How to make a zoetrope? Home

This instrument is known as the forerunner of cinema and cartoons, it is an optical illusion, through a drum with a series of static images that, when put into motion, give life to an animated sequencewithout the brain noticing the difference when it changes from one image to another.

How to make a zoetrope?

If you want to have fun at home or find a interesting optical experiment, making a zoetrope is an excellent idea, this instrument can help you create new stories and tell them, with the effect of an animation; therefore below I will teach you how to do it with your own hands and few materials that are within your reach.

The materials to use;

To carry out this project, you will only need the following materials:

  • Black and white cardstock (or colors of your choice)
  • Plasterboard
  • 1 ruler
  • Scissor
  • cutter
  • Compass
  • hot silicone
  • pencil and eraser
  • Fine and thick markers
  • Plastic cup
  • Bedbugs

Step 1.- Mark a circle on the cardboard and another two on the cardboard

with the compass mark 3 circles of 15cm in diameter, the 1st on papier mâché and the other two on black cardboard; to make them you just have to open the compass in half the measure you want (for 15cm half is 7.5cm)

Step 2.- Once traced you must cut them

Mark with the tip and trace the circles, once you do them, cut them with scissors or a cutter

Step 3.- Cut a long strip of cardboard to make the zoetrope drum

Make the drum shape of the zoetrope by marking a strip on the black construction paper. 14cm wide by 49cm longcut it using the scissors or the cutter

Step 4.- Mark the tabs on the cardboard strip to fix the drum

After cutting, on it you must mark an edge where the cardboard will be fixed, this edge will be 1.5cm wide, trace lashes 2 cm wide and then make a diagonal line across them

Step 5.- Cut the tabs in the shape of a triangle

Cut the tabs along the diagonal linesat the end they will be in the shape of a triangle (this will be the bottom edge)

Step 6.- It is time to draw the zoetrope windows

Mark a 1.5cm wide margin on the top edge and mark the width of the windows which will be 5cm by 5cm long, then draw a smaller window 0.5cm long

Step 7.- Cut them with the cutter

Repeat this process until you reach the end of the strip and with the cutter cut the windows 0.5cm

Step 8.- Join the base of the drum with the cardboard strip that is the body of the zoetrope

Glue one of the black circles to the cardboard (this will be the base). Glue the strip of black cardboard to the base circle using the tabbed edge, place a dot of silicone on each tab and edge until you reach the end

Step 9.- Stick the second base on the joint to cover and reinforce the first

To hide the tabs, glue the 2nd circle of cardboard over them; done this already the zoetrope drum will be ready

Step 10.- Assemble the rotating system of the zoetrope

For make the rotating systemcut a circle of cardboard the size of a coin and place it on a plastic cup upside down, then attach the glass to the drum using a thumbtack that goes through them

Step 11.- Test that the rotating system works

Check that it turns on its own axis, once ready proceeds to make the drawings for the animation

Step 12.- Cut a long strip of cardboard and divide it into different windows

Start by cutting a strip on the white cardboard 5.5cm wide by 50cm long and leave a 2cm long edge on it to fix it; then draw windows 6cm long on it

Step 13.- Draw the sequence of the animations in each of these windows

Make the drawings that must be sequential so choose a theme (man dancing) in each window, draw the man doing a different movement, trace with pencil, then mark and paint with markers

Step 14.- Place the animations inside the zoetrope, done!

Finally, fix the strip on the edges, so that it is in a circular shape and incorporate it into the drum that you made previously and ready! your zoetrope can be usedjust turn it and enjoy the moving figures

How to Make a 3D Zootrope?

The advancement of new technologies has allowed this instrument to evolve to the 3D world, the pixar zoetrope is well known with real Toy Story figures and not only in illustrations, however in this case, it is thanks to the 3D printers that can print models designed from scratch. Next I will explain the steps to do it.

