The KineCAM is a DIY immediate digital camera that prints out animated kinegrams

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a kinegram. Whereas the time period “kinegram” wasn’t actually coined till the late Nineties, the method has truly been round because the Nineties. I bear in mind they appeared to be fairly widespread in some children’ toys within the Nineteen Eighties earlier than the world began getting extra digital after which they type of disappeared for essentially the most half.

However as with plenty of outdated tech returning to widespread tradition, it appears just like the kinegram is again, too. PhD scholar Ticha Sethapakdi and her staff at MIT produced an immediate Kinegram digital camera, the KineCAM. It’s primarily based on a Raspberry Pi, shoots a number of pictures in sequence after which prints out a single kinegram on thermal paper utilizing its built-in printer. The KineCAM was additionally offered this yr at SIGGRAPH 2022.

Kinegrams are created utilizing a course of referred to as barrier-grid animation. It primarily exploits the rules of moiré to point out completely different pictures relying on how a grid of traces is aligned on prime. Mainly, the underlying picture is definitely a number of pictures, with segments of every organized in rows. The traces of the grid cowl up the segments of the picture you don’t need to see and the mind fills within the gaps. While you transfer the grid to a different place, it reveals segments of a unique picture and hides the earlier one.

It’s a bit just like the outdated interlaced video indicators utilized by CRT televisions, besides as a substitute of them mechanically refreshing themselves many occasions per second, you’re adjusting the grid manually. It’s additionally not restricted to simply two frames in a single picture, both, as illustrated by the staff in a paper printed on the MIT web site.



The staff has launched the code for the system on GitHub, permitting you to create a KineCAM of your very personal. The parts to construct one ought to are available in at lower than $100 – assuming you both have already got a spare Raspberry Pi or you’ll find a vendor that isn’t value gouging throughout the present scarcity. In case you can construct one, it appears like a really cool venture!

To search out out extra in regards to the KineCAM and the way the Kinegram precept works, make sure to learn the paper and try the code.

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