GIF: Macro Room

It’s an odd paradox of our times, but when we see something extraordinary these days, it’s easy to assume that it was computer generated. CGI is the current all-consuming method of creating movie effects, but this video of ink in water shot with macro photography shows just how beautiful practical effects can be.

Some of the best special effects in recent films have utilized a hybrid approach that incorporates a seamless combination of CGI and practical effects. Both Interstellar and Gravity were able to pull off some amazing things with this approach. But the effects work that has best stood the test of time is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sure, the final trip “beyond the infinite” veers dangerously close to background projections at a Jefferson Airplane show, but somehow, decades later, the film still feels like you’re watching something that’s really happening.

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Check out what the good folks at Macro Room have put together using only organic materials and recall that feeling of pressing your face up against a lava lamp when you were a kid.

[Macro Room]