Joe Penna has been a YouTube celebrity for a long time now: You probably know him better as MysteryGuitarMan, the name under which has made some of the most creative videos in the history of the platform. He started uploading videos in 2006, just a year after the site was created, and some of his first few clips were focused on Rubik's Cubes. That's an area of interest he's since touched on in multiple videos, including one that recently resurfaced thanks to a popular Reddit post. The video is an animation that's made entirely with Rubik's Cubes, and it's impressive.
In the 2015 clip, 1,296 mini cubes were solved 961 times to create the animation, which Penna says took four people three to four weeks to finish. In the video, a robot launches into space, lands on a distant planet, finds love, and rockets off into space once again. My only complaint is that the robot unceremoniously leaves his dog to fend for itself, but if this is a true robot that can't feel human emotions, then I understand. Then again, it fell in love, so maybe the robot is just a jerk.
It's impossible to know how much work really went into this, but this (speculative) Reddit comment seems to come close to calculating it: "961 frames times 1300 cubes is 1.25 million individual solves. Even if they're only changing 10% of the cubes on any given frame, that's 125,000 solves. Assuming 15 seconds per solve, that's 520 hours of solving alone. Then double or triple that time for removing the cube, checking against the reference, and then putting it back in the correct place."
Quick clarification about that comment: it would entail 520 hours were the video worked on by one person alone. Since four people worked on this, that's 130 hours per person, or about five and a half days. Quadruple that and that comes out to about 22 days, or about three weeks, all of which leads me to believe that the comment gets at something close to the truth.
Have you seen any other Rubik's Cube animations as impressive as this one? If you have, share them down in the comments below!
Featured image: Joe Penna