The World’s First Cloud Movie is Here, Check it Out!
Yesterday night, a green ghost rider skirting across the sky appeared over the city of Nottingham. No, I’m not talking about some mysterious UFO hovering in the night’s sky, but the moving image of a green man on a galloping horse in the clouds.
The artistic piece was part of a test conducted by scientists to develop a new projecting device that could beam moving images directly onto clouds for the first time ever. A research team, calling itself Project Nimbus, used a special laser-based projection system mounted on an aircraft, to project a man riding a horse onto the clouds from a distance of 50 meters.
The team composed of an artist Dave Lynch, scientist Mike Nix, and maker Aaron Nielsen worked for five long years on their research project. The working principle of their newly developed device is based on a 19th-century creation, the zoopraxiscope – a rotating disk of still images that simulates motion when rotated and projected on a screen.
The modern researchers fused this analog concept from the early age of cinema and “new methods developed from ubiquitous technology,” to create a cloud movie of the galloping horse-rider.
The idea of such a device was inspired by a military paper on the war in Vietnam. Lynch stumbled upon that paper while doing his master’s degree. Entitled Non-lethal Weapons: Terms and Reference by Robert Bunker, the paper has a section describing sky projections that were used as a psychological weapon against the Vietnamese.
Lynch and his team is now looking to collaborate with someone like Richard Branson to develop something more intriguing in the future.