3D Zoetrope Projection Mapping by Graeme Hawkins

Hands down the coolest thing I’ve seen in the past week–heck, in the past month! Graeme Hawkin, the mad Scottish animation scientist who I profiled last year, continues to expand his experiments with 3-D zoetropes. The evolution of his zoetrope process and the making of this piece is documented extensively on his website Retchy.com so if you have questions, go there first. The hypnotic effect is achieved through a relatively basic concept–projection mapping onto a three-dimensional model rotating on a turntable. It reminds me of some of the performances I saw last year at the Elektra festival in Montreal, where artists created visual experiences that existed in a three-dimensional space instead of straight-ahead on a flat screen.

Here is a video of the turntable zoetrope that Graeme built from balsa wood minus the projection mapping:


  • http://dana-draws.blogspot.com Dana T

    So trippy and awesome! I love how the second video almost makes it look like stop motion.

  • http://www.professorelliot.com Elliot

    3d zoetropes are amazing!

    There is actually a really detailed one at Disneyland for Toy Story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5khDGKGv088&feature=related

    • http://silverfishcloset.com David Montgomery

      Similarly there is the darker, more surrealist work of Gregory Barsamian http://gregorybarsamian.com/

      I’m curious as to how these things come across in person with the strobe light. I haven’t yet seen one live.

      • http://www.professorelliot.com Elliot

        That’s some incredible work! I’d love to see his pieces in person.

      • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

        I saw a huge piece of Barsamian’s at the Platform animation festival in Portland. It was amazing and powerful, it really did look like stop motion in front of your eyes (of course I couldn’t look for long the strobing started to give me a headache). The Blue Man Group also used figures in their stage show, mesmerizing. The one at Disneyland (specifically California Adventure) is probably the most compelling, because there is so much going on. There was even a crude one at the California State Fair last year, that used PVC figures of Simpsons, Pink Panther, Mr Bill and others.

      • http://artofmatthewlong.blogspot.com Matt Long

        The Studio Ghibli museum has one you can see a video of here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybex-ujHHKA I first saw it back in 2005, not sure how long they had it before then but it blew me away the first time I saw it. The Pixar one improved upon it in nearly every way but I like the charm of the Ghibli one more.

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    The coolest thing at the MoMA Pixar exhibit a few years back was the zoetrope. Also, it’s tough to go wrong if you use Battles for your music.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    I think I want to be an animation scientist when I grow up.

  • http://www.happyduckling.com Gili Dolev

    Very, Very cool Graeme! And crazy! I love the colours, music and timing. I’m sure it makes a great VJing experience.