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Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

Incredible Infographics for Beatles Enthusiasts

Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

Fifty years ago today, the Beatles released their first LP, Please Please Me—and the rest, as they say, is history. To celebrate this milestone, Pop Chart Lab has created three incredible infographics that break down the instrumentation of the Fab Four’s songs in incredible detail. Check out the prints, and some details on the creative process behind creating them, below. All three infographics are available to purchase, either on their own or as a box set.

Volume 1: 1963 – 1965


Click to enlarge, or check out the zoomable version.

According to the Pop Chart Lab creative team, "[we were] enjoying a radio-binge of the best Rock N'Roll band in history, when it struck us how complicated things got in the late-LSD period of the Fab Four. Not just complicated, but outright baroque when compared to, say, the straight-forward 4-piece rock tracks of Please Please Me and With the Beatles. We all agreed it would be nearly impossible to map the instrumentation of songs from Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour—it just seemed like there were too many bells and whistles (perhaps literally). But impossible is one of favorite words, and the best motivator for us to lose ourselves in research and chartography."

Volume 2: 1966 – 1967


Click to enlarge, or check out the zoomable version.

Still, they persevered, and found that "at the height of their experimentation, the Beatles used nearly every instrument imaginable, from sitars and dilrubas to full on brass arrangements to banging on an anvil and having someone count eerily in the background of a track."

Volume 3: 1968 – 1970


Click to enlarge, or check out the zoomable version.

To present the data, the team "turn[ed] the songs on their sides. As we drew the lines from song to instrument, we felt happily lost in the psychedelic swirls of the catalogue, and three distinct Beatle periods presented themselves: The mop-top schoolboy Beatles, the surreal Sgt Pepper marching band, and the roof-top playing, unshaven Let It Be veterans at the end of a long, fruitful career."

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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iStock
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Art
The Simple Optical Illusion That Makes an Image Look Like It's Drawing Itself
iStock
iStock

Artist James Nolan Gandy invents robot arms that sketch intricate mathematical shapes with pen and paper. When viewed in real time, the effect is impressive. But it becomes even more so when the videos are sped up in a timelapse. If you look closely in the video below, the illustration appears to materialize faster than the robot can put the design to paper. Gizmodo recently explained how the illusion works to make it look like parts of the sketch are forming before the machine has time to draw them.

The optical illusion isn’t an example of tricky image editing: It’s the result of something called the wagon wheel effect. You can observe this in a car wheel accelerating down the highway or in propeller blades lifting up a helicopter. If an object makes enough rotations per second, it can appear to slow down, move backwards, or even stand still.

This is especially apparent on film. Every “moving image” we see on a screen is an illusion caused by the brain filling in the gaps between a sequence of still images. In the case of the timelapse video below, the camera captured the right amount of images, in the right order, to depict the pen as moving more slowly than it did in real life. But unlike the pen, the drawing formed throughout the video isn't subject to the wagon-wheel effect, so it still appears to move at full speed. This difference makes it look like the sketch is drawing itself, no pen required.

Gandy frequently shares behind-the-scenes videos of his mechanical art on his Instagram page. You can check out some of his non-timelapse clips like the one below to better understand how his machines work, then visit his website to browse and purchase the art made by his 'bots.

And if you think his stuff is impressive, make sure to explore some of the incredible art robots have made in the past.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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