Topic: optical toys

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Zoetrope pottery

Clay shaped on the potter's wheel. Patterns mapped on the computer and transferred. Shapes painstakingly cut. The resulting shallow bowl is baked in a kiln, then spun and filmed at just the right speed. In this Zoetro...

Stroboscopically animated tree ornaments

Created with an open source EggBot Pro kit, Jiří Zemánek of Advanced Algorithms for Control and Communications designed stroboscopically animated tree ornaments with custom patterns. The team also included Martin Gurt...

Triply Ambiguous Object by Kokichi Sugihara

Continuing his highly-regarded work in the illusion community, artist and mathematician Kokichi Sugihara won the 2018 Best Illusion of the Year award for his Triply Ambiguous Object. The piece includes a paper with an...

The ‘magic’ of invisibility lenses

Using lenses to bend light, YouTuber Brusspup makes a ruler, a knife, a spoon, a hand, and a laser completely disappear from view. Invisibility lenses create the illusion, an optical trick based on The Rochester Cloak...

Professor Kokichi Sugihara creates his mind-blowing illusions with math

Professor Kokichi Sugihara is world-renowned for his award-winning impossible objects and reality-defying illusions. He uses mathematics to make the three-dimensional objects that create his impossible scenes and illu...

4-Mation 3D Zoetropes: Fish Eating Fish and Jumping Frogs

Fish endlessly eat fish in this 3D zoetrope by 4-Mation, a UK-based modular kit from toymaker Kevin Holmes. The piece was printed on a Form 2 3D printer. The visual animation is achieved in person by using precisely t...

The footstep illusion & more optical tricks

...four squares, two of them light yellow and two of them dark blue, move horizontally at constant speed across stationary, vertical black and white stripes. Each square has the same width as two stripes, so that its ...

Creating The Never-Ending Bloom: John Edmark’s spiral geometries

Artist, designer, inventor, and Stanford professor John Edmark creates sculptures that are driven by precise mathematics, but his interest in spiral geometries is driven by something more enigmatic... "a search for un...

Sculpting the Wind: Anthony Howe’s Kinetic Sculptures

Filmed in Orcas Island, Washington, sculptor Anthony Howe discusses the inspiration and work behind his wind-powered, stainless steel kinetic sculptures with Great Big Story: Sculpting the Wind. More from Howe's site:...

Murmuration Chandelier

Inspired by the twisting, turning phenomenon of starling flocks, called a murmuration, this is Murmuration Chandelier, a kinetic sculpture by designers Richard Harvey and Keivor John: When you look at a murmuration...

How this color changing cake was made + lenticular printing

Like those ridged images that appear to animate as you tilt them back and forth -- on photo postcards, bookmarks, rulers, books, toys, and more -- watch as this cake icing seems to change colors as it rotates. Of ...

Zinnia – A dizzying spring-driven kinetic sculpture

Clayton Boyer's Zinnia spring-driven kinetic sculpture is an optical treat as its two 24 inch (61 cm) diameter wheels change speed and direction. Watch as he briefly winds it for a dizzying quick spin demonstration. ...

Wooden zoetrope sculptures spin in the forest

Spinning Daggers by Benjamin Ducroz, a set of seven 3D wooden zoetropes or kinetic sculptures made from 18 different instances of modulating sine and triangle waves. For this video, three of the zoetropes were filmed ...

The praxinoscope-style BusyBody Quick-Pose Animator

Ten bendable, posable figures spin around the outside of a turntable. At the center, a series of mirrors reflect their poses. This simple combination makes for a delightful and accessible animation toy: Eye Think's Bu...

The Mephisto Spiral – Part magic trick, part optical illusion

Watch as Grand Illusions' Hendrik Ball deftly showcases The Mephisto Spiral, a brain-breaking toy that seems to mix an optical illusion with a bit of the slight-of-hand skills required for magic tricks: It looks li...

3D-Printed “Blooming” Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures

Animation is a trick of the eye, and we're often reminded of this when we get to see animation happen right in front of us. 3D-printed zoetrope sculptures by math and Fibonacci-inspired artist and designer John Edmark...

Anthony Howe’s kinetic sculptures in Barneys holiday windows

When department store windows get "dressed up" during the holidays, it's always a treat. In big cities like Paris, London, and New York City, there's usually the added promise of seeing high-profile artists, engineers...

Kokichi Sugihara’s Impossible Rooftop & Folding Ladder Illusions

File under impossible objects, this is the Impossible Rooftop Illusion or "Anti-Gravity Two Sided Roof" by Meiji University's Professor Kokichi Sugihara in 2013. Using computer software, Sugihara creates award-winning...

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