This simulation of the rolling shutter effect has two inspirations. One is the "Scanning for Time: Science and Art on a Photocopier" article by Eric Muller in the January 2019 edition of The Physics Teacher. The other is the Smarter Every Day video on the rolling shutter by Destin Sandlin.

The simulation above simulates one thing Eric Muller did in the article, which was place a rubber band on a photocopier. The rubber band is stretched, and then pulled down and released so it oscillates, much like the wave in the simulation above. Try hitting the Pause button - that freezes every part of the wave at one instant, so you capture a snapshot of the wave at one time. Hit Play, and start the photocopier scanning - this is what the output of the photocopier looks like, because as the copier scans across from left to right, it captures different points on the wave at different times. The result is completely different from simply pausing the simulation, because the wave goes through many cycles during the scanning process. This is the essence of the rolling shutter effect.

Simulation written by Andrew Duffy, and first posted on 1-25-2019.

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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