Spokeo Blog

iPad Light Painting

Written by November 2, 2010

Making Future Magic

Dentsu, London1, a creative communications agency, recently partnered with BERG2, the London design consultancy firm, to produce a remarkable short film intended to explore the concept of “Making Future Magic.” The purpose behind the project, the makers explained, was to expand upon traditional notions of commercial communications by approaching media with a distinct set of priorities:

The co-creators wanted, “To make creative work that is contributory and sensible to its culture and environment; to be exploratory and sensitive with regard to materials and media; to wonder what magical visions (as opposed to the familiar dystopias) the future of media might look like.”3

To that end, in the course of making the film the collaborators discussed what each of the key words comprising the ‘Making Future Magic’ concept conveyed to them:  Making, encompassed “craftsmanship, understanding of materials, media, and collaboration.” Future, implied “something not seen before, something new and unexpected (not so much sci-fi, as near-future.)” And Magic meant “surprising, culturally powerful, unusual, capable of delighting.” With these parameters in mind, the co-creators set out to make their short.

For the collaborative project BERG went so far as to invent a new technique employing long camera exposures to record an iPad moving through space. The recordings were then woven together to make what is known as a “stop-motion film” – in this case comprised of 3-D light forms.  And the result? – nothing short of magical. In the Video, Jack Schulze from BERG breaks down the technique to explain how the film was made:

“We develop 3D models in software as part of 3D animations. And (on) each of the frames inside the 3D animation, we perform a kind of virtual cat scan of the model to generate an outline of the form of the model across – of the shape. And we replay the animation of that scan on the surface of the iPad… Then we drag the iPad through space on a long exposure on a single photograph. We extrude the single 3D animation frame as light in the air– just extrude the light out into the photograph. And we do that with each of the frames consecutively from the 3D animation, and with that we build up the larger stop-frame film.”

To experience and appreciate the splendor of the technique in full there is no substitute for watching the video. With light cast from a single iPad dragged through space, the film makers managed to achieve a captivating effect that demonstrates not only an amazing new technique, but also how taking a fresh approach to something familiar can breed novel ideas and yield exceptional product.

Adopting a fresh point of view while reexamining the familiar is a process Spokeo can relate to thoroughly. The new Spokeo 5, scheduled for release in coming days, epitomizes this approach at its core. The new design is the direct outcome of daring to look at something familiar from a new perspective. It represents a paradigm shift in the world of people-search, and in some ways is our way of “Making Future Magic.” Much as the film makers described, we view Spokeo 5 as a “creative work that is contributory and sensible to its culture and environment.” Our hope is that our users will experience this as well. The new product unveiling is coming your way shortly. In the meantime, enjoy this magical short. It is inspired.

[1] http://www.dentsulondon.com/ [2] http://berglondon.com/ [3] http://www.dentsulondon.com/blog/2010/09/14/light-painting/


Making Future Magic: iPad light painting from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

Posted in Clips & Flicks

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