A zoetrope creates the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of progressive images and using rotation to blend the images into a looping animation.
I wanted to create a digital zoetrope that functions primarily through the same rotational mechanisms as a physical zoetrope, but with a couple of extra touches specific of the digital medium.
Above is the image that is being rotated in the video to create the illusion that each of the 12 runners are running. To create this image, each frame of the runners’ animation was placed around a circle at 30-degree intervals. The intervals are 30 degrees because 360(the number of degrees in a circle) divided by 12(the number of frames in the running animation) is 30, thus allowing the runners to be evenly spaced.
The falling animation is a bit different from the running animation. Because the runners fall in unison, the zoetropes used for the falling animation only contain one pose at a time, and are switched out for every frame of the falling animation. This is the digital trick that would not be possible in a physical zoetrope.