Pin Art

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Pin art, Flickr.jpg

Pin Art or Pinscreen[1] is an executive toy patented by Ward Fleming.[2] It consists of a boxed surface made of a crowded array of pins that are free to slide in and out independently in a screen to create a three-dimensional relief. Other similar product names are "PinPressions" and "Pinhead". Pinscreens were previously applied as animation in films.

Pinscreen toys were once[when?] made of metal pins. Because the metal pins were heavier and bent easily, newer Pinscreen toys are generally made of plastic pins.

A giant 4' x 8' pinscreen is at the Swiss Science Center Technorama in Winterthur, Switzerland.[3] This screen is like a large 3D drawing pad that can work with different sizes of paintbrushes for calligraphy.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The pinscreen was popularized in the 1985 music video for the Midge Ure song "If I Was", which included a giant body-sized version.
  • In 1990 it was used in the film "Darkman" by Sam Raimi starring Liam Neeson to duplicate an enemy's hand.
  • A 1997 Coca-Cola ad, directed by Industrial Light & Magic, involves the use of a computer-generated imagery pinscreen.
  • The 1999 film Toy Story 2 features a pinscreen that Buzz Lightyear is pushed into whilst fighting another Buzz Lightyear model.
  • In the 2000 film X-Men, a computerized pinscreen displaying a model of New York City is used by the X-Men to plan an attack against Magneto.
  • A digitally produced pinscreen is featured in the 2005 music video for the Nine Inch Nails song "Only", directed by David Fincher.
  • Similar to "Only," a digitally produced pinscreen is featured in the 2008 music video for the Eagles of Death Metal song "Wannabe in LA".
  • A 2007 advertising campaign by the Discovery Channel involved a pinscreen forming various images, such as that of the Sydney Opera House and whales.
  • The 2013 film Man of Steel involves several CG pinscreens which serve as personal computers on Kal-El's homeworld of Krypton.