Zoetrope Prototype

Mon, 3 Sep 2012

I've been experimenting with a zoetrope based on the same mechanism as the turning turtle model. The base is slightly larger to house the spinning cylinder but the principle is the same. Turn the handle on the side of the box and the vertical shaft spins, rotating the zoetrope cylinder.

I've made the cylinder and the base as separate parts so that the animation can be changed easily. 

I put together an eight frame walk cycle for the inside of the cylinder. It works okay but a think a darker, more solid animation might work better. I'll have a go with one of the old Muybridge animations to see how that goes.

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Comments (11)

  • hugo leandro September 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Nice model, Rob. I think dark

    Nice model, Rob. I think dark color outside the cylinder helps it to give animation (some people say that happens because of the fence animation principles). Blue and black are the most commom but a nice dark blue degradation is well appreciated…Another important aspect is the rechangeable zoetrope band. Three of them, with different motifs in cheerful colors, primary and secondary ones, makes the zoetrope a piece of resistance! Good try!


    Thanks Hugo, I had noticed that many of the zoetropes I saw in my research were dark on the outside. I’m just a bit concerned about how much printer ink it might use. I’m currently putting together a cylinder where the slots reach right to the top edge… – RI – RI

    • hugo leandro September 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Yeah, Rob, you’re right. Some

      Yeah, Rob, you're right. Some of the vintage pre cinema animation devices also used to have the dark color only in the seeing area. The rest of the model is light color.

    • umehta September 4, 2012 at 1:57 am

      If we use two sided different

      If we use two sided different colored papers (available in origami stores), we can save the ink – print only on the side.

  • trishjoyce September 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    i am speechless
    i look


    i am speechless

    i look after a number of sick people …so i dont get as much time to play as i used to..

    when i do get time …one of the places i find enthralling is this site…all the ideas and things you make..the other members here and the forums …i find all good fun and relaxing.

    so i have just popped in

    i am amazed…

    and the excitement is starting to set in I cant wait .. its so good ….i have just had another look…

    its so cool …i am sure you are making the first paper zoetrope automata in the world…

    well in  this gals world anyway…

    I cant wait…and it sounds like your working on 8 frames ..great stuff…


    YEEEeeeEEEHHHHaaarrrrr mr rob rob ives mr ives . lol yeeeeehhhaaar


    thankyou T

    ps did i forget to mention how exited i was ….T..                                    i cant WAIT

  • Shelley Noble September 4, 2012 at 4:46 am

    This is super fantastic, Rob!

    This is super fantastic, Rob! Great paper machine design! woo hoo.


    I agree with dear Trish that you and this site are fully ingenious and inspiring.

  • Smelter September 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Rob, with a bit of tweeking,

    Rob, with a bit of tweeking, you could make a "Waltzer" fairground ride, which is not a million miles away from what is needed for the "All Seeing Eye"!



    Hah – nice idea! – RI

    • trishjoyce September 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      i dont think you have


      i dont think you have thought this thru…

      if you were to have a waltser made out of paper…it would crush the minute you sat on it… !!!


      what is this ' all seeing eye'' T.is it real does it see me …do i want it..what..what is it …lol

      • cool022883 September 5, 2012 at 1:13 am

        the all seeing eye was a

        the all seeing eye was a project rob was working on a while ago but apparently  he couldn't get the mechanism to work so it just got put off to the side and forgotten about.smelter had a link to the design of it in a previous post .but here is the link to the blog post of the seeing eye project


      • Smelter September 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

        Sir Lancelot: Look, my

        Sir Lancelot: Look, my liege!
        [trumpets play a fanfare as the camera cuts briefly to the sight of a majestic castle]
         King Arthur: [in awe] Camelot!
        Sir Galahad: [in awe] Camelot!
        Sir Lancelot: [in awe] Camelot!
        Patsy: [derisively] It's only a model!


        • trishjoyce September 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

          hahahha lol,
            i like the all

          hahahha lol,

            i like the all seeing eye i really do ( not as much as the zoetrope) but its really lovely

          looking.  Sorry smelter about the waltzer thing…maybe if you were to coat it in masses of pva

          (if ever it were made)… it may be strong enough ..

          yup i am a patsy…

  • Tank Commander September 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Wow! This is looking

    Wow! This is looking fantastic! I'm glad Trish is finally getting the zoetrope idea that she has endlessly searched for! Go for it Rob!!!! 🙂

Comments are closed.