’s Time Warp where he uses high speed cameras to explore a variety of everyday occurrences in slow motion. Two years ago Lieberman began to wonder if there might be a way to bring the optical illusion of slow motion imagery into the real world. What if you could see a slow motion object up close and practically reach out and touch it? The result is Slow Dance, a tiny environment that appears to slow down time.

Slow Dance is a picture frame that makes use of strobe lights to turn any object you place inside of it appear to move in slow motion. Lieberman shares:

Strobe lights are nothing new. From the photos of Eadweard Muybridge to the photos of Doc Edgerton, extremely fast strobe lights have been helping us to see into fast motions. On a dancefloor, strobe lights turn us into stop motion animations. But we’ve put strobe light to use in a different fashion.

By using high speed strobe lights blinking 80 times a second, your eyes cannot even see that they are blinking — the light looks continuous. By synchronizing the strobes to the high-speed vibration of objects (feathers, branches, flowers, etc), we create the visual illusion of those objects moving in slow motion. This is a phenomenon called persistence of vision, and works similarly to the way a TV works — by flickering frozen images quickly enough that we perceive them as continuous motion.

Slow Dance just went up on Kickstarter and appears to have funded almost instantly. You can see more photos and videos about how it works here.

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Calligraphic Optical Illusion Murals by Astro 

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French street artist Astro brings an interesting sense of perspective to his public murals that turn flat surfaces into portals that appear to recede into another dimension. Already known for his wild calligraphy-inspired patterns, the artist has begun to incorporate 3D illusions with the help of shadows to create tunnels and voids at the center of his works. Astro’s latest piece was recently completed as part of the Loures Art Publica project in Loures, Portugal. You can see more of his work on Instagram. (via My Modern Met, Designboom)

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Artist JR Makes the Iconic Louvre Pyramid ‘Disappear’ Into the Museum’s Palace Facade 

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Just a few hours ago, French street artist JR completed work on his latest public artwork, a large photographic piece that wraps the iconic glass pyramid outside the Musée du Louvre causing it to disappear against the palace facade. The piece is part of an event titled “JR au Louvre,” and is comprised of photographic prints of the museum itself adhered to the glass exterior. When viewed from just the right vantage point it creates an illusion of the pyramid seeming to vanish.

JR is known for his large-scale public flyposting of black and white photographs, most commonly of people’s faces. While the pyramid piece is clearly visible outdoors, the exhibition will also involve a 24-hour event on May 28-29th. The happening involves a series of films, workshops, a music performance by Nils Frahm, and a dance performance by the New York City Ballet. You can see the full schedule of events here, and some work-in-progress photos on JR’s Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

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This Translucent Cube Hides Six Handpainted Anamorphic Images 

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Artist Thomas Medicus (previously) just unveiled a new anamorphic sculpture titled Emergence Lab that contains six handpainted images inside a large translucent cube. The six fragmented paintings are spread across 216 laser-cut acrylic glass strips that are designed to perfectly align when viewed directly from each side. Each figure is cleverly contained within the same surface as its counterpart on the opposite side, and the object is filled with silicone oil giving it the look and feel of solid glass. Watch the video to see how it works, and Medicus shares some behind the scenes photos of his design process. You can also follow him on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Sidewalk Paintings of Gargantuan Gummy Bears Wobble to Life When Viewed From Above 

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Alongside the Malta Street Art Festival, artist Leon Keer decorated a boardwalk with bright, elongated gummy bears that appear skewed when up close, but tower in height when viewed from above. This band of nine realistic candy bears seem to interact with the passersby, their slanted shapes appearing to be the same height as those who stop to take a closer look.

The anamorphic bears don’t seem to be celebrating their position on the Valetta waterfront however, as their composition looks as if they’re mourning a fallen green friend, which Keer confirms is indeed deceased.

Keer began painting while working on large advertisement murals for multinational corporations. His commissions have stretched from Europe to Asia and included work for Coca-Cola. Keer exhibits his own paintings in various Dutch and UK galleries and also presents work through live-action painting performances on the street. (via My Modern Met)

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