There’re was quite a lot questions about how the effects in Illusions was created. Some guessed that we created a new flow-dynamics algorithm others had even stranger ideas. So here’s a quick post about the process that finally led us to the effects in the video. First, it’s all real fluids that anyone has in the fridge, into ordinary cold water.

Hanes looking at some of the footage while shooting in my kitchen.

It all started with that we (that’s me and Hannes) saw some videos of ink in water (quite far from the result we finally got) on Youtube and thought that we might be able to do something cool with that. We created a small “studio” setup in my kitchen, the main parts was a 200W light in a shoebox, a cake-plate covered in aluminium foil with a 5cm hole in the center and a plastic container from IKEA (hey, we’re swedes!). Later we had to add a fan to cool down everything since the lamp gets quite warm.

The “contraption” that made it work, with food colouring (failure) in water.

With the setup ready and the water tap close by we started to add stuff while filming it. We started out with different food-colour liquids (bad), soy (bad), oil (bad), mixtures of the previous (worse!), it was mostly a failure. Then we reversed colours of the setup, instead of dark on white we removed the white background and replaced it with a black cloth. Now we started with milk at it was perfect, behaved quite close to what we hoped and as time progressed we got more and more amazing shots. To get a little variety we tried different temperatures, cold in cold, hot in cold etc. and it changed how fast and how much the milk dissolved in the water. To dispence the milk we ended up using syringes. We had three different sizes and for some of the clips we used no more then 1-2ml of milk was used, and despite that we used up quite a lot milk.

After we switched to dairy products, black background instead.

With all kind of hot and cold milk tested we ran across the street and bought milk with different fat contents and also cream. The more fat it contain the more ‘thready’ the result was, also it took longer for cream to dissolve. So after an hour or two of failures we continued pouring lactose-products into water for several hours, before we had enough clips to be satisfied.

Hannes wrote some music and we sat at his place to cut it into something presentable. It took far longer than we expected before the result was presentable, and sometime after midnight we decided to cut it from the planned 3 minutes down to 2:30 minutes. All and all we’re very happy with the result, and it got quite a lot of attention around the world. It might even get us into a music video, more about that in the future.

We had to empty and wash the container after shot

You can find more and other information about this at the official Zink-Interactive blog.