Way back before production companies like Pixar flashed heart-warming animated movies before our eyes, and Saturday mornings became synonymous for cartoons, was a bedazzling pre-film animation device called the zoetrope. Popularized in the 19th century, a zoetrope produces the illusion of motion through a sequence of drawings or photographs, utilizing a spinning cylinder to carry on the sequenced motion. Although this majestic form of entertainment comes from centuries ago, it has found a revival of sorts thanks to the emergence of 3D printing technology.
In the past, we’ve covered a number of 3D printed zoetropes, each one unique in its own way. 3D printing technology was used to revive the classic spirit of the 19th century medium at the 2015 MakerFaire Singapore, and has also helped modernize the historic invention to meet the entertainment standards of the 21st century. Zoetropes have even inspired 3D printed motion-filled sculptures, as we’ve seen through John Edmark’s nature-induced artwork, called Blooming Zoetropes. Now, a Japan-based media artist by the name of Akinori Goto is utilizing 3D printing technology to create a dance performance within the zoetrope format.
Taking the basic concept of the classic zoetrope medium, Goto modernized it into his own unique art piece, utilizing a light source instead of a cylinder device to conjure up the animated image within his 3D printed structure. The 3D printed zoetrope appears to host a number of dancing ballerinas within it, the number of which will change depending on how much light is being delivered through it. Beginning with just a single dancing ballerina, Goto’s 3D printed zoetrope suddenly becomes full to the brim of twirling dancers made of light, each of which glides seamlessly throughout the structure. Generally, a strobe light would need to be used to create this modernized illusionary movement, but with just a thin slice of light, Goto was able to create this graceful dance number within his spinning structure.
Prior to creating the dancing ballerina zoetrope, Akinori Goto produced a similar model called toki, which means ‘time’ in Japanese. With toki, the artist captured the movement of a person walking and translated it into a series of data, which was then turned into a repeating loop and 3D printed as a zoetrope. Although the more simplified version was still quite astonishing, and was selected as a finalist at the 2015 YouFab Global Creative Awards, Goto decided to upgrade his zoetrope model from a simple stroll to a ballet number.
The enhancement given to his previous 3D printed zoetrope model seems to have paid off. With his latest iteration, Goto has already won both the Runner-up Grand Prix and the Audience Award during the Tokyo-based 2016 Spiral Independent Creators Festival, an annually held festival for next-generation artists and their artwork. As creative-types like Akinori Goto continue to reinvent classic art forms through 3D printing technology, we may soon be surrounded by a new generation of artwork that represents the innovations of our past in a whole new light (no pun intended).
You can watch the dancers from Goto’s latest 3D printed zoetrope in action in the video below. Discuss further in the 3D Printed Zoetrope forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: The Telegraph]