Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Make a Praxinoscope

"The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor to the zoetrope. It was invented in France in 1877 by Charles-Émile Reynaud. Like the zoetrope, it used a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a spinning cylinder. The praxinoscope improved on the zoetrope by replacing its narrow viewing slits with an inner circle of mirrors, placed so that the reflections of the pictures appeared more or less stationary in position as the wheel turned. Someone looking in the mirrors would therefore see a rapid succession of images producing the illusion of motion, with a brighter and less distorted picture than the zoetrope offered." (From Wikipedia)


-blank disc with pre-measured frames

Tips for Making Your Own Praxinoscope

1 - Think of simple shapes to draw. A dot could get bigger and bigger with each frame. A line could rotate like the hands of a clock or wag back and forth like a dog's tail. A smile on a face could turn into a frown.
2 - Make a practice copy of your 10-frame animation sequence in your sketchbook.
3 - Draw the extremes of the motion first and separate them with four empty frames. Go back and draw gradual changes in the frames between your key drawings.

4 - Arrange the frames in a clockwise sequence or so that they can work in either direction. The edge of the disc is the top and the center of the disc is the bottom of each frame.
5 - Keep in mind that your animated sequence repeats itself in the praxinoscope. It's a cycle. The drawing in the first frame follows the one in the tenth frame directly. The difference between these frames should be small.
6 - Draw in pencil first. Conference with Mr. Mark at any time and before you go back over your lines with Sharpie.
7 - Insert your disc into the praxinoscope. Spin and enjoy your animation!

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