They Work For Scale: Old-School Optical Illusion Propels Animated Fish Pond


It’s interesting that the current 3D/CGI boom is not only pushing technological advances in the screening room AND the living room — it’s also resurrecting a scad of old-fashioned, low-tech tricks.  If your last name isn’t Cameron, you probably can’t afford to design your own stereoscopic HD videocamera rig and shoot a gazillion-dollar sci-fi blockbuster.  However, as we’ve seen on this very blogeroo, you can get “3D” on your iPhone with a brace of mirrors, or make ghostly text float in mid-air with your iPad.

Now say hello to John Leung of AARIVE Design,  who (in conjunction with ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects  has ditched iDevices entirely, via the “Magic Carp-pet” (their pun, not ours!).  Using a fish-imprinted rug and a slatted coffee table (and the same moire-pattern technique as the aforementioned iPad text trick), Leung has created a virtual koi pond for your living room: walk around the table/rug combo, and the fish appear to be swimming placidly underneath the table. 

The above video, though a computer-generated simulation, gives a pretty vivid demonstration of the trick.  Just think: the more you walk around the table, the more exercise you’ll get AND the more “zen” you’ll become: a union of body and mind, as it were.

No word on how to (wait for it!) reel in one of these babies for your own living room…