Task 3 – Animation

In this weeks seminar we were set our third task. This one revolves around animation, and has two main aspects to it:
1. Generate a 12 frame hand-drawn sequence using the Praxinoscope provided, and digitize it to create either an animated gif or a video sequence.
2. Create a short experimental sequence using a still camera, smartphone, or video camera which explores the technique of ‘stop-motion’ animation.
The theme of ‘cycle’ is to be maintained through both parts of this task.

Early animation made use of both the Praxinoscope and the Zoetrope. 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. Like the zoetrope, the praxinoscope 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.
This is an example of a modern day use of the zoetrope:

Animation has evolved greatly from early hand drawn pieces, such as ‘The Sinking of the Lusitania’:

Stop motion animation involves taking multiple still images, with the subject moving slightly in each one, then combining them all together to create a video or gif. This is demonstrated in ‘Fresh Guacamole’ by Youtube user Pes:

Many animation techniques have been around for a long time, for example, pixillation. This animation of humans was first famously shown through ‘Neighbours’ by McLaren in 1952:

Although I would like to try some pixillation, I don’t think I have the time or the necessary skills to produce a piece of work worth watching, so I think I will stick to basic stop motion for now. However, in the future when I am more experienced with this kind of animation I may like to give it another try.

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