Projection technique gives movement to static objects

Static images can give the impression of realistic movement with a light projection technique developed by Japanese technology and communications company NTT Communication Science Laboratories. Dubbed HenGenTou (which means deformation lamps in Japanese) the illusion-based animation technique can make objects appear to move, deform or flutter and brings to life photos, paintings or written texts.

The company is tipping the technology for use in advertising, interior design, art and entertainment.

Its approach builds on conventional projection mapping techniques but preserves the image of the original surface in order to deliver the appearance that a static image is moving.

The company says it can add a variety of dynamic impressions - ranging from natural liquid flows to facial expressions to a printed image or other static materials - by harnessing visual illusions. The effects can also be added to 3D objects, albeit with a restricted viewing angle.