Making Future Magic: iPad light painting

These animators came up with a brand-new method of light painting, one that’s simple but leads to unearthly and very cool results. The animators create 3D models of whatever they want to show in the film–in this case, often typography, but also various objects and little anthropomorphic characters–a…nd chop them up into cross-sections. It’s like a CAT scan, more than anything else–a whole bunch of individual slices of a 3D whole.

Those slices are compiled into animated movies, and played back on an iPad. But here’s where it gets interesting: The team then drags the movie-playing iPad backwards while capturing the path with long-exposure photographs, about 3-6 seconds apiece. The photographs (of which about 5,500 were taken) capture the path of the iPad’s light.