Friday, March 27, 2009

The "Toy Story" Zoetrope

When I was growing up, my parents would bring my sisters and I to different summer lessons so we can do something productive. It started with swimming, the following year, art lessons and finally, yearly tennis summer workshops until we finish our grade school years. In tennis, we even joined competitions and I would meet my sister in the finals! After I won my first trophy, I knew I had to stop being "competitive." I was happy playing the sport, the win boosted my confidence but the most important lesson is to be content with the simple things. There was one match when I was up against a daughter of a stage father who was shouting vindictive words towards her daughter when she was making errors. Even if I was leading the match, I gave way and let the poor girl win. I wanted to end the girl's misery. Looking back, those "hardcore" junior players whom I have competed before are all gone from the tennis limelight. We have our different careers now and I am happy I made the decision early on to just enjoy the sport.
As I grew old, I began to choose the summer workshops I would like to take part in. In 1996, I enrolled in an intensive animation workshop. It was fun learning the basics of animation. I used a 16mm film camera and I appreciated every frame on the screen because for one second, I had to make 24 drawings or 24 movements!

The short film I made travelled to different film festivals from Amsterdam to Japan. Those trips were one of my first travels abroad.

My recent trip to Hong Kong Disneyland reminded me of my animation workshop. There's a" modern" Zoetrope from the "Toy Story"---one of the first fully computer generated animated films. It is also one of my fave films.

In reality, the figures of Buzz, Woody and Jessie are all static but once the spinning disk moves, it provides an illusion that they are creating movements. The strobe lights also helps with the persistence of vision which is a phenomenon of the eye to see an illusion. The animation is shown before your eyes LIVE!

Here's the video:

1 comment:

jepayuki said...

this is so fantastic!!! thanks twin for sharing this awesome video!