Monday, August 12, 2013

3D mural

Baltimore has a lot of murals; I mean, a LOT. There have always been murals around town, but in the last few years there has been a big redevelopment push. It isn't unusual for several new murals to be finished on a regular basis.
Last fall I heard about a new 3D mural.
ummmmm... what?
It wasn't your standard trompe l'oeil 3D - of which I am a big fan- but an actual anaglyph (red-blue) 3D mural. I've never heard of such a thing. Curious about how well that would work on such a big scale I decided to try to find it one Friday Adventure day with Lydia.
Of course that doesn't mean that I actually looked up where it was or anything.
What would be the adventure in that?
We met at Sofi's Crepes for lunch. The same two guys have been working there every single time I've been in so we always end up talking to them. I knew the mural was somewhere off of Charles Street, so Lydia and I were reasoning where we should start the search when one of the crepe guys chimed in that he thought he knew where it was.  That is, he could narrow our 15 block search area down to 3 blocks so after our butterscotch crepes Lydia and I went on the hunt.
Since it was an adventure led by me there were many U-turns, going-around-the-blocks and just as we honed in the correct block, the street was closed due to a giant water main break.

So not surprised.
Only one block of Charles St closed in the whole city and it was the one we needed.
But we would not be thwarted.

After several passes around the fenced off gaping hole in the world we caught a glimpse of the mural, found a parking place and set off on foot.
The block was deserted; it was a little eerie actually.
The mural was in the lot of an abandoned filling station. Sure it looked foreboding, but there was a gate so i'm pretty sure we weren't trespassing.

There she was!

Or rather, there was most of her,
partially obscured by the ancient gas station roof.
Really, people?

Ahhhhh... that's better.

Up close she was huge.
I mean, I know that murals are big, but we normally view them at a distance to see the complete image so to stand right up next to the wall really shocked my sense of size perception.
It also highlighted the artists' amazing use color.
Have you ever really looked at the pattern of red, blue (cyan to be precise) and black in a 3D image?
It was cool.

But now for the real test.
Lydia had snagged some old red-blue glasses from work and we set about trying to trick our brains to see this lovely lady in three dimensions. She had brought glasses with two different shades of blue filters and we tried both of them, mixing them, flipping them and every other combination we could think of.
It worked.
Oddly, it worked better when we switched the proper red-blue eyes.
It wasn't perfect, but given the scale it was pretty impressive.
There is no way I could capture the effect on film, but I had fun shooting the mural through the glasses any way.
Both blue and red.
Both shades of blue together.
Just red.
How freaking awesome does that sky look?

The mural can be found at 2011 N Charles St and remember to bring 3D glasses.
For more info, here is the original Kickstarter campaign where you can read about the artists XXIST and Jake Warford and here is the update page, which includes a link to a half hour documentary made about the mural's creation.


Douglas said...

Butterscotch crepes. Want.

Rea said...

How fun!! Nothing cool like that here in!