posted in: A Video We Made | 0

We’ve just released 4Dmonkey.gif, one of our more abstract stereo spherical video pieces yet, containing many rough experiments in layering video. You can get it on our downloads page to watch on the video player of your choice, and it’s also on YouTube (though YouTube is not compatible with VR headsets yet, so it gets even more abstract).



The video includes some footage we took ourselves, as well as some creative commons background images from tycho, Masakazu Matsumoto, subblue, and Bernd Kronmueller. Most importantly, it’s got 4Dmonkey.gif:




The above gif was created by Henry Segerman, following a paper we wrote on the quaternion symmetry group (Evelyn Lamb’s article on Scientific American is a good intro).

When Henry was in town a couple months ago, we convinced him to create the stereo monkey gif, which we immediately turned into a video to stare at forever and ever and ever. But then we wanted to add a background behind the monkeygif, and maybe some background narration or music. The first draft of the audio included Vi’s voice narrating Henry’s code using Andrea’s looping direction and Emily’s glitch-style editing, and things only got more out of hand from there. You can get just the audio on SoundCloud if you want.



The monkey gif itself shows a projection of a 4-dimensional sculpture with the best symmetry group. In 4d the monkeys are all shaped like normal every-day monkeys, they’re all the same size, and they don’t warp when the sculpture rotates. But to see this monkey arrangement in 3d, we have to project it down, and in the projection the monkeys warp and grow smaller or larger depending on how close they are to the camera. The symmetry makes the gif appear to loop after the sculpture rotates only 90-degrees in two perpendicular planes simultaneously.

The quaternion monkey sculpture is especially appropriate because quaternions are heavily used in the code for eleVR player. Playing spherical video is all about projecting from flat things to spherical things and back! But Andrea can tell you more about that, in an upcoming post.

We also learned a ton about the needs and current limitations when it comes to editing this kind of stuff, so I’m hoping Emily will post about that soon.