In our digital world, it's easy to become numb to the special effects that seem to permeate everything, from film to television to advertising. But what if today you really did see something that made you gaze in delighted wonder?

Julian Tryba, a former rocket scientist turned media production wizard, has created a beautiful and completely hypnotic new visual effect called "layer-lapse." Effectively a time-lapse video that blurs the line between night and day.

Tryba says he was inspired to create the effect by Einstein's relativity theory.

"Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock," he writes. "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."

Some of the scenes in Tryba's NYC short feature 300 individual time-lapse layers. Some of the scenes in Tryba's video feature 300 individual time-lapse layers. (Photo: Alinia)

While Tryba first experimented with his layer-lapse innovation in 2014 with the skyline of Boston, his new version leverages a new equation to allow each building in the frame to choose what time of day or night to switch to.

"Luckily I have an engineering background I can lean on, so in early 2016, I started learning scripting in after effects, and began writing code to create different layer-lapse 'looks'," he writes. "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."

Unfortunately for Tryba, technology can't yet assist him with avoiding traffic tickets. During the course of his 22 trips to New York City to capture more than 352 hours of video of its famous skyline, he accrued $1,430 in parking fees.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.