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This Animation Distorts 3D-Scanned Humans into a Work of Geometric Art

Mike Pelletier's 'Time to Flight' reimagines the human form as Rorschach Test-like, polygonal blobs.

Although Mike Pelletier captures portraits of people, you won't find his images in yearbooks or above mantlepieces. Rather than traditional freeze-frames of faux smiles and Sunday outfits, the digital artist and animator takes 3D scans of humans and transforms them into surreal digital entities. While in his previous projects, Parametric Expression and Kinetic Portraits, the scanned forms remained somewhat humanoid, his latest work, Time of Flight, interpolates the data from eight humans (and one cat) beyond recognition, reinterpreting what was once flesh and blood into beastly blobs and bird-like swaths of color.


To create the works, Pelletier adds imperfections in every step of 3D imaging process, from the scan, to the transfer, to the animation itself. In an email, producer Valtteri​ Laihanen explains, "data representing the human form is digitized, translated and transformed while using the ensuing errors and as a place of exploration." This knack for finding compelling glitches comes off as somewhat unsettling in Parametric Expression, which distorts a gray human face with all-encompassing red polygons. In Time of Flight, however, the abstract bodies adopt a colorful charm best described as "Seussian." The vibrant colors, not unlike Rorschach ink blotches, encourage the imagination to run wild.

Check out the full Time of Flight video below, alongside some of the blobs and birdlike beasts from the animation:

Visit Pelletier's site here to find more of his digital animation and installation experiments.


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