Zoetropes and Praxinoscopes

Zoetropes and Praxinoscopes

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During the 19th century, the study of the peculiarities of the human eye gained great importance and it was discovered that if 16 images of a movement that takes place in a second are made to pass in succession also in a second, the persistence of vision unites them and makes them view as a single moving image.

The word Zootrope comes from the Greek Zoo (alive) and trope (that turns). The zootrope or daedalum was invented in 1834 by the Englishman Willian George Horner, it consists of a series of drawings printed on paper bands placed inside a rotating drum mounted on a shaft. In the middle of the cylinder, a series of vertical grooves, through which you look, allow moving images to be perceived when turning the device.

praxinoscope it is a device similar to the zoetrope invented by Émile Reynaud in 1877 and patented on December 21 of that year. The viewer looks over the drum, inside which there is an inner wheel with mirrors at an angle, which reflect images drawn on strips of paper located around it. As a result, the person observes a sharp sequence, a stable animation where the images merge and achieve the animated effect.

The type of movement of the praxinoscope consists of a sequence of movements in which the same action is continuously repeated, thus creating a cyclical action marked by the activation and deactivation of the operating mechanism of each object. In this class of optical toys, the gaze and manipulation of the object are crucial aspects. The viewer's gaze will be immobile as he will observe how these events occur in front of him. These are activated, setting the rhythm to your liking, by the same person watching.

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