Zoetrope Animation

The Zoetrope is an animation tool invented in 1834 by somebody called William Horner. He originally called it the Daedalum, which means “Wheel of the Devil”. It is effectively a simpler version of Plateau’s ‘phenakistoscope’ as it does not require a viewing mirror. It’s more inconvenient than Plateau’s invention as more than one person can use it at the same time.

imgresAn example of a Zoetrope.

There are some advantages to animating with a Zoetrope. These include being able to create and view things relatively easily. Another advantage is that the speeds you spin it at can differ depending on how you want your animation to be seen. There are also disadvantages to using a Zoetrope for animation. They are quite expensive to buy so they will be hard to get hold of. The animations also do not last very long. For example, when making our Zoetrope animation, we could only use 10 frames of different pictures.

IMG_5443An image of me creating the frames for my animation.

Whilst making my own example, I was able to see the limitations to this technique. This is because I saw that, whilst it does not take as long as other methods, it is still a rather time consuming process. I also saw that it is fairly easy to do as you can see the continuity of each frame by looking back at what you just drew.


Above is a link to a video of my Zoetrope.

‘The Galloping Horse’ is a very early example of Zoetrope animation. This was groundbreaking at a time when people were not used to seeing a moving image in such a way. This is the idea of single images being used to create the illusion of a moving image.

hqdefaultAn image of ‘The Moving Horse’ Zoetrope animation.


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