Animation dates back over 12000 years, as ancient cave drawings appear to be drawn, in such a way, as to create the illusion of movement.
At the beginning of animation, there was the zoetrope – or the “Wheel of Life”. The zoetrope is a small drum-type contraption, with slits around the side, and pictures on the inside, beneath the slits. These slits let people look through the slits to see the pictures move when the zoetrope was spun around – by hand! Since there was no electricity when Ting Huan invented it, in 180AD – nearly 2000 years ago, the zoetrope was spun manually.
Back then, though, the zoetrope was called “The Pipe Which Makes Fantasies Appear”. The zoetrope was founded and modernized again in 1834 by William Horner – a British mathematician at the time. He called it the “Wheel of the Devil” - though it is uncertain why. Since the zoetrope hadn't become popular until the 1860s, many other inventors and developers had come up with similar ideas all across the world.
The zoetrope was patented, and appropriately named, in America in the 1860s. The developers named it “zoetrope”, which meant the “Wheel of Life” - this was a much more appropriate name, since the zoetrope brought pictures “to life.”
Trivia – In 2008, the BRAVIA-drome was created in Italy. At 10 tonnes in weight, and 10 meters in width, it was declared in the Guiness World Records as the largest zoetrope in the world.
-In 1980, an artist called Bill Brand created a “linear zoetrope” in an unused subway, so that if people on trains look through the slits on a moving train, they can see the pictures “come to life”. Artists have sincebeen restoring and adding to this “masstransiscope”, as it is known.
In 1877, the zoetrope was improved upon, being developed into what is now called a “praxinoscope” or “action viewer”. A French inventor and science teacher called Charles-Émile Reynaud invented the praxinoscope. The praxinoscope... [continues]
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