How was this done?

Via David Pescovitz, I came across this fascinating gif. Somehow the looping has been made to look like zooming into a fractal pattern of a coastline. Very well done but utterly puzzling to me as to how the effect was achieved.


  1. says

    I do not know for sure for this one, but I have a good idea of one way you COULD do this -- backwards.

    -- Start with a large photo of a relatively self-similar coastline.
    -- Photoshop a copy of it into itself at some convenient location.
    -- Grab the whole result and replace the inner image with it.
    -- Repeat this 2-3 times until the smallest change is no longer visible
    -- Take a series of frames where you slowly shrink this whole image step by step until the largest image is in the place of the second one. Note that the ‘camera’ of these frames must be well within the outermost image, (probably the shape of the second) so there are never visible edges.
    -- Assemble these frames into an animation, in reverse order. The first and last frames should wind up almost identical.

  2. robert79 says

    I was also thinking along similar lines, although you may also want to photoshop any remaining edges away.

  3. blf says

    Apologies, this is very off-topic, but I just found an interesting series at Al Jazeera, Cricket Beyond Boundaries, about (to-date) Blind Cricket, Deaf Cricket, Street Cricket, and Disabled Cricket. Mano and some others may be interested.

  4. mnb0 says

    If you have patience, watch the entire scene:

    If you don’t, start at minute 4.
    If you’d like to see what how Jack Nicholson is doing in an Italian masterpiece watch the entire movie.
    When you try to answer the questin “how was this done” realize that the movie is from 1975.

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