Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: The 3D GIF

Sample from Animated GIF in 3D

A collection of examples from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web on experiments which take the familiar animated GIF format and take it out of its 2D origins.

This has been a good year for the Animated GIF— not only has it reached its 25th birthday, it has also become America's word of the year according to Oxford Dictionaries USA. It has been one of the internet's most creative canvases since it's availability, whether it has been employed in early homegrown HTML pages, to communities such as B3ta, YTMND, 4Chan and others. From it's continued popularity, some creatives have explored ways to take the animated GIF into new contexts. Here are a few examples:


An online creative project by Slava Balasanov that allows you to create a page and position animated GIFs but arrange them in 3D space:

Interactive Communal 3D Image Collage Platform

Gifpumper combines elements of a social media site, blogging platform and virtual world into a single tool for collaborative creation online. Users can create 3d pages composed of 2d media elements (text, images, video, music) by rotating and positioning them in the XYZ coordinate plane.

All changes are broadcast in real-time to anyone else viewing the page. Users can interact with one another by adding, deleting and moving elements. The resulting pages can also be used as a blog or a personal website with a custom url. Standard social-media features are present as well in the form of a 'like' button, recent activity feed and profile pages. At any given moment users can see 'active pages' on the main site indicating presence of others.

Here is a video from FADERTV interviewing the artist and this piece.

The project has been around for a year, with entries ranging from the creative to the absurd, yet successfully takes a Net Art staple and takes it to a creative and involving new area.

Animated GIF in 3D 


DVDP Example

A WebGL and three.js online experiment from clicktorelease allows you to drag an animated GIF file into the browser window, which then displays the frames spacially. The piece is interactive, allowing you to view the GIF from various angles. Some GIF work better than others (mainly reminiscent of lenticular animated rulers from school days), but it does surprise how well certain GIFs 'break' from their 2D restrictions.

You can try it out here.
[PK Link]

GIF 3D Gallery

Example from V5MT

Example from Max Capacity

Fun experimental web project by akihiko taniguchi where you can place an animated GIF onto a 3D plinth in a virtual gallery room which you can move around with the keyboard. You will need the URL of the GIF to be able to view it here (you cannot upload a file, but there are plenty around Tumblr and the web to try out).

Try it out here 
PK Link


Some code put together by Jordi Ros to create a spinning GIF video wall, with accompanying music, all employing WebGL. There are two examples given (one is Napoleon Dynamite, the other, Gangnam Style) - note that they both currently only work on Google's Chrome web browser.

Should you want to make your own, the code is available at GitHub here