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How To Create a Phenakistoscope

Watch more Animation Techniques videos: Subscribe to Howcast's YouTube Channel - The phenakistoscope is a predecessor of the flip book, but don't worry: it's easier to make than pronounce. Howcast uploads the highest quality how-to videos daily! Be sure to check out our playlists for guides that interest you: Subscribe to Howcast's other YouTube Channels: Howcast Health Channel - Howcast Video Games Channel - Howcast Tech Channel - Howcast Food Channel - Howcast Arts & Recreation Channel - Howcast Sports & Fitness Channel - Howcast Personal Care & Style Channel - Howcast empowers people with engaging, useful how-to information wherever, whenever they need to know how. Emphasizing high-quality instructional videos, Howcast brings you experts who provide accurate information in easy-to-follow tutorials on everything from makeup, hairstyling, nail art design, and soccer to parkour, skateboarding, dancing, kissing, and much, much more. Step 1: Sketch a plan of your animation Plan out your animation with sketches. There should be 8 to 12 steps, each representing a frame. Tip The best animations for a phenakistoscope are cyclical, like a horse galloping or a child jumping rope. Step 2: Draw a circle Anchor your compass point in the center of the stiff paper and draw a circle that just touches the edges. Leave a small mark where the compass is anchored. Tip If you're using a manila folder, cut it along the crease and use half of it as the stiff paper. Step 3: Bisect the circle Use the ruler to draw a faint line that bisects the circle. Step 4: Divide the circle into pieces Use the protractor to divide the circle into equally-sized "wedges," with each wedge representing a frame in your animation. Tip To divide the circle into eight wedges, each piece should be 45 degrees. For 9 wedges, 40 degrees; 10 wedges, 36 degrees; 11 wedges, 33 degrees; and 12 wedges, 30 degrees. Step 5: Cut out the circle Cut out the whole circle. Step 6: Cut slots Cut small rectangular slots about 1/8th inch wide by 1 inch long along the separating lines of each wedge. Start at the very outside of the circle and cut inward. Step 7: Make a small hole Poke a small hole through the center of the wheel, or slightly widen the one that is already there. Step 8: Repeat on drawing paper Repeat Steps 2 through 5 on the drawing paper, but make this circle 2 inches smaller in diameter. Step 9: Draw your animation On the drawing paper circle, create your animation step-by-step, clockwise around the circle. This is your animation wheel. Step 10: Align and cement the animation wheel With a small dabs of rubber cement on the back, align the animation wheel so that it is centered on the thick paper wheel. Allow 10 minutes for the rubber cement to dry. Tip The smaller wheel should come about to the slots you cut in Step 7. Step 11: Poke the thumbtack Poke the thumbtack through the animation wheel and the hole you created in the heavy paper... Step 12: Push the thumbtack into the eraser Push the thumbtack into the side of the pencil eraser. It should be in firmly enough to stick, but still loose enough for you to be able to spin the wheel freely. Step 13: Face the mirror Face the mirror, then hold your phenakistoscope up with the animated side pointed away from you. Step 14: Spin the phenakistoscope Gently spin the phenakistoscope while looking through the slits. The animation will appear in the mirror. Did You Know? The phenakistoscope was invented in 1832 by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau.
Length: 03:02


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