Animated X-rays reveal how your bones move

Bones! How do they work? This hypnotic set of GIFs looks inside the human body and see what they're actually up to.

We're all familiar with X-ray images, but have you ever seen one in motion? Now you can, thanks to this impressive set of animated GIFs that reveal what your bones are doing whenever you move your hand, elbow, shoulder, knee or ankle. If you're at all prone to queasiness you might want to look away now. Oh, too late.

Cameron Drake produced this set of GIFs as part of a project for Weiss Orthopaedics in California. Starting from a collection of X-ray videos created by Dr Noah Weiss, Drake used Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop to turn them into hypnotic looping GIFs that Weiss could use to illustrate how our assorted joints work and what can go wrong with them.

He trimmed the video in Premiere Pro to create clips that he could use, then imported the individual frames into Photoshop as layers. To create the looping effect he simply duplicated the frames and played them backwards.

If you want to know the full details of how Drake made these GIFs, he steps through the process in detail over at his blog.


Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for space parties.