This ‘at-home’ workshop turns your drawings into animations by spinning them. We’ve done similar workshops at Phoenix before – you might remember drawing on a template and watching it move using an old-fashioned vinyl record player!
In this workshop we will use Scratch – a free online computer coding programme – to help create the animations from home.
This style of spinning animation was first developed way back in the early 1800s and was called a Phénakistiscope. It works by rotating a disc, which has different pictures around its edge. These pictures are what are known as the different frames of the animation. As the disc quickly spins, the frames of the animation pass the same point, and our eyes begin to see the individual frames as a single moving image.
With a traditional Phénakistiscope a second disc with windows is placed above the spinning one. This stops the animation from becoming a big blur.
To get around this with our Scratch version, we spin the disc in steps. We have to decide how many steps are needed based on the frames in our animation. This allows us to create a steady and smooth animation.
You can see an example from 1833 included in the Scratch project.
A pdf version of the instructions for this workshop is available to download here.