Card Flourishing, One of the Best…

Dimitri Arleri is one of the best in the world at the subtle art of the card flourish. He has complete mastery over a deck of cards, moving them in gorgeous, intricate patterns, juggling, weaving, all in incredibly slow motion. To me, this is better than magic, since there is no pretense. It’s all real, it’s all skill. Enjoy…

UPDATE: Always a thrill for me to get a comment from the subject of a blog post. Seems I neglected to post the link to Dimitri’s page:

http://www.thecuso.info/2009/11/dimitri-arleri-opera.html

Do check it out…

– Dave

I Spy Photographer Balancing Video…

Did you ever read the I Spy books? You know, the ones where each page is a scattering of little toys and you have to find 3 bats, a key, a needle, a baseball bat, and a squirrel? Here’s a reminder:

I Spy Cover

Turns out, these photographs are all shot by a guy named Walter Wick. I absolutely love his photography. Here’s a link to his web site.

Recently, Walter got an assignment to shoot a photograph of a bunch of toys in an upside down pyramid, all balanced on a single lego brick. Fun to watch him build the structure, more fun to watch him knock it all down…

– Dave

The Magic of the 3D Mandelbulb…

Remember fractals? Fractals were discovered by Polish-born mathematician BenoƮt Mandelbrot. They are the set of numbers whose origins lie with the equation:

zn+1 = zn2 + c

where the set remains bounded as n increases.

Without worrying about the math (you can read about the math here), the beauty of fractals lies in the images they can produce. Here’s a typical example:

Mandelbrot 2D

Fractals have fascinated mathematicians and digital artists since they first gained fame in the mid 1970′s. The mathematics of fractals are complex, but well defined, though one mystery has teased mathematicians since fractals were born. As you can see from the image above, fractals are a 2D kind of critter. Part of their charm is that you can zoom in infinitely to an everchanging image (here’s a fantastic example), but that image remains flat. The pursuit of a 3D Mandelbrot set has been a fractal holy grail for more than 30 years. Over the past few years, real progress has been made, culminating with work like this:

3D Fractal

If you are interested in seeing more of these haunting and complex images, take a click over to this page. Lovely stuff…

– Dave

Fingerprint Identifies da Vinci Sketch

I love this story. This portrait was thought to be by a 19th Century German artist:

da Vinci

Over time, a number of art experts became convinced that the work was by da Vinci, and they brought in a forensics expert to try to certify the painting. And he did, matching a fingerprint and palmprint to one found on a previous da Vinci work.

In the above image, the image on the right is the blown up version of the white rectangle on the left. Cool.

– Dave

Best Architectural Renders…

The architecture site archdaily.com ran a contest asking readers for their best architectural renders. These are drawings created using rendering software like 3ds Max, Digital Fusion, VRay, even Photoshop. Here’s an example:

Render

Remember, this is a render. No photographic elements were used here. The shadows, highlights, everything in the picture is artificial. Lovely stuff.

Here’s a link to the contest page showing the top ten renders…

– Dave

Master of the Universe…

I am a big fan of Christoph Niemann’s illustrations. He’s done covers for the New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, written children’s books, won all kinds of awards. But what I love the most is his creative blog posts. A while back, I posted a link to this post, Niemann’s look at the world, through the use of Legos. Fantastic!

Here are two more collections, blog posts he’s done since the Lego post.

The first, called Master of the Universe, tells the true story about Niemann’s supernatural abilities, abilities that, know it or not, have affected your life. Great stuff.

Master

The second is about Niemann’s childhood, growing up in the shadow of the Berlin wall. A fascinating perspective, illustrated with black and orange foam blocks.

– Dave

Amazing Chinese Chair…

Terrific bit of chair craft. Anyone know where I can get one of these? I love the flexibility of the design. Seems to me, this concept could be spread to other product areas. For example, imagine a dining room table that you could extend, laying leaves on top as you need them. You could even create a table with a 90-degree bend in the middle.

– Dave