HenGenTou: Bringing Still Images to Life

Japanese researchers from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. developed a a unique lighting technology that adds motion to still images.

The new lighting technology called HenGenTou (or Deformation Lamps) can add a variety of realistic movement impressions to static objects. Lets say that you print an image of trees in the wind, the HenGenTou will be able to add the illusion that the trees are actually moving.

What is special about the technology is that it can make almost any object look as if it has some movement in it – both 2D and 3D objects. This is done using a regular projector which projects a moving pattern specific to the object.

According to NTT: “The projection adds only a gray-scale motion pattern to a static color picture. Since the color pattern of the picture does not move, the resulting pattern is an incorrect pattern containing many inconsistencies. However, it appears to be a correct colorful movie to human observers [hence an illusion]”.

HenGenTou with  2D object


The concept of projecting onto existing objects isn’t new of course. Projected mapping as it is called however is different than the device developed by NTT in that the HenGenTou unit uses simple computation, can be used on 2D objects without changing the basic image and can be used under light instead of in a dark room. The result as you can see in the video above seem to be pretty interesting.

HenGenTou with a 3D object


You can find more info on the NTT website.

More photography related technology videos can be found on our photo-tech section here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.


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