Watch A Superb Tilt-Shift Video Of Party Time In Rio

After Instagram-like retro filters, tilt shift is probably the most recognizably 21st-century image aesthetic. It’s the technique where, using selective focus, photographers and filmmakers can give pictures of regular sized things the appearance of the shallow depth of field that we associate with close-up photography. It’s shown up in CSI, The Social Network, BBC’s Sherlock, the latest incarnation of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. With all that in mind, you may be tempted to skip this one, but trust us. Stick through to the 2-minute mark.

The project is a collaboration between Jarbas Agnelli and Keith Loutit. The project was filmed over the course of 2011, with the key Carnival sequence made back in February. They released it to coincide with Carnival 2012. What really makes the illusion work is the way that the sequences jump around as if they were stop motion. The film is in fact made up of 169,000 photos from 416 time-lapse sequences, according to Agnelli.

I’m fascinated with how powerfully the illusion works. The tell-tale jumpiness of the movements and blurring of these scenes are not things we’d ever encounter in nature. The language of these things is taught through film, and yet the effect is overpowering. You can’t not see the sequences as animated miniatures. It is an illusion by film and of film.

[Hat tip Visual News.]