Tag Archives: science fiction

“2001: A Space Odyssey” Viewed Through Picasso’s Dreams 

Photographer Bhautik Joshi has managed to make the film 2001: A Space Odyssey into something even more terrifying, turning the 1968 Sci-Fi hit into an animation fueled by Picasso. Joshi ran the film through Google’s neural network, Deep Dream, a program that finds and enhances patterns within images through algorithmic pareidolia. This process often leads to the hallucinogenic appearance of even simple images due to the extreme over-processing that occurs in the network.

Joshi took this program a couple of steps further by teaching the system to interpret the cult favorite as a series of Picasso paintings, making it lean more expressionist than trippy. If you like Joshi’s edit of the film, check out more of his work with DeepDream (including an interpretation of Blade Runner) on his Vimeo. (via Sploid)

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Illustrator Simon Stålenhag’s Visions of a Technologically Dystopian Future 

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Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag (previously) depicts a uncomfortable collision of present and future where people much like us seem to confront a brave new technological reality. In his digital paintings children throw spears at terrifying drones, and people wander aimlessly in their yards while fully engrossed inside virtual reality helmets strapped to their heads, and sometimes there’s even a giant alien caterpillar. Each bleak snapshot is seemingly unconnected to the last but suggests a provocative story—for some reason I’m reminded of my favorite children’s picture book, Chris van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Stålenhag collected many of his own illustrations into a book titled Tales from the Loop, and many of his best images are available as prints. You can also find him on Tumblr.

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An Alien Planet of Candy-like Rocks and Plants by David Brodeur 

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As part of his Celestial Series, Chicago-based digital artist David Brodeur rendered an alien world filled with berry-like plants, glowing crystals, and candy shaped orbs that sprout from the ground. Despite their exotic designs, Brodeur relies on common colors of familiar fruits to create this Willy Wonka-esque habitat where you can’t help but want to reach out and gobble everything up. You can see more from the series on Behance, and he also posts a new digital piece each day on Instagram.

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Wrapped: A Stunning Animated Time-lapse that Depicts Powerful Plants Reclaiming New York 

There have been countless films set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic New York teeming with wildlife and overgrown with plants, both Planet of the Apes and I Am Legend come to mind. In this animated short titled Wrapped from Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann, we instead see the demise of the city as a vivid time-lapse that blends real footage, CG, and several of its own science fiction twists. The time-lapse begins with the death of a small rat that sets in motion the complete demise of the city’s human-made infrastructure that is quickly razed by super powerful vines. They share about the project:

“Wrapped” is a VFX driven short film by Roman Kälin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann that combines Time Lapse Photography with CG to create a new reality. The short explores the effects of time and change focusing on the the world’s seemingly never ending cycles. The deterioration of one is the foundation for another. This fact takes on new dimensions when the unexpected forces of nature clash with the existing structures of our civilization.

Wrapped was originally released in 2014 and was screened at over 100 festivals picking up tons of accolades along the way. The film was made viewable online for the first time ever today. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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Otherworldly Metal Organisms Welded by Mylinh Nguyen 

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Inspired by animalistic forms both living and extinct, artist Mylinh Nguyen welds alien creatures from brass, bronze, and silver. Using a variety of machining techniques each creature takes form over several weeks, originating first as haphazard sketches in a notebook before evolving into permanent metal forms. Nguyen is a master of articulating even the most minute skeletal details of imaginary beings with metal, such as her seed-pod-meets-jellyfish series Meduses or her 2012 series of aquatic life, Sous-Marins. Nguyen currently has several pieces on view at the Les 3 CHA centre d’art in Châteaugiron, France. (via Lustik)

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The Visually Stunning ‘Tesseract’ Scene in Interstellar was Filmed on a Physically Constructed Set 

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Spoiler alert. One of the most jaw-dropping moments of Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar is the climactic moment when Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) enters a visually stunning environment that allows him to physically communicate through time using gravity. In the movie, the scene is manifested as a small library in his home that appears to infinitely repeat with versions of every moment that has ever occurred there. Essentially it’s a cube in four dimensions. Here’s a pretty good explanation of how it works:

The Tesseract is a means of communication for the bulk beings to express action through gravity with NASA. The bulk beings can perceive five dimensions as opposed to four, able to see every moment in the past, present, and future as well as influence gravity within any of those time frames. […] The tesseract allowed Cooper to communicate with Murphy Cooper [his daughter] in various time periods, presenting time itself as a dimension rather than linear. Everything is linked by the strings of time, which Cooper can manipulate. The beings made this comprehensible to Cooper by allowing him to physically interact with the Tesseract.

The idea of the tesseract scene alone was so daunting to the filmmakers, Nolan and his special effects team procrastinated for months before trying to tackle how it might work. After months of concepting and model building the team opted for the unusual approach of using minimal digital effects in favor of fabricating a massive set which the actors could physically manipulate. A remarkable feat considering not only the complexity of the concepts depicted, but the cost and labor of building something so large.

Included here are some shots of the set, a behind-the-scenes interview with Nolan and a number of people from the visual effects team explaining how it was done, and lastly the scene itself. You can watch even more of it here. (via Fubiz)

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