Filmmaker Julian Tryba has created a time-lapse that is unlike anything we've ever seen before—and that's saying something when you're talking about one of the most popular (and creative) genres of photography out there. His so-called NYC Layer-Lapse ditches the traditional time-lapse model of watching the world go by, and instead uses post-processing to inject a little bit of night into his daytime shots and day into his nighttime shots.

An effect Tryba says is inspired by Einstein's theory of relativity, it's quite difficult to explain what's going on in words. Here's how Tryba himself puts it in the video's description:

Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock. In the spirit of Einstein's relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, and tick at any rate. The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse.

In perfect time with the music, parts of the frame—usually individual buildings or groups of buildings in the iconic NYC skyline—shift from night to day or visa versa. In this frame, for example, the One World Trade Center is shown at nighttime, while the rest of the skyline is lit up by the same daylight:

As impressive as the final product, however, is the way in which Tryba made it happen. This was not a 100% manual process. That, he admits, would have taken far too long; he needed to find a way to automate his workflow, and so he put his engineering background to work:

In early 2016 I started learning scripting in after effects, and began writing code to create different layer-lapse 'looks'. To create a layer-lapse effect, I am assigning a unique equation to hundreds of buildings simultaneously. For each frame, every building is calculating and deciding which time of day to reveal

From there, the final step was syncing it all to music, which was also done algorithmically:

The final step is linking an action or a script to a piece of the music. One way I've found this can be done is creating a set of audio triggers for a song, so that every note or beat triggers a change. By linking a certain script to each of these triggers one can create computer generated layer-lapses that are animated in response to music.

The result is an impressive feat of both time-lapse filmmaking and creative coding that allows Tyrba to create something out-of-this-world that will mess with your head as you view it. To that end: full screen and 4K if you please. And if you want to learn even more about how this time-lapse was created, click here.