Watching the world from other dimensions


22 Responses to “Watching the world from other dimensions”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just like a pendant can explain things to people who already know it, it’s even *more silly* to to focus on those details when discussing interesting art.

  2. hassenpfeffer says:

    I can’t comment on the mathematical realism (though I do like Processing), but I can vouch that watching this while listening to the “Inception” soundtrack makes for a fun and chemical-free hallucinogenic trip.

  3. jfrancis says:

    The link in the post under ‘slit-scan’ has all kinds of cool things from many people

  4. jfrancis says:

    My first job out of college entailed working with these guys.

    They used to do a lot of slit-scanning on animation stands and optical printers. The shadows in ‘The Untochables’ main titles, and the tail of the star (original version) of the NBC ‘The More You Know’ would be some examples.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Back in the mid 80′s there was a device that would convert a video camera image to be viewed on a Macintosh computer. Because the computer was so slow, you had to sit very still for a few seconds (a minute?) while the image was converted one vertical line by one vertical line. If you moved the next line in the image would be taken of the new position.

    Douglas Adams did a self portrait this way and put it on the back cover of The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts.

  6. kitchendon says:

    You’ve all sussed out my intent with the description pretty well – I was merely grasping for ways to describe the technique and the ‘time as 4D’ concept is one that helps me wrap my head around the visuals.

    flyagaric: Your Time Portraits are awesome. I can tell that we have been exploring along similar paths. Thanks for the link.

    imag: I was just thinking last night that I should post some before and after clips or maybe a side by side comparison. Should have time to do that this weekend.

    BTW – I’ve posted the Processing code that I used to create these clips. You can grab it here: (about halfway down the page)

    There are several other slit-scan tools and an overview of various techniques posted here:

    Thanks for the feedback, folks. :)
    -Don Whitaker

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’d also like to point out that a guy by the name of Jesse Hemminger (very talented artist and technologist) has also been creating systems like this since at least the year 2000, when we were students together at OSU.

    One such example:×120.html

    The approach was very similar … using each sliver of the scene to replay over time everything that occurred in that sliver. He has a video of himself spinning around in a chair and some boiling vegetables that are really fascinating.

  8. Rob Beschizza says:

    I am aware that this may not be a mathematially accurate depiction of observable reality from the vantage point of hypothetical additional spatial dimensions.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

      This is a splendid sentence. I require that it becomes part of all standard legal disclaimers from now on.

  9. JayHavvic says:

    I am not sure, but I think these were really filmed on the planet Solaris (1972 version).

    What a trip.

  10. flyagaric says:

    I’ve been doing slit-scan videos for about 5 years now. I call my series “Time Portraits”. The results can be quite fascinating. For some short clips (no sound) go here :


  11. dole says:

    Bad description aside, I do like it… sounds a little like Aphex, looks a little like Future Sound of London.

  12. imag says:

    BTW, I thought the video was awesome. I would like to see the original footage. Perhaps that was it after the credits on the left side…?

  13. jhhl says:

    I too have had a Processing slit scanner / time tunnel program up for a few years.Take a peek…

  14. Pun says:

    Just like it isn’t possible to view a 3 dimensional object from a 2 dimensional perspective, it’s even *more impossible* to view a 4 dimensional object from a 2 dimensional perspective.

    • KevSaund says:

      I can draw a picture of a cube, no it isn’t a true representation, but it is close enough that I can start to wrap my head around the concept. Think of this like that.

      • Pun says:

        Yeah, but this is two steps up (4d on 2d). Which would be just as meaningless as drawing a cube (3d) on a line (1d) or a square (2d) on point (0d).

        Either way, I think the creator is confusing time and the fourth dimension, which is (contrary to popular belief) not completely accurate.

        • imag says:

          I think you are confusing what the creator meant. The creator sounded well aware that this wasn’t literally what a four-dimensional creature would see (complete with pixel-line deconstruction), but a way to imagine it from something more closely approximating a fourth-dimensional perspective.

          And: of course that’s using the fourth dimension to refer to time. That use is common enough to be considered one of the definitions of the fourth dimension, even if it isn’t the one mathematicians would use.

          In other words, I don’t think you’re enlightening anyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      A 3D object can be projected into 2D as a slice. So a 3D sphere would appear as a circle of varying diameters (or a point if tangent to the 2D plane). The 2D surface would be almost meaningless in 3D though since it would have 0 thickness.

      The 2D plane might have a thickness on a subatomic level though, sort of how there are conjectured to be higher dimensions in our world but only on extremely small scales.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s why you’re supposed to be wearing your 4-d glasses.

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