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Balloon Display

Use white balloons for the shape, lasers to add color
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There are perhaps a thousand generic shapes that are very common on television. (for example, human shape, retangular prism, chair shape, or car shape)

One could design a machine that would, in advance of each scene, blow up balloons for and slightly modify(1) the dimensions of each shape to match the thing to be modeled.

A seperate part of the machine would be the actual display area. The shapes would be moved about by magnitism, air currents, or little robotic arms from behind. At the same time lasers would shine on them from the front to give the appropriate appearances and textures. I think a uniform matte white in a very dark display area would do it.

(1) The balloons would be made of a ferrous metal, and have electromagnets inside to pull in the material at the appropriate places. Electricity can be supplied through said arms. Alternatively, use many little, various shaped balloons and they can be stuck togather in advance with static electricity to make appropriate complex shapes.

Voice, May 05 2007

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       Ferrous balloons?
nuclear hobo, May 05 2007
  

       Better than feral balloons.
sp. "separate", "together", "magnetism" , "matt"
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 05 2007
  

       No, "matte" is fine, as in Lat. "mattus", dull. (And I know dull!)   

       I'm unclear on what this is trying to do. At first I thought you wanted to make pixels in a 3-D display ("voxels") where inflated is "on" and deflated is "off", but then you added lasers, robots, and magnetism, and now I'm no longer sure what it does.   

       Unrelatedly, I want a balloon animal 3-D printer with gloved robot arms that twist and pull under computer control.
jutta, May 05 2007
  

       I think you can only buy them without the gloves. Bummer.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 05 2007
  

       If the starting point is 'shapes that are very common on television', that suggests that the goal is broadly two-dimensional with, perhaps, an element of bas-relief. Three dimensions would create challenges for the 'robotic arms from behind' (conceptual difficulties with the definition of 'behind' and practical difficulties with crowding).   

       So, [Voice], are we talking about a sort of animated bas-relief of balloons, or have I got this wrong?
pertinax, May 06 2007
  

       balloons that are selected, inflated, and attached to each-other "behind the curtain", as is were, and then moved into a viewing section. Only 3D for a 90 degree viewing angle if you're moving them about with robotic arms. The lasers give the balloons color, the balloons are 3-D, hence a 3-D color display
Voice, May 06 2007
  
      
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