"you are here"

These are amazing -- rooms painted with designs that only resolve from one particular angle. The "target" one is very Indiana Jones. Anyone know the source? These are by Felice Varini, and there are some short animations of some of them on his site.

3D Painted Rooms:

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Current Music: Echobelly -- Fake ♬

32 Responses:

  1. ridingonacloud says:

    those are really neat.

  2. phoenixredux says:

    Wow. That would be neat for someone to do if, for example, they owned a night club.

    • tongodeon says:

      That would be very *easy* to do if someone owned their own night club.

      Transfer the art of your choice to a 35mm slide. Project the slide onto the surface of your choice. Color inside the lines.

      Easy peasy. I'm certain that this is how they did it, and I'm certain that you could do it anywhere else you want.

      There's actually a Siggraph regular who does temporary "projected decorations" for parties and such. He comes in, surveys your environment, builds a and paints a 3D computer model, renders 4K slides, and projects his renders with real projectors into real environments. He's not cheap but his work is very impressive. JWZ could probably do *animated* versions of the same thing with a low-res GL model of his club, some output buffers, and a few digital projectors.

      • whittles says:


      • 1eyedkunt says:

        mike's been trying to convince me that we need to do a bunch of these in the cracktory

      • deeptape says:

        References, yo?

        • tongodeon says:

          Wish I could remember. "Some dude I met at a party" is the best I can do.

      • nothings says:

        I'm not clear what you need the 3d computer model for, given the whole project-a-2d-image-on-the-actual-scene-and-trace-it approach.

        Re: animated, See also the Michael Gondry / White Stripes video, uh, Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, I guess.

        • tongodeon says:

          I'm not clear what you need the 3d computer model for, given the whole project-a-2d-image-on-the-actual-scene-and-trace-it approach.

          You wouldn't need that for the above technique where you're painting static designs onto a room. It *would* probably be handy if you wanted to project animated textures that map correctly when viewed from other perspectives, although I suppose that's not completely necessary either.

      • benc says:

        This was a similar idea behind the gatefold project, where a couple of artists made the Westgate tower in Canterbury look like an origami model. The photographs don't really do it justice though - it was much better in the flesh.

  3. zonereyrie says:

    Wow. That rocks.

  4. rivetpepsquad says:


    I want to commission this for the Cracktory.

    • netik says:

      I might be wrong about this, but it looks very easy to do.

      There's a shot of him using a transparancy of the design to be created on an overhead projector. Another shows him painting in where the geometric image is projecting onto the wall.

      Very, very clever and neat.

    • tongodeon says:

      See my comments above. It is dead-stupid easy. I can help you do it next weekend when I'm up in SF. Start picking out some art.

  5. gaal says:

    I don't know about the source, but I bet this is the inspiration:

  6. xah_lee says:

    the principle is projection.
    doesn't it makes you want to study projective geometry?

    also, this can be a basis of great illusion. I'm not sure should disclose here, as it can be patented and made into application in either decoration or great toys or other projective technology.

    Basically, the ideas is that we perceive things by projection. (or rather, physical speaking light got reflected into our retina) Now, forget that we have two eyes and the processing to get into a stereoscopic imagery in our head) But suppose we just have one eye for simplicity of this account. Now, we see things by projection. So, essentially what we get is a planar representation of a 3D image. Besides having two eyes to get different perspective to compute into the original 3D image, we also heavily relies on past experiences of reality. So, given a drawing on paper (which is 2D), we are able to interpret its original 3D scene as the drawing is of. The simplest example is that a drawing of a cube, which on paper is a hexagonal thing. (and if you view the cube from its corner perspective, it's a perfect hexagon, which SGI exploited for their logo design)

    Now, however, given a piece of drawing (which is a 2D image), there are really a myriad ways to interpret it. Technically speak, there are many 3D scenes that can project into this exactly 2D image. Our brain simply automatically choose the simplest, possible, earthly interpretation. For most images this works out fine. But for some drawings, our brain are kinda indecisive and ambiguous on how to interpret it. This is why, given a line drawing of a cube, sometimes you see it as this side out, while in a blink of an eye you see it as the other side out. To recap, this is because a 2D image cannot define a 3D object.

    Now, it becomes really interesting if you were to exploit this fact into applications. Basically, given a 2D image, you can actually create 3D scenes that all correspond to this 2D image. Of course, almost all 3D scenes will in reality be absurd objects and shapes, but still they are real 3D objects. One simple application of this exploit is for example in creating decorative visual displays for the entertainment industry. (e.g. screensavers)

    In particular, given a line drawing. In your program, you find a few real 3D scene that can project to this line drawing. Then, you start to rotate this 3D object. (say, in OpenGL) So, the effect is that when a viewer sees a drawing on screen, then the thing on screen suddenly starts to rotate like a real 3D object, and it came to the surprise and realization of the viewer the actual nature and shape of the object. Now, when the 3D object has rotated a 360°, in your program you switch to another 3D interpretation, so that, the effect being the object as if thru a 2D-space-hole suddenly and smoothly transformed into another, rather different, 3D object.

    I've seen some animation that slightly touch on this, but never fully.

    ∑ http://xahlee.org/

  7. omni_ferret says:

    This reminds me, I'd once planned to plot out slices of a quaternion fractal & paint my walls with it. If done right, from the right angle it would kind of feel like the center of a sphere.

    I couldn't paint my walls at the time, though, so I forgot about it.

  8. greatbiggary says:

    It's like a message carved by GazerBeam of The Incredibles in his final moments. At E3 a few years back they had Nvidia's "Dawn" splashed across the lobby steps, a strip on the front of each step, but because they didn't account for perspective, she had a tiny head off in the background, and a huge chest in the foreground when you saw her. That's a lot of peoples' preference, but it still made me get anal, and wish they had built the steps in 3D first, then projected the image from a typical 1st floor vantage point, finally slicing out the step vertical sections and printing those. Too much to ask.

  9. captsolo says:

    Wow - these designs are _amazing_ !!!

    It's always nice to see people express their creativity in a way that is enjoyable to others and maybe even shape your alternate reality when you are inside such places.