Wave of Matter

There's something mesmerizing about thousands of tiny ball bearings, as you can see in this art installation "Wave of Matter" by Helsinki-based designers Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen. The duo created a motorized platform that tilts from one side to the other, which results in a landslide of the ball bearings.

Hit play or go to Link [vimeo] - via Core77


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It also lags for me just as the balls begin to move individually. I suspect that the usual MPEG video compression algorithm has a lot of trouble with that kind of information: lots of tiny objects (high spatial frequency information), moving from one video frame to the next. IIRC, MPEG compression relies on motion estimation: it takes two consecutive video frames, and checks if the second frame can be constructed from the previous frame by sliding and stretching chunks of it. Then, it takes this construction, which will be similar to the second frame (but not exactly equal), and encodes the slight differences, and transmits them.

Probably lots of tiny balls moving around randomly creates just the kind of consecutive frames where you cannot predict the next frame by sliding and stretching the previous frame. Hence there are huge differences between frames, and you don't get enough compression to transmit full frames within the bandwidth budget that vimeo provides.
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