CSS phenakistiscope

The linked site: phenakistiscope de bal | Succursale | Ruppert & Mulot is indeed lovely. It uses Flash. This got me thinking a wee bit about CSS animations.

CSS phenakistiscope was a first test, followed by More phenakistoscope.

Here is an example (click on the image to see it without animation):


Image from: NCSSM | Flickr – Photo Sharing! used under a Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic — CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

There are more examples on the pages linked above, but I’ve added the following css to this blog (using the jetpack css module).

.catchase {
    animation-duration: 2s;
    animation-timing-function: steps(13,end);
    animation-name: anticlockwise;
    animation-iteration-count: infinite;

@keyframes anticlockwise {
    to {
        -ms-transform: rotate(0deg);
        -moz-transform: rotate(0deg);
        -webkit-transform: rotate(0deg);
        -o-transform: rotate(0deg);
        transform: rotate(0deg);
    from {
        -ms-transform: rotate(360deg);
        -moz-transform: rotate(360deg);
        -webkit-transform: rotate(360deg);
        -o-transform: rotate(360deg);
        transform: rotate(360deg);

CSS3 Animations have some advantages over gifs, for this sort of thing, smaller files & more colours for two.

The css contains an animation @keyframes rule containing the animation code (the anticlockwise bit above) which is referred to in the images style. The bloc above could be shortened to:

animation: anticlockwise 2s steps(11,end) infinite;

I’ve played with css animation here before: Not an animated gif and am now beginning to get a handle on it. Wondering if it could be useful for optical illusions. I’d also like to make a virtual Phenakistoscope that could load different files that need different speeds and steps. Adding some sort of mask/viewer would be nice too…

Accidental Allure

In the past I’ve made a few experiments with randomly layering and combining images: Glen Finlas -evaluate-sequence subtract and Averages (The Prisoner) for example.

A couple of weeks ago I started playing with combining images in the browser. There are several ways to go about this, I found a nice script to blend two images on a canvas and gave that a shot. It worked well and gave interesting results.

I though that using the Flickr API I could gather a list of images and randomly blend them two at a time.

Flickr’s API will return a json list. I started using the flickr.interestingness.getList which produced some interesting (sic) combinations. However when I started to get the license of the photos most were not labled for reuse.

I switched to using a standard search (flickr.photos.search ) which allowed me to search for license that allowed reuse.

I also switched to using CSS and background-blend-mode, this allows you to have multiple images set on a background and blend them.

For example using these images:

And this code:

<div style="border:solid 1px;width:500px;height:400px;background-image:url('https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7587/26482589423_daa3bbdbd1.jpg'),url('https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7012/6677861899_ef6e012bc8.jpg');background-blend-mode:multiply;"></div>

give me this:

With this in my toolbag I could pull in a flickr feed, extract image URLs and info about each photo and randomly combine them. They are displayed for 10 seconds each.

This gave me this:

Random Flickr Blendr

Here are a few random blends, screen captured:

I’ve found the pictures quite compelling.

On interesting this was the change I noticed when I swapped from the interestingness list to a search for creative commons images ordered by interestingness-desc. The images became more subtle and less HDRish, i think thy are more interesting and less glossy. An unusual win for Creative commons.

Over in DS106 land the page was used for a daily create:

#tdc1588 Turn @johnjohnston’s Random Image Pairing into a Self-Help Book Title | The (new) Daily Create

Which turned up some nice images and a fairly crazy bunch of titles.

My Own:


What was also interesting was some responses to the page:

So I an quite pleased with the result of this bit of experimenting. I’ve learnt a little more about CSS, images, JavaScript and even practised a bit of git. On the git front I’ve installed ezyang/git-ftp which is a quick and efficient way of pushing changed files to a website via FTP and works very well indeed. Saves working directly on line or opening an FTP application.

QuickTime for a Smoke

This is not a gif assignment.

qt_tools is a set of commandline tools for Mac that manipulate quicktime movies. One of the tools is qt_proofsheet:

QT_PROOFSHEET will take a QuickTime movie and render it out as individual frames in a grid. By default, it takes about 100 frames of your movie and fits it onto an 8.5 x 11 document, with timecode imprints.

from: qt_tools
By using different parameters you can make a strip of stills from a quicktime movie the one I am using here is 576 x 8208 pixels.
This is then animated with css. The qt-proofsheet adds the time stamp, you can minimise them but I found them useful is creating the animation.

For those interested, probably only a few, here is the code

The stills were grabbed from ‘Perchance to Dream’ an episode of the twilight zone.

I am afraid I am a bit sort of time so this post is a bit lacking in information, but this technique is an interesting take on the animated gif. The quality is fairly good and the file is 654kb.

Here is a more standard use of proofsheet:
Right-Click and open in new window to see at full size, this could be useful for analysing film.