Harry Potter-ish Photos With Moving Shadows Invented

Okay, so this new moving-photo tech doesn't have the photo subjects actually dancing about within the frame, but it does allow for objects to have moving/reactive shadows and highlights and it's zero-powered like an old-fashioned picture.

Essentially an object is photographed from multiple angles in different lighting conditions, and a cleverly-processed composite image is then placed behind a plastic sheet of micro lenses in a hexagon array. As the lighting angle changes—for example as the sun moves relative to the image—the lenses focus illumination on different parts of the composite image, creating the effect that shadows and highlights in the photo change.

The result makes for a pseudo 3D dynamic image, and is exactly the sort of thing that billboard ad makers like to catch your eye with. The team at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics is working to improve the 3D effect, aiming at portrait eyes that really will follow you round the room. [NewScientist]

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