Weta Workshop is one of the world’s best special effects and prop companies. Now, visitors to Auckland, New Zealand can enjoy a 90-minute interactive tour that allows them to experience the creative processes behind three imaginary movies in the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres. Book tickets here.
THE BEST Art & Design
Artist Olivier Gomis shows how he took hundreds of colored pencils and turned them into a cool looking wood vase. Rather than encasing them in epoxy resin, he sanded and glued together layers of pencils, twisted them into a tower, then turned that structure on a lathe.
Pop Chart’s print makes a perfect gift for cinephiles, mapping out hundreds of classic movies by genre. Each film includes the year it was released, along with a circle to mark whether they loved it, liked it, or merely watched it. It measures 36″ x 24″ and available unframed, framed, or mounted on a birch plywood panel.
Filmmaker Seán Doran processed about a week’s worth of data captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to create this awe-inspiring UHD video of the Sun’s activity. Max out the resolution, go full screen, dim the lights, and crank up the audio for a truly hypnotic journey to our Solar System’s number one life-giver.
Textile artist Benjamin Shine creates amazing abstract portraits by folding and ironing pieces of tulle. The layering creates the illusion of light and shadow, bringing his imagery to life both in wall art and sculptural works. More recently, he built a large-scale piece by folding recycled HDPE netting.
While we all know that plastic drinking straws are bad for the environment, it’s also true they’re good for making art. YouTuber Imaginative Guy shows off his crafting skills by turning a bendy green straw into a very convincing grasshopper fishing lure. He also made a shrimp using the same technique.
Inspired by the design of those mechanical schedule signs you see at airports and train stations, this plastic sign board uses interchangeable letter tiles for you to post messages or your schedule for the day. It measures 11.9″w x 8.4″h, and has both a tabletop stand and keyhole hooks for wall hanging.
Artist Mr. Zhou presents a wonderfully satisfying crafting video. The clip features ample doses of woodturning, pouring colorful epoxy resin, and then shaving the whole thing down to reveal its finished form – an accent light that illuminates with the colors of the rainbow. Sadly, it lost one layer along the way.
Regal Robot makes sweet Star Wars collectibles as well as custom props and furniture. Among their builds is this desk and chair they created for a client’s studio. Its design was inspired by Darth Vader’s black and white meditation chamber as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. The Vader helmet light fixture is a brilliant touch.
YouTube channel Macro Room is known for their incredible macro and slow-motion photography. To celebrate their 1 millionth subscriber, they created this video in which a man sits still as their face is barraged with paint balloons. It’s also an impressive demo of the Chronos 2.1 HD slow-motion camera system.
After returning from a trip to the moon, an astronaut is disappointed to find that the world has lost interest in her journey. As things progress, her life intersects with a filmmaker and a bear on a unicycle in this charming and touching animated short film by writer/director Mathieu Libman.
We recently took a tour of a room painted in the world’s blackest paint. DipYourCar applied the same Musou Black paint to a car. The paint absorbs 99.4% of visible light, resulting in a strikingly dark background for a shimmering starfield effect they created with by spraying it with thinner and their HyperShift pearl coat.
Using parts from a 3D printer, custom laser-cut components, and LED lighting RCLifeOn created this mechanical table that uses a magnet and a ball bearing to draw complex patterns in sand, only to erase everything it doodles. On the plus side, as soon as it wipes out an image, it gets to work on another.
Metalsmith Alec Steele takes a momentary break from forging cool things to create a sculpture of his dog, Yoga. After measuring his pup’s proportions, he created a wire skeleton, then welded together numerous steel nuts in various sizes to form the metal dog-ppelganger’s bust.
Nature photographer Marco Valk captured some incredible footage of starling murmurations in the sunset skies over Geldermasen in the Netherlands. The birds travel in massive flocks to provide safety from predators and warmth at night while at the same time offering humans one of the most spectacular shows on Earth.
South Korea-based artist Drawholic wows us with a colored-pencil portrait of Din Djarin and Grogu. The time-lapse video lets us observe the entire process from start to finish, as the rough outlines give way to color, shading, and a background that makes the image pop off of the page.
Xyla Foxlin likes to build all kinds of things but has a special affinity for canoes and paddles. Using an existing canoe as a mold, she created a translucent fiberglass vessel that she wired up with strips of RGB LED lighting, making it the most vibrant and colorful boat on the water.
Bernardo Britto’s emotionally-satisfying short film follows the story of an ordinary man who is tasked with creating the definitive history of humanity before aliens come to blow up our planet. The animation captured numerous awards when on the festival circuit back in 2014. Now, the clip is for all to view online.
Cognitive Surplus offers all kinds of great gifts for lovers of science, engineering, nature, and the world around us. We love their festive flasks which feature detailed illustrations with a tactile feel. They’re made from stainless steel with a wide mouth opening, and hold up to 18oz of hot or cold beverages.
Animator Greg Cooper created this spellbinding fan music video for the track The Magician by Andy Shauf. The clip has been a labor of love for Greg over the course of four years between his other work. Be sure to check out the original music video by Winston Hacking, as it’s also quite good.
GRID Studio turns electronic junk into art. To make their unique wall art, they carefully disassemble old smartphones, then meticulously place and glue their components into a shadowbox frame. They currently make versions based on the iPhone 3GS, 4S, and 5, as well as the Nokia E71, and BlackBerry Bold 9000.
Perhaps the most difficult of Bgraamiens’ challenging jigsaw designs, this 1000-piece puzzle is covered with a seemingly random arrangement of skinny lines, overlapping across a white background. Looking for something more colorful? Check out more of their puzzle designs here.
4DMAPART creates eye-popping elevation map prints. Each image jumps right off the page thanks to an impressive depth illusion that combines light, shadow, color, and topographical data captured by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. They can be printed onto photo paper or metal. The U.S. geology map is our favorite.
Luxury watchmaker Vianney Halter designed this incredible 3-axis tourbillon, inspired by astrophysics. Under its domed crystal is an intricate mechanism that rides on a pair of synchronized balance wheels, encircled by a time display. Just two of these timepieces will be made each year, with a price tag just under $1 million.
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