Tessellating Animation

Tessellating Animation

Here’s an odd little corner of the Internet that appeals to those of us who believe that M.C. Escher was the greatest 20th century artist. No blobs of paint, no black canvas with one white dot, but art from a guy who could draw a fine line and really screw with your perception of perspective and reality. Most of the work here seems to be from a guy named Makoto Nakamura. He’s created a number of clever GIF and Shockwave animations based on Escher’s tessellated designs.

Tessellation is a fancy mathematical term for tiling a plane with repeating shapes. Escher did many prints of this sort of thing, and Mr. Nakamura has extended the idea to a series of patterns that start with one concept (say, women swimming) and animates it to something opposite (such as sharks chomping.) Each intermediate frame is also a tessellation that makes some sort of sense. There are about two dozen of these clever cartoons, along with some Shockwave jigsaw puzzles.

It’s nothing too serious, just sort of intellectual eye candy, but it’s a fun site to show a child or a co-worker when you really should be doing something more productive. Sort of like what I’m doing right now.


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