These Magical Sculptures Look Like Animations But They're Actually Real Objects

By Casey Chan on at

Artist John Edmark has done it again. With the clever use of a strobe light, he’s created sculptures that move like weird computer animations but are actually real, 3D printed objects that physically exist. It’s a bit hypnotising but so, so cool, because they move and grow and essentially come alive in such a bizarre way.

Edmark explains:

Blooms are 3-D printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. Unlike a 3D zoetrope, which animates a sequence of small changes to objects, a bloom animates as a single self-contained sculpture. The bloom’s animation effect is achieved by progressive rotations of the golden ratio, phi (ϕ), the same ratio that nature employs to generate the spiral patterns we see in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotational speed and strobe rate of the bloom are synchronized so that one flash occurs every time the bloom turns 137.5º (the angular version of phi).

For the purpose of recording the video, the camera had to be “set to a very short shutter speed in order to freeze individual frames of the spinning sculpture,” but when you see the sculptures in person, a strobe light is used. [Pier 9 via Colossal]