Everything moves and everything changes. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: “There is nothing permanent except change.” Motion is ingrained in life, though some objects move very quickly (such as electrons) and others so slowly (a growing tree, for example) that they seem static.
Visual artists too investigate the meaning and influence of motion in our real life. During the 1960’s, the Op Art (short for Optic Art) movement began experimenting with pictures that stimulate the brain in such a way that they appear to move. It is around 1997 that I started developing optic kinetic media called ‘Kinegrams’.
In few words, Kinegrams are interactive, static images that magically move as soon as the reader/viewer overlays them with a special film. Based on early optical principles, this new technique allows me to transform everyday objects into little movie machines… These optical applications produce true amazing effects with simple phase-motion patterns and stripe overlays — rivaling the classic motion picture toys of a century ago.
How it works
All animation is based on the same principle: persistence of vision. The Kinegrams artfully combine the visual effects of moiré patterns with the zoetrope animation technique. In fact, the animated sequence is created when the complex image is viewed through the acetate that has a fine pattern of black lines printed on it. In between the black lines, the acetate is transparent, and as the overlay is slid across the Kinegram, different selections of lines become visible… Your brain links this succession of lines together, creating the illusion of fluid motion, as shown in the example below.
When the stripe overlay is slid from side to side over the Kinegram the windmill blades starts to rotate and the sun to radiate!
Kinegrams can be used in books, animated cards, works of art, interior design, and on many other products. Below are some links that will allow you to play or experiment with a selected collection of interactive Kinegram samples.
Playing with words (click the previous link to try it yourself)
Kinegrams are highly interactive and can be a smart way to teach and promote the pleasure of reading to children. In effect, they allow words to become alive and to poetically transform into images, and vice versa, catching the curiosity and attention of youngsters and adults alike.
Playing with shapes (click the previous link to try it yourself)
Kinegrams represent a dynamical and amazing way to investigate the many aspects of shapes and colors. With this technique, hypnotic abstract shapes and patterns appear to move in a seamless loop-like fashion.
Capturing the emotions and instant of everyday life (click the previous link to try it yourself)
Any everyday life situation, act or gesture can be visually simulated by Kinegrams: walking, dancing, swimming, flying… Like a very short yet significant film.