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Animation

Animated Characters Perform Mundane Tasks in Stop-Motion Shorts by Stefano Colferai

March 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

Stefano Colferai’s animated characters may be made of plasticine, but they certainly understand the very human struggles that come along with sending a text while walking, stepping outside on a hot day, and managing a freelance life. The Milan-based animator sculpts miniature scenes for his figures—who sometimes bear a likeness to Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction or performance artist Marina Abramović—in his wildly relatable stop-motion shorts that expertly reveal his characters’ personalities. For more of Colferai’s humorous, and even life-affirming, projects, follow him on Instagram and Behance. (via Tina Roth Eisenberg)

 

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Craft Design

Step-by-Step Instructions on Making the Paper Airplane that Broke World Records

March 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

John Collins, aka The Paper Airplane Guy, is a master at shattering world records with a single sheet of paper. The aircraft designer now has collaborated with Great Big Story on a new video that not only teaches the Susanne, the model that secured his spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012, but also two others that swoop through the air. As its name suggests, the Tube resembles a hollow cylinder designed to be tossed like a football, while the Boomerang is the most complex of the trio, requiring more complicated folds and angles in order to craft a model that returns to whoever throws it. You can find more instructional videos on Collins’s YouTube channel or in his book that comes with 16 tear-out model planes.

 

 



Photography Science

An Almost Comically Diverse Parade of Wildlife Crosses a Log Bridge in Pennsylvania

March 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

A log in Pennsylvania has gotten a lot of foot—and talon and paw—traffic during the last year. In trail camera footage captured by photographer Robert Bush Sr., local wildlife is shown crossing the downed tree throughout 2018 and 2019. A black bear frequents the location, in addition to grouse, bobcats, deer, squirrels, and beavers, which all are caught scurrying over the log or wading through the water. Despite their regular visits, though, none of the species seem to run into each other. For more clips of the animals’ travel routines, head to Bush’s Facebook and YouTube pages. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Illustration

Tales From the Loop Enlivens the Gravity-Defying Dystopia of Simon Stålenhag’s Illustrations

February 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

An uncanny television series is founded in Simon Stålenhag’s fantastical worlds. Covered previously on Colossal, the Swedish artist’s digital illustrations often position robots in open countrysides and consider the prosthetic capabilities of virtual reality. Tales From The Loopwhich gets its name directly from one of Stålenhag’s projects—is set in a fictional universe that explores the potential of merging technology and human curiosity in a futuristic dystopia.

Launching April 3, the television series is based on the understanding that “not everything in life makes sense” as it chronicles the lives of those residing in the Loop, a machine built to uncover answers to the world’s mysteries. It features a gravity-defying universe that sees floating objects, snow ascending from a pile on the floor, and pieces of a house ripped upward. Retro robots even foster relationships with the families and children immersed in the explorative environment.

For a deeper look into the inspiration behind the new show, check out Stålenhag’s book by the same name or head to his Instagram.

All images © Simon Stålenhag, from Tales From the Loop

 

 



Art Design

Kinetic Artwork Attempts to Get a ‘Little Piece of Privacy’ with Mechanized Curtain

February 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

Berlin-based artist Niklas Roy isn’t just concerned about his privacy and protection online. To stop passersby from peeping into his workshop, he strung up a white, lace curtain stretching only partially across his window. Titled “My Little Piece of Privacy,” the ironic project from 2010 was established to offer seclusion to the artist, while recording those who walked past his space. Each outside movement triggers a motor to position the thin fabric in front of the person attempting to look inside. The resulting footage shows various strategies people use⁠—think rapid arm waving and hopping from one spot to another⁠—to try to trick the mechanism tracking their positions. They never succeed for more than a second, though. You can find more of Roy’s projects interested in humor and technology on YouTube.

 

 



Animation Science

Frightening Animation Compares the Size of Asteroids in the Solar System to New York City

February 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new animation created by Alvaro Gracia Montoya of MetaBallStudio provides a terrifying look at the exceptional asteroids currently in the solar system. The video begins by comparing a human to one of the minor planets before revealing their enormity as the following asteroids quickly dwarf New York City in its entirety. 2008 TC3 is the smallest shown with a mean diameter of about 4.1 meters, while the largest is 1 Ceres, which has a mean diameter of about 939 kilometers.

If the sizes of the rock and mineral objects aren’t scary enough, the B612 Foundation concluded in 2018 that it’s “100 percent certain we’ll be hit, but we’re not 100 percent sure when.” That same year, Stephen Hawking wrote in his last book Brief Answers to the Big Questions that asteroids are the biggest threat to Earth. For a more calming animation, check out this comparison of tree heights. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Design Music

Barcodes Function as Techno Instrument That’s Played with Reused Scanners

February 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Designed to recycle outdated electronics, multiple musical projects by Electronicos Fantasticos utilize a version of the barcode system found on every package on store shelves. When scanned, each pattern sends a signal to its audio component, emitting the corresponding sound wave. The black and white stripes produce a variety of rhythmic and tonal noises in two instrumental projects: the Barcoder, shown above, and Barcodress, a pattern-covered gown that’s played when the wearer moves in front of the scanner. Artist and musician Ei Wada (previously) leads the design group, which said in a statement that its goal is to create an entire orchestra of similar instruments. To watch more of the barcode projects in use, head to Instagram and YouTube.