Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to Make a Zoetrope

"A zoetrope is one of several pre-film animation devices that produce the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings or photographs showing progressive phases of that motion. The name Zoetrope was composed from the Greek root words zoe, ‘life’ and tropos, ‘turning'’

"The zoetrope consists of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. On the inner surface of the cylinder is a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures across. The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion." (From Wikipedia)

Zoetrope Examples (From Eye Think, Inc.)


-blank strip with pre-measured frames

Tips for Making Your Own Zoetrope (From Eye Think, Inc.)

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 - Draw the extremes of the motion first and separate them with five empty frames. Go back and draw gradual changes in the frames between your key drawings.
3 - To animate a metamorphosis, or one thing transforming into something else, draw your first image in frame one and the image you will transform it into in frame seven. Use the frames between one and seven to draw the gradual changes of the metamorphosis. You can copy these "in betweens" in reverse order in frames eight through eleven to complete the cycle.
4 - Keep in mind that your animated sequence repeats itself in the zoetrope. It's a cycle. The drawing in the first frame follows the one in the twelfth frame directly. The difference between these frames should be small.
5 - Draw in pencil first. Conference with Mr. Mark at any time and before you go back over your lines with Sharpie.
6 - Insert your strip into the zoetrope, Make sure it is the right side up with images facing the center of the drum. Slide the bottom edge of the strip into the narrow trough inside the drum. Spin the zoetrope clockwise and enjoy your animation!

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