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Zoetrope pt.1

Okay, so this is the first of a series of posts about a piece of work I am super close to finishing which should have happened around a month ago but it took a different direction and proved to be a bit more of a challenge than I expected, in the end producing a totally different result than that I had first conceived. 

The brief for this project was called "New Languages", we were given the task of discovering either a brand new or already existing technology/technique and taking it somewhere new with the aim of creating something completely original that neither we or anyone else had never done before. 

Instead of try and create something brand new using loads of computers, programming and technology I opted for a slightly different and more analog approach. I came up with the idea of making a triple layered zoetrope. For anyone who is not familiar, a zoetrope was one of the first forms of animation. A cylindrical drum which on the inside has 16/17 frames of animation which when span can be viewed by eye through slits at the top of the drum - pictured below.

My idea was to reverse the zoetrope so the images were on the outside of the cylinder and incorporate three different layers of animation into one image. When viewed from the right angle it would look as though they were one image but when moved slightly then the illusion would be revealed. The first layer would be a cut-out shape, the second would be printed acetate and the third would be a printed layer. 

Look out for the next posts coming pretty soon and you can see what actually happened, hopefully with a video once it's been approved the people I've made it for. All very exciting stuff.  

Comments for this entry



I thought you might be interested to know that I have started work on a new website, The Wheel of Life. The subject is 19th-century sequence-picture optical toys.

The Home page is here:

this links through to the main essays.

The Contents list is here:

this links to other pages.

There’s lots still to do to get the basic website finished (links to image sources, more main essays, etc) and then I’ll try to add something every month.

I hope you enjoy The Wheel of Life as it develops, and I’m always pleased to hear comments, and learn new things about the subject.

Best wishes,

Stephen Herbert

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