Specifically, I believe it looks tiny because of a combination of the short focal length, low framerate and being sped up.

I find it really fascinating that this works, because this is not playing on anything about the human visual system in itself as far as I can tell – it’s just calling on our prior experiences seeing photos and videos of tiny things in stop-motion. I’ve never actually, consciously noticed that photos of tiny things have a tighter focus with more pronounced blurring, and I couldn’t immediately tell at all that that had anything to do with making these gifs look small, but my brain knows because of decades’ worth of photographs that this is what photos of small things look like, and thus infers that these objects must be small.

Similarly, crude stop-motion animation of miniatures tends to have a low framerate, so the low framerate means it’s probably small. Small things generally move faster than big things, so something like an airplane on a runway moving that fast must be a miniature. Just the brain, making deductions from past experiences. This is neat. I wonder if small children, or people from cultures less exposed to photography, would just fail to get the miniature feeling at all.

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