A Physical GIF

One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?

Greg Borenstein and Scott Wayne Indiana, recent grads of NYU ITP are on a mission to bring GIFs (computer-animated sequences of images) back into the physical world. 

Like flip books and zoetropes, the two write that physical GIFs rely on your eye and brain turning a rapid sequence of frames into a moving image. 

"Physical GIFs use a spinning disc and a strobe light to achieve this same effect," they write. "As the disc spins, the light from the strobe transforms the spinning pieces of plastic into discrete frames. Your eye takes it from there and animates the frames."

They've started their project with a few basic animations -- a BMX biker, fireworks over the New York skyline -- that they've designed, cut, and and put onto spinning disks. And they've commissioned prominent animated GIF artists Ryder RippsNullsleepSara Ludy, and Sterling Crispin to create designs that they hope to turn into physical animations. 

For more information about the project, check out Borenstein and Indiana's Kickstarter page.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >