Wood cross-section music video WoodSwimmer unpacks layers of hardwood.

Watch a Gorgeous Journey Straight Through Pieces of Hardwood

Watch a Gorgeous Journey Straight Through Pieces of Hardwood

Slate in motion.
July 12 2017 1:19 PM

A Gorgeous Journey Straight Through Pieces of Hardwood

Each layer looks like an alternate universe.

Knots
Deep dive into arboreal time.

bfophoto

For his dazzling “Woodswimmer” video above, filmmaker Brett Foxwell, who goes by bfophoto, used a process he describes as “brutally tedious.” The results, though: Wow. What you’re seeing are cross-sectional scans of hardwood, burls, and branches sequenced in stop motion. It’s like his camera is moving through the wood.

Foxwell used a milling machine to cut slices from 1/40 inch to 1/2,000 of an inch thick. He cleaned, polished, and applied wood oil to each cross-section before capturing its image with a stop-motion camera. And then on to the next cut.

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Time-intensive as that process sounds, another issue—as he notes on his website—is that it’s “difficult to keep from watching stuff like this loop endlessly on playback as you are in the middle of shooting it.”

The music is by bedtimes.