Here’s a strange new GIF style you may have seen bubbling up on Tumblr:
Strictly speaking, these are cinemagraphs: those GIFs that depict static scenes with a small moving section. But they’re also something more — the sections that are moving are hyperreal, showing static objects growing and shrinking in a way that they never could, and never have. They look like CGI, but they’re not.
There aren’t a whole lot of “deparallax” GIFs, as they’re informally known, mainly because there aren’t a whole lot of people making them. Artist Zack Dougherty, who goes by hateplow on Tumblr and created the GIFs in this post, shares how it works:
I’m isolating a plane in a series of photographs and perspective shifting the planes to match. Anything that is not on the plane will then show the direction of movement.
In other words, he’s taking a number of pictures of the same scene, each from a slightly different perspective — “typically a few inches” apart, he says — and warping them in Photoshop so the flat part (the wall, the ground) never moves. Without that last step, the GIFs would produce a completely different, and much more common, effect.
The results are awesome; it’s as if the entire world can breathe: