News: Zoetrope + Bicycle Wheel = Cyclotrope

Zoetrope + Bicycle Wheel = Cyclotrope

Kudos to student Tim Wheatley, who came up with this incredibly nifty DIY animation using a bicycle wheel, cardboard cut-outs, and wire to create a magical reinvention of the classic zoetrope, Earth's earliest form of animation (it first surfaced in China around 180 AD!). Simply give it a spin, and the animation comes to life.


Inspired to make your own? First, learn the basic principles of the zoetrope here or here. Next, take a little advice from Tim to add the "cyclo" element:

"My first test used lumps of blue tack and plasticine attached to the spokes of a removed bike wheel. The spokes easily divided the wheel up evenly into 18 sections. I used my compact digital camera to film it at 10 frames-per-second. The slow frame rate meant the wheel did not have to spin fast so I could keep it at a constant speed much easier. My compact camera has no manual setting of the shutter speed which meant all the film was blurred. To get a better effect I decided I needed to keep the camera filming at the slow frame rate, but needed a much shorter exposure and a lot more light on the wheel to counter balance this."

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