CREDIT: Still from Katy Beveridge’s bicycle zoetrope video
The zoetrope, meaning wheel of life, is a piece of pre-cinema technology that produces the illusion of movement by presenting static images in quick succession (see the image below). The zoetrope was a Victorian invention, but the basic principle, known as the persistence of vision, is the same as in cinema.
CREDIT: Wikipedia. Modern replica of Victoria zoetrope.
London-based graphic designer Katy Beveridge is the most recent person to have created a version of the zoetrope, attaching paper cutouts to the wheels of bicycles. The wheels were filmed spinning then later slowed down to around twenty-four frames per second (the wheels spinning in real time would have been a blur). The rotating snow-flake designs produce the magical visual effect of bobbing gears, puffs of smokes and other abstract forms.
Decidedly more elaborate, when Pixar wanted to show the public how animation works they built an enormous three-dimension zoetrope. Eighteen sculptures of Woody from Toy Story (and eighteen of Buzz, eighteen of Jesse and so on), each slightly different than the last, are rotated on a plate under strobe lighting to create the illusion of movement.