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Experimental KineCAM: Produces moveable paper photos

Invented in the late 19th century, kinegrams are a simple form of animation – predating the first animated films. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has now given the technique a digital makeover in the form of a one-off KineCAM. In traditional Kinegram, creators start with three (or more) sequential photographs of people – or other subjects – doing a certain action. Each photo is then cut horizontally into multiple strips.

The strips from all the photos were then combined one by one to form one long composite image, alternating between the three photos from top to bottom. In other words, starting from the top, there is a strip from Photo 1, then a strip from Photo 2, then a strip from Photo 3, then back to the next strip from Photo 1, and so on.

Next, a sheet called a “strip cover” is laid on the composite. This sheet consists of multiple horizontal transparent slots interspersed with wider opaque sections. Thus, when the viewer pulls the overlay over the entire composite, they first see only the strip of Photo 1 (and thus the complete Photo 1), then only the strip of Photo 2, and then only the strip of Photo 3. Thus, the illusion of motion arises.

Led by Ticha Sethapakdi, a team of students from Associate Professor Stefanie Mueller’s Engineering Interactive Technology course set out to modernize this technique for a final group project. This effort culminated in the creation of KineCAM.

The small box-shaped device includes a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, a cell phone-like camera, a thermal printer similar to printing receipts, a camera shutter button, a battery, and an LED indicator. All of these components are commercially available at a combined cost of less than $100.

When activated by pressing the shutter button, the camera records a short video. Custom software on the Raspberry Pi then selects multiple frames from that video, which is then digitally rendered into strips, which are then interlaced to form a digital composite image. A physical copy of this image is then produced by the printer. The entire process takes about 16 seconds.

To view the image – and see it move – the user utilizes a stripe overlay previously printed on a transparent film via a regular inkjet printer.

Yet given that people can already shoot actual video with their smartphones, what might be the appeal of KineCAM?

In response, Sethapakdi said, “There’s something very appealing and intimate about having an actual physical receipt – a one-of-a-kind copy of some kind of experience. We’re opening up the project so that others can modify the camera, adapt the code, and design it to do whatever they want. We’re excited to let others explore that possibility.”

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Threza Gabriel
Threza Gabrielhttps://www.techgoing.com
Threza Gabriel is a news writer at TechGoing. TechGoing is a global tech media to brings you the latest technology stories, including smartphones, electric vehicles, smart home devices, gaming, wearable gadgets, and all tech trending.

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