The materials to use;

  • 3D modeling program
  • 3D printer

Step 1.- Choose if you want a simple or complex design

The easiest way to do it is just design the animation and a rotating system for her, however you can increase the complexity by designing a structure like the traditional zoetropes

Step 2.- Make sketches of the animations and the rotating system

You must know how it will work in reality, for this do sketches where animation transitions are reflected and how will the rotating device work

Step 3.- Draw all the necessary parts of the rotating system

This includes gears, levers and the base that will hold itamong other elements that can be included in the design of the zoetrope

Step 4.- In the 3D modeling program, make the design of these sketches

Move the sketches to 3D modeling programfor this it is important that you know how to use it, if you cannot take a course for it or ask for help from an expert

Step 5.- Take into account the measurements and shapes you took

Design piece by piece in the programtaking into account measurements and shapes, in this way, when they are printed, all the pieces will fit

Step 6.- Use 3D printer to print the design

Finally when the design is ready, save in the corresponding format and print with the help of a 3D printer

How to Make a Zootrope for Kids?

Can follow the design of How to make a homemade zoetrope? Just change the glass for a funnel and the theme of the animation, as well as the color of the cardboard, has to be more fun, use vibrant colored cardboard such as yellow and green or other colors to attract the attention of the little ones, you I explain the process.

The materials to use;

To make this zoetrope for children, You will only need to have the following materials on hand:

  • Colour cardboard
  • Plasterboard
  • Funnel
  • marbles
  • 1 ruler
  • Scissor
  • cutter
  • Compass
  • hot silicone
  • pencil and eraser
  • Fine and thick colored markers

Step 1.- Trace three circles on cardboard and cardboard

with the compass trace 3 circles of 15cm in diameter, the 1st on papier mâché and the other 2 on one of the cards; to make them you just have to open the compass in half the measure you want (for 15cm half is 7.5cm)

Step 2.- Mark the mouth of the funnel in the center of the circle and cut it

Mark with the point and make the circle, then measure the diameter of the mouth of the funnel; Mark and cut a circle of this size on the center of the first 3 circles

Step 3.- Cut a strip of cardboard to form the body of the zoetrope

Make it zoetrope drum shape, marking a strip of the same cardboard 14cm wide by 49cm long, cut it using scissors or a cutter

Step 4.- Trace the tabs where you will paste the body of the zoetrope

Then in it, you must mark a 1.5cm wide borderin it also mark tabs 2 cm wide and then make a diagonal line across them

Step 5.- Cut these tabs in the shape of a triangle

Cut the tabs along the diagonal linesat the end they will be in the form of a triangle (this is the bottom edge)

Step 6.- Mark the windows where the animations go in the body of the zoetrope

draw a 1.5cm wide margin from the top edge, also mark the width of the windows which will be 5cm by 5cm long, then mark smaller windows 0.5cm long

Step 7.- Cut the windows of the animations

Repeat this process until you reach the end of the strip and with the cutter cut the windows 0.5cm

Step 8.- Join the body of the zoetrope to its base

Glue one of the circles to the cardboard (this will be the base). Glue the strip of cardboard to the base circle from the edge with tabs, to do this place a dot of silicone on each one and skirt it to the end

Step 9.- Reinforce the base and cover the joints by placing another circle

To hide the tabs, glue the 2nd circle of cardboard about them; Once this is done, the zoetrope drum will be ready

Step 10.- Assemble the rotating system by fitting the zoetrope into the funnel

To make the rotating system, place the funnel upside down and fit the drum of the zoetrope at the tip of it through the circle that we cut in the middle, place the marbles and verify that it rotates on its own axis

Step 11.- Cut another strip of cardboard and divide it into windows to make the animations

For the animation, start by cutting a strip of white card 5.5cm wide by 50cm long and leave a 2cm long edge on it to fix it; later trace windows 6cm long

Step 12.- Draw the sequence that corresponds to each window for the animation

Make the drawings, they must be sequential so choose a topic that interests the child, in each window you must draw a different sceneexample if it is a swimming fish, it must be in a different position each time

Step 13.- Finish joining the ends of the cardboard and place it inside the zoetrope

Finally, fix the strip at the edges, so that it is circular and add it to the drum what you did before Ready!, and the children can enjoy and have fun Playing

We have reached the end of this article, we hope that this information will be useful for you to carry out funny zoetropes homemade or in 3D with your own hands, finally, I want to invite you to continue enjoying our content in future posts if you want to know how to make any project from scratch.

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