Sutrito Spin

Last week saw the launch of HYPNO SF, a thing whose Twitter bio says it’s “visually exploring + animating San Francisco” with crazy/amazing yo-yo videos of the Golden Gate Bridge, Market Street from the Ferry Building to the Castro, and more. These shots can be seen in the video for a song called Water Falls by Kalle Mattson, and  and in animated GIF form. The gorgeous spinning shot of Sutro Tower at the end of the video really got my attention.

Why not try something similar for Bernal’s own Sutrito Tower, I thought. So, with my iPhone and bicycle, I set off to get some pictures.

Map image I had on my iPhone as a guide for taking pictures approximately the same distance from Sutrito Tower.

I figured that the hard part would be aligning and scaling the pictures, so I wanted to take them from close to the same distance from the tower. I had the map above open in Safari, and switched back and forth between that, Maps, and the Camera app. I ended up deviating from a circular path quite a bit, in order to get usable pictures:

Actual track taken. More or less. Reconstructed from embedded lat/longs in the pictures.

I got back and started aligning and stacking images. I used GIMP 2.6 for Windows, which is free, and supports creating animated GIFs from an image with layers. I created an empty 1280 x 720 image, and added a layer per frame. For a first pass, I didn’t even scale or rotate the images to match, I just copied and pasted a chunk out of the native resolution iPhone photos, and nudged it until Sutrito roughly lined up with its image in lower layers.

File, Save As, GIF, click the “animated GIF” (not “flatten”) radio button, and I soon had a 16 megabyte animated GIF. And it basically worked! It didn’t suck. When I have a bit of time, I’ll probably try to fix the rotation and scaling, but this seemed good enough to Tweet. Thanks to a retweet by Burrito Justice, more than three people actually saw it, including Mr. HYPNO SF, Kevin Parry:

So that was a nice way to spend a Saturday.