Making a Praxinoscope

A praxinoscope is a development of the zoetrope. It was pioneered in France by Charles Emile Reynard in 1877. Instead of looking through tiny slits and it being incredibly hard to see, Reynard introduced the idea of mirrors. A band of images is placed flat along the bottom of the contraction and then an inner circle of mirrors is placed in the centre. This makes it easier to see the animation and also looks far more realistic. The inner circle of mirrors gives the praxinoscope a far more aesthetically pleasing appeal to the object making it far more interesting to look at. Below is a little video explaining the process and me having a go at this technique.


I decided to use the umbrella idea from my last blog so I can see the difference between a zoetrope and paxinoscope. The umbrella is far more successful with this new technique as it’s so clear to see what the animation is about. It also looked a lot smoother and more like an animation than it did previous. It was so much easier to see and there was no need to strain the eyes to see what was happening. However, when looking through I did see two umbrellas. This can be quite a negative impact on this method due to it can be very confusing.  I also think that only being able to use ten frames/drawings restricts the story being told and has to be kept simple.

When researching historic paxinoscope’s created by Reynard and this video appeared. It is a monkey playing a violin. The drawing is very basic and the movement is an arm moving side to side . Hours would have been spent drawing out these images making sure they are completely seamless. Although it looks like a moving animation, it’s still jumpy and clearly looks like it has been formed by drawings. When it was been drawn its noticeable that the table moves positions throughout. The table levitates in different frames. This is because when drawing out the imagery precise measurements were not made.


Praxinoscopes have then been modified as time goes on just like the zoetrope. Similarly, 3d models have been created which replaces the still images. The video below uses mirrors to reflect this glasswork that has been imbedded within the glass. When spun a horse inside gallops. The same sort of imagery is still drawn due to the amount of frames the praxinoscope uses. This animation still has quite a jumpy effect to it but the story is obvious to see. The glass effect gave a more appealing look than it did before so not only is the animation impressive, the glasswork becomes a feature to the technique. Compared to one of the early made praxinoscope’s the horse staying in the exact same position at all times, this makes it look far more realistic as a horse wouldn’t levitate when running.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s