Magical stop-frame 3D typography with an iPad

Posted by Darren Brooker, 4 April 2012 1:00 am

Making Future Magic is the creative mission statement that underpins the philosophy at Dentsu London. Mission statements can be pretty vague and meaningless, but with each of the three words bringing a different dimension - Making implying craftsmanship, Future meaning something that's never been seen before and Magic implying something capable of delighting - these three little words collectively equate to one brave creative goal. However, it's a goal that has been well-and-truly met.

To see this creative mission statement in action, one only has to watch Making Future Magic the eponymous film that Dentsu collaborated with Berg London to explore how surfaces and screens look and work in the world. The result is a truly delightful and playful exploration of the ubiquitous glowing rectangles that inhabit the world. 

The creative teams at Dentsu and Berg developed a specific photographic technique for this film. Through long exposures we record an iPad moving through space to make three-dimensional forms in light. First, models of three-dimensional typography, objects and animations were put together in 3D. This was then rendered, but as orthogonal cross sections of these models (like a virtual CAT scan) whch results in a series of outlines of slices of each form.

These are then played back on the iPad as movies, and when the iPad is dragged through the air, it extrudes shapes that are captured in long exposure photographs. Each 3D form is itself a single frame of a 3D animation, so each long exposure still is only a single image in a composite stop frame animation. Each frame is a long exposure photograph of 3-6 seconds. 5,500 photographs were taken. Only half of these were used for the animations seen in the final edit of the film.

The result is truly fantastic, and really delivers on all three dimensions of the creative mission statement of Dentsu: Making. Future. Magic. You can read more on the blogs of both Dentsu and Berg. What's more, the iPad app that the team at Dentsu developed is available via the app store, so you can try this for yourself at home (warning, it's addictive!)

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jona vark

Posted 5 April 2012 7:09 am

seriously? Magic? I found this odd. The technique is useless. The long way around to .. well .. really .. nothing.

Darren Brooker

Posted 5 April 2012 7:23 am

Agreed, it's a long way round...but watch the video again from 03:30 onwards and tell me that you aren't moved by how playful and ethereal the effect is? The effort is half the point really. In my opinion, it's well worth it.


Posted 5 April 2012 10:03 am

Sorry..Not impressed..


Posted 5 April 2012 10:28 pm

I think, this is very creative! I like it.


Posted 6 April 2012 7:01 pm

What's funny is the video shows Cinema4D in action... A STRONG competitor to autodesk (more so to max).... Why in the world is this here? Doh!

Darren Brooker

Posted 19 April 2012 12:07 pm

Just think how good it could have been had 3ds Max been used...!

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