Pixel art video using candles

Craft & Design

Youtube user brusspup, known for his impressive illusions, created this amazing fire animation using a bunch of tea candles, a camera, and lots of time. It appears to be a stop motion animation video, but there are some clear signs that it’s not what it looks like- anyone want to explain how it was done? [via theo’s gallimaufry]


18 thoughts on “Pixel art video using candles

  1. Nate says:

    Looks like he filmed the set of lights burning for a few frames, and stitched together animations from each individual “pixel” loop.

    Pick a candle that’s easy to stay focused on — I chose the bottom left, at first — and watch carefully. It’s always flickering in the same pattern any time it’s lit. I picked a few others, and they seemed to loop in their animation.

    You could loosely compare it to a grid of animated gifs.

    Very clever, and probably insanely time-consuming to make.

  2. Francesco De Comité says:

    Electrabel, a belgian company, made a similar video :


    There is also a ‘making of’ movie, might be somewhere on the web

    1. Matt Mets says:

      OOh, awesome!

  3. jweisman.myopenid.com says:

    I was thinking the flickering of the independent candles was just because the flame will change a bit between each pic.

  4. MadRat says:

    I wonder how many times someone got burned during the making of this video.

  5. Wild Rye says:

    Notice that several of the candles – you can see them in clusters in the upper right quadrant – are new, never-been-lit.

    My guess is that this was made from as few as two shots, one with all candles unlit and one with all candles lit. The individual pixels were then manipulated in an imaging software, quite likely a game engine.

  6. dgently says:

    that electrabel video is the real deal. this video is fake.

    Its a very simple video compositing trick done in something like after effects or shake.

    It goes like this…

    step 1: Shoot a plate of all the candles off

    step 2: Shoot a plate of all the candles on (this could be video or as it looks like in this video 7-10 still frames)

    step 3: digitally create your animation as white on black and size it to the resolution of your “display” so one pixel for every candle.

    step 4: corner pin the animation to line up with the candle pixels

    step 5: use the animation to create an alpha channel for the all on plate so that where the animation was white you see the lit candle plate and where its black you dont.

    TaDA! You now have an animating array of candles, no stop motion involved.

    step 6: profit?

    optional step 7: to make it feel more realistic artificially introduce errors such as pixels that mess up or wiggle.

    You can see this exact same effect except using a 30 story building instead of candles on this video

    jump to 1:12 and 2:39 to see the effect

  7. Adilah says:

    This is not real!

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