GIF Cards: A winter wonderland

GIF artist Intothecontiuum provides two algorithmically generated GIF cards to capture the spirit of the season. 


Fernando Alfonso III

Internet Culture

Published Dec 21, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 5:03 am CDT

The Daily Dot is proud to present a new way to spread holiday cheer: GIF cards. Each business day leading up to Christmas, we’ll be presenting two or more fun and easy-to-share GIFs to get you and your loved ones in the spirit of the season. To see our entire catalog, visit us on Tumblr.

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Every snowflake is different, comprised of intricate geometric shapes that will never be repeated and are truly beautiful to behold. It’s those unique mathematical figures that were the inspiration for two holiday GIF cards by Intothecontiuum, a math wizard and Tumblr GIF tag editor.

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“We experience change at different scales,” Intothecontiuum told the Daily Dot. “From a temporal perspective there is annual and seasonal change, but these are part of a larger structural change that is always occurring. Although this change is a consequence of impermanence; there still remains certain similarities which preserve the re-occurring qualities that define these times.”

Intothecontinuum, 25, started making GIFs art journey in 2010 to explore the moiré pattern, an interface pattern created when two grids are placed on top of one another at different angles. Since then, Intothecontinuum, who asked to keep his identity private, has created more than 500 original animations using Mathematica, a sophisticated computation program created by Stephen Wolfram of Wolfram|Alpha fame.

Each mathematical pattern takes about 15 to 45 seconds to create using Mathematica and a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor computer. The animations vary in size but typically consists of 15 to 30 black-and-white frames. The results clean, efficient, and entrancing to watch.

For the holiday GIF cards, Intothecontinuum worked his math magic to render two seasonal scenes, a nostalgic portrait of of snowflakes falling and a series of fireworks to welcome the new year.

“In these cards, snowflakes and fireworks are used not only as traditional symbols for these times, but to also represent this sort of unique change we encounter every year—always the same in essence, but distinct in experience. Towards this end, each snowflake and firework is algorithmically generated making use of randomness to construct something that is always different.”

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*First Published: Dec 21, 2012, 10:00 am CST