Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Verschleif" by Laurin Döpfner - Grinding Away Objects


Verschleif from Laurin Döpfner on Vimeo.

Laurin Döpfner created this stop motion animation piece, "Verschleif." That appears to be a creatively made-up word that can be interpreted as "see some grinding." And that's pretty descriptive because that is what the video is all about.

The process used an industrial sander to grind down logs, electronics, a skull and apparently whatever was handy in thin layers which were then photographed to create stop motion video. There are about 100 different photos.

This obviously takes a lot of precision and diligence. There's a whole sub-genre of stop motion animation devoted to doing this - sanding objects down so that you can see the interior - and it is kind of interesting, depending upon whether you are interested in the object and it has interesting internals.

This isn't just a destructive sport for pure amusement. In fact, the technique is used to teach students what is inside things. Medical students, for instance, will stand there with a grinder in order to learn anatomy. It may not always be pretty, but it is a useful way to learn about things and how what they contain. You can think of it as a "physical MRI," since with an (expensive) MRI you can see the interior of people without sawing them in half.

Laurin Döpfner wrote a description of the process in German, and here is my translation:
"I grind away with an edge for half a mm at a time and then take a picture ... Every object takes about 100 repetitions to get it into video form! I could not decide whether I wanted to show all the objects at the same time or in sequence, so I made two versions!"
Here are three of the objects at once:



If you like that one as a kind of warm-up, here's another one from Keith Skretch that he calls "Waves of Grain."

Waves of Grain from Keith Skretch on Vimeo.

From his page:
Images by Keith Skretch
Sound by Ennio Morricone, "The Big Gundown"
To create this strata-cut animation, I planed down a block of wood one layer at a time, photographing it at each pass. The painstaking process revealed a hidden life and motion in the seemingly static grain of the wood, even as the wood itself was reduced to a mound of sawdust.
Official Selection, Chicago Underground Film Festival 2013
Official Selection, Brooklyn Film Festival 2013
Official Selection, Provincetown International Film Festival 2013
Official Selection, Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival 2013
Official Selection, DC Shorts Film Festival 2013


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