“The Cyclotrope” by Tim Wheatley “The Cyclotrope” by Tim Wheatley

“The Cyclotrope” by Tim Wheatley

I’m really into zoetrope-related experiments this week, which is a line I don’t recommend using as a conversation starter at any party. Above is a funky riff on the idea by Tim Wheatley that uses a bicycle wheel:

The cyclotrope is a cycle of 18 images that is spun at a certain speed so that the frame rate of the camera filming it gives the illusion of animation.

Tim is currently a student at the University College Falmouth in Cornwall. More details about the project on his website.

(Thanks, Loring Robbins)

  • I’m always left pondering how they edit this style of animation.

    Nice stuff.

  • Kyle Remus

    That was so neat. I loved the cyclist animation at 1:05, quite creative.

  • Holy COW!!! this site ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Based on this and some of the previous posts it looks like a clever VJ could get away with a cheap video camera hooked up to a projector and a turntable.

  • Jay Sabicer

    A true study in ‘cycles’. In the mid-1980’s, I built a zoetrope out of matte board, particle board, a lazy-susan bearing and a discarded pottery wheel motor for a college course. The other students were amazed on how I was able to bring this all together, mind you, this was BEFORE the Internet.

  • Chris

    LOVING the zoetrope posts!!

  • That was simply marvelous – what a find!

  • I believe some of these folks, Tim especially as he mentions it on his blog, are influenced by Mr. Jim Le Fevre who’s been around with his phonotrope for a while


    • Yes, Jim’s been a great inspiration for me too and really generous, helpful and encouraging when it comes to anything zoetrope related.

      Great stuff Tim.

  • Love this! It’s great when you get back to the simplicity of animation, and how it can interact with real world objects and time.

  • I think it’s kind of awesome how this person was inspired to use an object so common that you tend to ignore it.

  • Hey Amid,

    Have you seen these giant bicycle powered zoetropes that were made by Peter Hudson at the burning man festival?

    Amazing monkeys

    (making of)



    possibly there are others if you dig around.

    I’d love to have a go at actually building something like this one day.

  • Very interesting all these zoetrope/animation experiments!

    If you want to see one more:
    Made with volume figures and the remains of a washing machine, a bycicle and a calimba.

    Congratulations for your blog!

    Greetings from Barcelona (Spain)