This New York City 'Layer-Lapse' Is Jaw-Droppingly Cool

The thing I love about creative people is that just when I think I've seen it all, they do something that never even crossed my mind. Such is the case with this very unusual and very cool time-lapse of New York City that completely blurs the line between day and night.

I honestly thought I had seen all the time-lapse variations, but this clever variation from Julian Tryba proved me wrong. Using some incredibly intricate and careful masking, Tryba allowed different times of day and night to flash across different buildings, but didn't stop there. Next, each building was assigned a unique mathematical equation and parameters that told it which time of day to display, often using random sinusoidal functions to create oscillations within each building in addition to the global behavior (think of this as a shimmer). Finally, the video was linked up with a beat map of a piece of music to coordinate to changes in the sound, creating the amazing final product you see above. Tryba did this once before with Boston, but the automation is new to the process. The result is something akin to the buildings of New York City becoming a visual drum set.

[via Gizmodo]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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That is truly cool. Dang!

Most time-lapse videos start out cool but get old quickly. At the end of this one, I was wanting more!


I am always torn between how I feel about timelapses: I find they are simultaneously beautiful and cheesy. This one is probably a cross inspiration with Jain's Makeba music video or something of the like. Neat execution nonetheless.

Ok, so im not a pro or anything, i love my photography, but this was amazing, made me get chills and i could watch it all day, wow!!

Magnificent work!!!

This is the coolest thing I have seen in a long time...extremely well done!

Wow, this is amazing. I can't imagine how many hours of work went into this but definitely worth it.

That was so clever! I was thinking about how to do it manually, and it would have been such a huge undertaking! All the different selections to manage for each scene, and all the different frames! Then I saw the animation process had been automatized, and it blew my mind.

That is brilliant :)

absolutely superb work