**Sorry for the weird aspect ratio of the video. Shot on my smartphone**
(There's a more detailed blog post on this project here: jenniferlinton.com/2019/07/11/experiments-with-phonotropes/)
A phonotrope is a contemporary update to a zoetrope, a 19th-century pre-film animation device consisting of a cylinder with vertical slits and a sequence of still images placed inside. When a zoetrope is spun rapidly, a viewer can peer through the slits to see the animation. The phonotrope works on a similar principle to the zoetrope, but replaces the cylinder and vertical slits with a record turntable, lights, and a video camera. A polar grid is designed with a certain number of frames, and sequence of images is printed onto this grid. The grid is rotated on the turntable at a certain speed, with the animation made viewable when seen through a video camera set at a specific frame rate (the animation cannot be viewed with the naked eye).
This is a brand new medium for me, and it comes with a host of challenges and limitations. The size of each "frame" on a phonotrope is quite small (just slightly over 1-inch wide, on average) and this results in animation loops that are more vertically-oriented in their design. Images with high contrast definitely work best.
Here are the specifications for this phonotrope:
Two rings of vertical paper, one 12" in diameter and the second 8".
The 12" circle has 32 frames
The 8" circle has 16 frames
The phonotrope is rotated on the turntable at 45 rpm. The smartphone video used to capture the animation is set at 12 fps.