video

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Photography Science

Salt Crystals Dance and Grow Across the Screen in a Time-Lapse by Wenting Zhu

May 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dalian, China-based videographer Wenting Zhu spent seven months creating The Arctic, a time-lapse video that explores the vastly different crystallization processes of salts. Crystals formed from salts including potassium nitrate and sodium sulfate explode like fireworks or appear to freeze like ice when seen through an accelerated lens. The film was created for Beauty of Science (previously), an ongoing series that presents aesthetically intriguing videos about science with a focus on chemical reactions. You can see more of Zhu’s macro photography on Behance and more footage from Beauty of Science on Vimeo. (via The Morning News)

 

 



Design Music

Wintergatan Declares the Conveyor Belt Complete on its Epic Marble Machine X

April 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A new video released by the ambitious Wintergatan band of folktronica musicians/inventors (previously) shows the latest developments in their ongoing Marble Machine project. The video above documents the successful completion of the Marble Conveyor Belt, which uses ratchets and pistons to move dozens of marbles around and through the Marble Machine. Martin Molin, who is a member of the band and the inventor of the Marble Machine, demonstrates how the movement of marbles is in time to—and can even create—beats and rhythms in Wintergatan’s music. We’ll leave the technical details to the professionals, but imagine a pinball machine meets an oversized music box.

In-depth notations on the band’s YouTube channel explain the specifications of the conveyor belt’s functionality. Wintergatan’s loyal following on YouTube and Patreon, which follows these intricacies at every turn, has helped support the complex and long-running invention process. Once the full Marble Machine X is complete, Wintergatan will embark on a world tour performing music with the finished musical machine.

You can find free scores as well as records and merch in the Wintergatan online store. Stay up to date with the Marble Machine’s progress on Instagram.

 

 



Art Documentary

Life in Miniature: Medical Devices and Pre-Packaged Foods Immortalized in Tiny Sculptures by Kath Holden and Margaret Shaw

April 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Kath Holden constantly daydreams about the everyday objects she can transform into tiny sculptures. Even during doctor’s appointments, the U.K.-based miniaturist glances around the room to investigate which medical devices she can cull for inspiration. Holden runs Delph Minatures with her business partner and mother Margaret Shaw, a fellow miniature maker who specializes in food-related items such as pre-packaged steaks, baskets of fruit, and trays of brownies.

The pair was recently profiled in Life in Miniature, a short film by Ellen Evans which delves into the women’s studios and their opinions on the world of miniatures. Holden explains that she views other miniaturists as often being stuck in the past. She doesn’t understand the desire to recreate Georgian and Victorian houses, when you could produce objects for ordinary people, and produce objects relevant today. “I like to represent now,” she explains in the film. “The era I life in. If we don’t do miniatures of what we do now, how will it be represented in the future?”

The film premiered at the Sheffield DocFest in June 2018 and was in the official selection for Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Hot Docs, Aspen ShortsFest, and several other festivals. You can view the short documentary in the video above, and learn more about the Holden and Shaw’s wide range of contemporary miniatures on their website.

 

 



Animation Design

Mesmerizing Alphabetical Animations by Mr. Kaplin

March 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Last year for the month of March, motion design studio Mr. Kaplin (previously) released a series of alphabet animations loosely inspired by an object or concept beginning with the featured letter. Reflective “R’s” and planetary “P’s” lie at the center of the graphic short films that imagine the letters as part of continuously looping installations or machines. The project, A Month of Type, was published to the studio’s Instagram, and was also compiled into an alphabetical list of the animations with a soundtrack by BXFTYS. If you like these inventive type interpretations check out 36 Days of Type, a project that asks designers from across the globe to animate their own letters and numbers throughout April and May. You can find more information about the creative typographic marathon, and submit your own on Instagram. (via Kottke)

 

 



Design Documentary

Rubber Powered Model Airplanes Take Flight in New ‘Float’ Documentary Trailer

March 10, 2019

Andrew LaSane

The full trailer for the documentary Float (previously) introduces the world to a niche indoor sport that involves building and flying self-propelled model airplanes. Directed and edited by Phil Kibbe, the film follows two American pilots, Brett Sanborn and Yuan Kang Lee, as they gear up for the sport’s main event: the F1D World Championships in Romania.

The new trailer showcases the elegant movement of the model planes, and the delicate technique that the pilots use to tightly twist the rubber bands that power them. The movement of the planes appears to be slowed down, but the movement of the pilots and spectators confirms that the footage has not been altered for effect. The world premiere of Float will take place on April 5 at the 43rd Cleveland International Film Festival, in Cleveland, Ohio, with additional screenings throughout the weekend.

 

 



Amazing Food

Endless Layers of Colorful Candy Melt Away in a Satisfying Timelapse Video

February 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The creators of the Let’s Melt This YouTube channel are anonymous connoisseurs of melting, having put a torch to everything from flat screen TVs to hamburgers. They put a classic candy to the test, using a 1900°F blow torch to melt a famously long-lasting giant jawbreaker candy ball. The task took 3 minutes and 46 seconds, and the video itself is sped up to about a minute and a half to show the satisfying removal of colorful layers. The graffiti-splattered white coating gives way to layers of vibrant orange, yellow, blue, green, and red as the candy steadily shrinks. Let’s Melt This has been less active of late, but you can explore their archive of melts on their YouTube channel. (via The Awesomer)

 

 

 



Animation

Dozens of Expressive Puppets Encourage Kindness and Acceptance in a Series of Sing-A-Long Short Films

February 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Irish director and animator Johnny Kelly (previously) is known for his puppet-based films, most notably his 2011 piece for Chipotle titled Back to the Start. His most recent project, Right on Tracks, is a series of short sing-a-long videos for Cheerios. Kelly worked with the art collective Nous Vous and Andy Gent, who was also the lead of the puppets department for Isle of Dogs.

The catchy anthems have an inclusive message that focuses on building confidence in yourself while practicing kindness to all. Walter Martin of The Walkmen created songs such as Just Be You which teaches acceptance of your own quirks and unique traits, and It’s All Family which showcases a look at familial structures in a much broader light than we typically see on TV.

“We wanted to show diversity,” Kelly told It’s Nice That. “Nous Vous’ characters are so otherworldly and abstract that they could be anyone and everyone. It was important that people empathize with them too. With such simple designs, you can read a little more into their expressions, project your own loneliness onto a lonely character, or warmth onto a happy character.”

The cast of puppets are large, small, and every size in-between, with characteristics that range from colorful tufts of hair to necks that extend out like tree branches. You can take a behind-the-scenes peek at how Kelly created the four-part series in the video below, and view more of his short films on his website and Vimeo. (via The Kid Should See This, It’s Nice That)