Watch (and throw up): Young Rival’s optical illusion video for Black Is Good

Black Is Good is one of my favourite songs from Young Rival’s 2012 album Stay Young. It reminds me of nights spent loitering on Hamilton streetcorners breathing in damp autumn air with my best friend sitting on the cold curb beside me. I didn’t have as many wrinkles then, but I certainly give fewer fucks now.

I’ve seen Young Rival perform live many times and they will always remain one of my favourite local bands. The sound quality (both live and recorded) that they produce is consistently high, and their energy on stage is palpable. Yesterday, they released a video that employs a random dot autostereogram generated to produce the illusion of depth perception when viewed with a relaxed, unfocused gaze.

The band explains:

This is where it gets technical. To make your own autostereogram, one must first create a thing called a “depth map” which is a 2D representation of 3D depth information. We collected real-time depth data of Young Rival performing the song using an X-Box Kinect hooked up to a computer. The computer was running software called RGBD toolkit, designed for capturing the depth information from the Kinect using its built-in infrared system. Once we had our depth information, we unpacked it into image sequences and edited these sequences as if they were regular video. The only difference in the editing process was that depth was represented by luminosity. For fun, you can view the black and white depth-map version HERE. With much trial and error, we then ran the data through an algorithm which took each frame of depth information, converted it into a random dot stereogram image, and repacked it into the final video. Lastly, there was one more colour pass at the end, and voila.

Personally, it made me feel pleasantly nauseated. But that could have easily been the coffee and two cake pops I had for dinner. I am an adult.

Watch it fullscreen if you dare. And please, do yourself a favour and check out the equally entertaining video for Better Things To Do because it features rad Hamilton artists.

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