“The Bellows March” by Eric Dyer “The Bellows March” by Eric Dyer

“The Bellows March” by Eric Dyer

Eric Dyer‘s The Bellows March is a sublime way to end our unintentional zoetrope week on Cartoon Brew. I first saw Dyer’s film when I was jurying the Ottawa animation festival a couple years back. The complex visual patterns and rhythms in his short have the dual qualities of mathematical precision and natural organic beauty. Even after watching the film multiple times, it still boggles my mind how Dyer, who is a professor at University of Maryland Baltimore County, planned and choreographed the production. Below is a video with a behind-the-scenes look at the circular sculptures, dubbed cinetropes, that were made with 3-D printed parts:

Max Hathaway, who sent me the link to the film and who assisted Dyer on this short, is working on his own zoetrope-esque animation with stop-motion armatures mounted on an animation rig. He’s documenting the production of the short on his blog.

  • Meg Casey


  • Sir Richard

    Wow. Just… wow.

  • ken kahn

    This reminds of the song “Where have all the flowers gone” with its cycle of life theme.

  • Lovey thread of work Amid – ‘Bellows March’ is just georgeous. I also loved the Ghibli & Pixar constructions from a few years back…. and you must have seen Jim Le Ferve’s Phootropes? (http://www.jimlefevre.com/?page_id=200)

  • hey Phillip thanks for the Lefevre url . Really interesting and it has video of Greg Barsimians work which is amazing as well.

  • George Pal meets Bruce Bickford.

  • E. L. Kelly

    Technical limitations gave me quite an experience with “Bellows March.” For some reason, my spotty DSL connection is having one of its spottier days today, and the video ran faster than my Internet; a common problem, I know. But Vimeo’s instruction upon running out of information to process was to start the video from the beginning, meaning that I saw these little cycling bellows’ march-death-rebirth repeat, with a little bit more showing up each time, multiple times.
    That was the BEST POSSIBLE WAY to see this, in my mind. Bits of a cycle cycling, increasing in length and revelation bit-by-bit until the complete cycle is revealed. Ten minutes of sheer hypnosis.

  • I seldom if ever comment, but zoetrope week was utterly brilliant. And, thank you for bringing back my fascination with animation . . .

  • Absolutely astounding… The cognitive thought process necessary for making art like this is severly under-appreciated these days…

    This piece and the humans who made it are beautiful.

    I hope these Zoetrope animators will continue to grow and push the envelope.

    In some ways, they are the only true “3D” animators in the world.

  • KB

    The reception Bellows received at Sigg08’s Emerging Tech was a lot of fun too, especially when combined with a Japanese University’s shutter glasses research.

    Not to link dump but I want to spread the word! Another wonderful animator who worked on this is Ivy Flores! Her website is here: http://ivyflores.com/

    “Copenhagen Cycles” is another beautiful example of Dyer’s zoetrope work as well, you won’t be disappointed, these zoetropes looked like big, beautiful photograph cakes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2LCAhQob4w