Praxinoscopes

The Praxinoscope was invented in 1877 by a Frenchman named Charles Reynaud. It was the first device to overcome the issue of picture distortion which was caused by looking through moving slots. It was better than the Zoetrope because instead of having to look through the viewing slits you can look into an inner circle of mirrors. We see the reflections instead of the actual drawings. Because of this advance is swiftly replaced the Zoetrope in being the most popular device for viewing animation.

A strength of the Praxinoscope are that it produces a clearer image than its predecessor. The image is much less distorted due to the viewing slits and mirrors. There are also some weaknesses to the Praxinoscope. Like the Zoetrope, they are expensive to both buy and make.  It is also difficult to use in terms of creating your own animations. The boxes that you have to draw in can be difficult to use as they spiral round, meaning that images can appear construed and distorted.

imgres-1An image of an early Praxinoscope.

One of the earliest examples of a Praxinoscope animation was a variation of the ‘Galloping Horse’ animation. This was similar to the animation on the Zoetrope and featured the same ideas of tricking the viewer into seeing a moving object when in reality they are just seeing a variety of similar still images.

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