Ever spell out words in the air with your finger? Now you can do it with an iPad. The result is spooky 3D letters that seem to hover in midair. Casper would love it.
We've seen iPads used to create touch-screen art, but this goes a step beyond. The folks at communications agency Dentsu London and design consultancy Berg teamed up to produce an series of otherworldly animations seen in the vid below. Dentsu says it's part of its Making Future Magic project.
The photographic technique is a kind of stop-frame animation. Hand-held iPads are imaged moving through space with long exposure times, creating a ghostly message in the air.
3D models of letters and objects are first rendered in cross sections in a kind of "virtual CAT scan," as Berg's Jack Schulze explains in the video. Then they're played back as movies on the iPad screen while it moves through the air.
These are imaged in low-light environments as long-exposure photos of 3 to 6 seconds, and each pic is one of many frames in the animation sequence.
The team created luminescent words that seem to hover, as well as walking robots and other 3D shapes (but no ghosts). In one sequence, the word "making" seems to jump off a table and climb a staircase. In another, "future" floats over a puddle. "Magic," meanwhile, dances and skips impishly in a shadowy garden.<p> The iPad handlers appear as faint shadows in the background. Some objects seem to be suspended in a sort of aerogel. Berg's post explains: "This is produced by the black areas of the iPad screen which aren't entirely dark, and affected by the balance between exposure, the speed of the movies and screen angle."
I'd love to see a special animation for Halloween.