In an attempt to better understand exactly what happens as a bee grows from an egg into an adult insect, photographer Anand Varma teamed up with the bee lab at UC Davis to film the first three weeks of a bee’s life in unprecedented detail, all condensed into a 60-second clip. The video above presented by National Geographic doesn’t include commentary, but Varma explains everything in a TED talk included below. The primary goal in photographing the bees was to learn how they interact with an invasive parasitic mite that has quickly become the greatest threat to bee colonies. Scientists have learned to breed mite-resistant bees which they are now trying to introduce into the wild. Learn more about it in this video:
While touring Antarctica for a few weeks with his 73-year-old father, Stockholm-based filmmaker Kalle Ljung brought along a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter to film their excursion from above. The footage he captured is extraordinary, from isolated shots of crewmates teetering on lone icebergs to pods of whales breaching the surface shot directly overhead. In a deluge of nature/travel films shot with GoPros and drones, this really stands out. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
The above clip is a trailer of sorts for an upcoming non-verbal film titled Prograve by Italian filmmaker and documentarist Sandro Bocci. The feature is billed as (translated from Italian) “an experimental film orbiting scientific and philosophical reflections on time and space, and that through various shooting techniques, fields of magnification, and an exciting soundtrack, weaves a web between science and magic.” The section shown here depicts beautiful macro timelapses of coral, sponges and other aquatic wildlife filmed under ultraviolet light. You can see additional stills from the upcoming film here. Music by Maurizio Morganti. (via Vimeo Staff Picks, Coudal)
Videographer Paul Parker used the ‘echo’ effect in video editing software After Effects to show the flight paths of birds near his home in Cornwall, UK. Parker also filmed birds flying past his window for an hour and compressed it into just a few seconds to show what it would look like if they all flew by at once. Artist Dennis Hlynsky uses the same effect any many of his own bird and insect videos seen here previously. (via Kottke)
One of the most gratifying aspects of watching stop-motion films is the knowledge that every bit of motion seen on screen is created by human hands, frame by frame, millimeter by millimeter. While an animator might tell you it takes an entire day just to film a 3-second sequence, it’s still difficult to imagine how much physical labor is involved to accomplish it. Lucky for us, the animators behind Laika’s Boxtrolls snuck in a short post-credits timelapse that reveals a brief glimpse of what happens behind the scenes to make two characters come to life.
I first saw Boxtrolls in the theater last September with my son, and this single scene caused a more vocal response from the audience than any other moment in the entire movie. People were literally gasping, myself included. Over the holidays, Focus Features finally made it available online through their YouTube channel.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory just released this amazing timelapse created from 17,000 images of the sun taken late last month. The bright spot you see gradually passing from right to left is sunspot AR 2192, the largest observed sunspot in 22 years. It measures 80,000 miles across or roughly the width of 10 Earths side by side. Definitely recommend watching it full-screen. (via Kottke)