Colossal recently shared a wonderful assortment of gifs made using Phenakistoscope discs, some of which are from The Richard Balzer Collection. These are a few of our favourites. Head over to Colossal to view the rest.
Some of you may recall that we shared a tentacular Phenakistoscope gif last year. But in case you aren’t already familiar with this fascinating device, the Phenakistoscope is an early animation device that used the persistence of vision principle to create an illusion of motion - largely considered to be the first mechanism for true animation. Invented by Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau, it uses a spinning disc attached vertically on a handle. Around the center of the disc a series of pictures was drawn corresponding to frames of the animation; around its circumference was a series of radial slits.
"So what kinds of things did people want to see animated as they peered into these curious motion devices? Lions eating people. Women morphing into witches. And some other pretty wild and psychedelic imagery, not unlike animated gifs today."
The Man With Mad Eyes