Light painting

Disappointed by your local Christmas lights? A new app from advertising agency Dentsu could offer you an interesting alternative by allowing you to create illuminated 3D typography with an iPhone.

The Penki app, named after the Japanese word for painting, allows users to create 3D illuminated messages and images, which can then be captured on film.

This clever little app uses a program to create models of the type entered then creates a ‘virtual CAT scan’ of the model which it then projects from the iPhone screen. Each of the sections can then be captured by a long exposure photograph.

A still from the Dentsu and Berg film
A still from the Dentsu and Berg film

The development of the app comes after a collaborative film made by Dentsu and design consultancy Berg using the iPhone’s big sister the iPad. The film, which uses the same technology as the app and then some, was part of Dentsu’s Making Future Magic project which is all about the creative possibilities that are opening up as the media landscape changes and evolves and traditional advertising develops.

During the film, Dentsu and Berg used photographic and animation techniques which were developed to draw moving 3D typography and objects with an iPad. In a darkened room, the iPad was programmed to excude 3D light forms as they are moved through a long exposure. Multiple exposures have been edited together to create a stop-frame animation, which you can see below.

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