phenakistoscopes

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PP’s Eimhin was asked design the inaugural trophy for the Irish Animation Awards, taking place in Dingle this month.
Above you can see a prototype in action, as well as the finished digital design. The final piece will be fabricated by the Lee Brothers and awarded to the winners on Friday the 13th of March!

You can see a longer post showing the process on our website: http://paperpanther.ie/blog

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Incredible Vintage Animated Gifs

Nearly 155 years before the first animated gif appeared in 1887, Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau unveiled an invention called the phenakistoscope, a device that is largely considered to be the first mechanism for true animation. The simple gadget relied on the persistence of the vision principle to create the illusion of images in motion.

The phenakistoscope used a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the disc’s center were a series of drawings showing phases of the animation, and cut through it were a series of equally spaced radial slits. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the disc’s reflection in a mirror. The scanning of the slits across the reflected images kept them from simply blurring together, so that the user would see a rapid succession of images that appeared to be a single moving picture.

Though Plateau is credited with inventing the device, there were numerous other mathematicians and physicists who were working on similar ideas around the same time, and they too were building on the works of Greek mathematician Euclid and Sir Isaac Newton who had also identified the principles behind the phenakistoscope.

source 1, 2, 3, 4

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A Short History of the Phenakistoscope, The Original Animated GIF

The optical toy, the phenakistoscope, was an early animation device that used the persistence of vision principle to create an illusion of motion. It was invented by Joseph Plateau in 1841.The phenakistoscope used a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the disc’s center were a series of drawings showing phases of the animation, and cut through it were a series of equally spaced radial slits. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the disc’s reflection in a mirror. The scanning of the slits across the reflected images kept them from simply blurring together, so that the user would see a rapid succession of images that appeared to be a single moving picture. A variant of it had two discs, one with slits and one with pictures; this was slightly more unwieldy but needed no mirror. Unlike the zoetrope and its successors, the phenakistoscope could only practically be used by one person at a time.

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Before Records Made Sound, They Made Moving Pictures & Were Called Phenakistoscopes

These Proto-GIFs of the 19th Century Put Today’s GIFs to Shame

GIFs as we know them may date from the 1980s; as analog concepts, though, they’re much older than that. The principles of motion-making were recognized by Euclid. Starting in the 1800s, scientists and inventors and hobbyists began experimenting with technologies that would fool the eye into perceptions of motion. In 1832, the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau invented a device he called the phenakistoscope (from the Greek phenakizein, “to deceive or cheat”)—a rod-mounted disc that, when spun, created the illusion of motion. There was also the thaumatrope, a double-sided card that simulated motion when it was twirled between two pieces of string. There was also, in 1879, Muybridge’s famous zoopraxiscope

As new technologies created new venues for motion graphics, artists eagerly took advantage of them. The earliest GIFs—GIFs in spirit, before there were GIFs in practice—ranged in content, like their digital counterparts, from curiosity to artistry, from the banal to the brilliant. Which is a fact appreciated by Richard Balzer, who has spent the past 40 years accumulating a collection of early animation technologies. Balzer, the subject of a great profile in The Verge, has spent the past five of those years curating a virtual museum of his collection—including drawings and photographs of the 19th-century animations he’s gathered, as well as images of the technologies themselves. And he has begun converting those early moving images into GIFs that he has, in turn, posted to his Tumblr.

The animations range, awesomely, in style and tone.

Read more. [Image: The Richard Balzer Collection]