In our first session we were introduced to the idea of zoetropes and given the task of making one.
This was my preproduction plan of my zoetrope. I decided to make an animation of a dog chasing its tail. I sketched out a few very basic designs of how a wanted the dog to look, and I tried to keep it as simple as possible to make animating it easier. I also planned how I would animate it and what keyframes I would have.
The Zoetrope I made was an animation of a dog trying to catch its tail. I made it by simply drawing the frames and putting them in a cylindrical form and making them rigid by securing them with tape. I found that the illusion of motion was better achieved if there was more of a contrast in colour between the outside of the Zoetrope and the inside, so I put black electrical tape on the outside and left the inside white. I have learnt the importance of keeping a looping animation simple. I think that I made the animation a bit too complicated, so the effect was lost. If I were to do this task again, I would probably keep the animation simpler and spend a bit more time on drawing the frames (I felt like I maybe rushed drawing the frames and the animation could have been better if I’d have spent a bit more time with them).
History and Modern Designs
The Zoetrope was invented in 1834 by William Horner. It was inspired by Simon Stampfer’s Phenakistiscope animation disc from 1833.
Modern applications of the Zoetrope include Eric Dyer’s Zoetrope tunnel. In this sculpture, the spectator lays inside and the model begins to rotate around them. Then with a torch they can shine it on the moving walls and an animation will appear.