“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)


  • http://www.arielvillaverde.com Ariel

    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.

  • http://debrasolomon.com debra j. solomon

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

  • http://silverfishcloset.com David Montgomery

    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!!

  • http://www.caricaturesbydave.com Dave Stephens

    That was simply marvelous – what a find!

  • http://www.animateme.me.uk Jens

    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

    http://www.jimlefevre.com/?page_id=200

    • http://www.retchy.com Retchy

      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.

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    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.

  • http://www.webcomicsnation.com/dholvrsn/index.php Doug Holverson

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

  • http://www.transience.com.au dave jones

    Hey Amid,

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

    Amazing monkeys
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC-cWJFf6j0&NR=1

    (making of)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzvQH7KrXF4

    Swimming
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=338NGhke39M

    Deeper
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7-GCcJbHbg

    possibly there are others if you dig around.

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

  • http://www.citoplasmas.com Irene Iborra

    Very interesting all these zoetrope/animation experiments!

    If you want to see one more:
    http://www.citoplasmas.com/vertrab.php?id=10
    Made with volume figures and the remains of a washing machine, a bycicle and a calimba.

    Congratulations for your blog!

    Greetings from Barcelona (Spain)