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Arts and Crafts

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scanimation Art

I am not sure what they are called, but I love those little trinkets which give you one imagine when you looked at it and showed another when you slightly move it. Scanimation takes it a step further. It actually takes it several steps further, because it really brings a picture to life.

Scanimation is an animation technique which makes use of a six repeating frames on an underlying sheet and a plastic striped acetate overlay. The overlay consists of black bars which are fixed in width and when moving the overlay back and forth over the frames, it creates the optical illusion that the object is moving.

This art was invented and created by Rufus Butler Seder who is an inventor, artist, and filmmaker and patented this new technology. His fascination with antique optical toys was the onset to this incredible type of art which can be found in his book 'Gallop!' and will marvel both youth and adults alike.

The process of creating this illusion of movement art is not easy, but it is doable. You will need software specifically designed for creating scanimation (you can find sites online which provide you with it, or let you use it) and a GIF animation, preferably black and white since those work best.

You will need a sheet of white paper and a clear, plastic one for the overlay. Load the GIF file into the software and adjust the speed. Two images will be saved; the background which will be printed on the white sheet and the scan-lines that go on the overlay. After printing out both, your scanimation is ready for action.

There are pre-made designs online ready for print out and in case you don't want to go through all that trouble then simply purchase the picture books with scanimation art. All you have to do then is flip the page!

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