Portals, an experimental two-minute film by motion graphic artist Vladimir Tomin, takes you on a spooky, mind-bending journey around a leaf-filled park. What initially appear to be digital glitches end up revealing themselves as portals, transporting you around the garden. It broke our brains a little bit.
Accompanied by an eerie soundtrack, the film is trippy and mesmerising and left us asking ‘How?’ At first, we were just asking ourselves that question. But when we were unable to turn up any answers on our own, we reached out to Tomin and asked him. You can see more of Tomin’s work over on his website, or follow him on Instagram. Of his earlier work, we highly recommend Render, in which a mouse pointer magically interacts with reality.
A Q&A WITH VLADIMIR TOMIN
Who the heck are you?
My name is Vladimir Tomin, and I’m from Khabarovsk, Russia. I do motion graphics for living and some experimental imagery for fun and to keep my skills sharp.
Where did you come up with the idea for Portals?
I often seek inspiration outside. There is the idea of how time and space interconnected. When you see the last scene the whole thing loops to the first scene and starts all over again. It’s like if you travel through space with infinite speed, chances are you will eventually end up where you started, both in time and space. Nothing too deep, but it’s there!
Where I live, autumn is the most beautiful season of the year. I had to find this perfect spot in time when there's already plenty of yellow on the street and I have at least half of the day to shoot. One day my wife took part in city carnival, so I had to help her move some stuff. I saw an opportunity to film and I took it. I only had an idea at that point – I still had to figure out technical part. Half of the scenes I shot didn’t make it to the final movie due to countless technical difficulties.
Can you explain how you blended the shots so seamlessly?
So the technical stuff, huh? Say we have scene A and scene B, and we want to make this perfect transition between the two. All we need to achieve that is for the final frame of scene A to be exactly the same as the first frame of scene B, right? For that we need two things: from scene A we need the final position of the camera (the point in space where the camera will find its way into the end of scene A), and from scene B we need the first frame of that scene. When you have the final position of the camera from A and the first frame of B, you just project the first frame of B from the final position of the camera from A onto the geometry of the scene. In other words, when the camera from scene A is in its final position, it’s looking at a space that scene B is already projected on. God I hope that makes sense.
Got it. Sort of.