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Activity Industry Sector
Arts, Media & Entertainment

Activity Originally Created By: Shawn Sullivan

Step-by-step Directions:

Part of Lesson Plan: Phenakistoscope “Spindle Viewer”

Activity Overview / Details

  1. Using sketch paper and a pencil, draw rough sketches of your different characters or layouts that you would like to use.
  2. In your sketches show how you would like your phenakistoscope animation to move.
  3. Select the rough animation that you would like to use to represent your idea for a phenakistoscope.
  4. make sure all 16 drawings maintain the same volume and size or your animation will not look correct
  5. Ink the lines of the rough animation.
  6. Then place that drawing into the scanner that is attached to your computer.
  7. Scan in the drawing so that the image will become digitized and can then be manipulated within the computer.
  8. Open your newly scanned image plus the phenakistoscope template in a paint program.
  9. Load the phenakistoscope template onto the computer. The template has 16 evenly spaced pie wedges which is the location for each animated drawing that is going to be used. On the outer edge of the phenakistoscope template there is 16 slots (see picture) these slots allow for viewing the image in the mirror.
  10. It is a good idea to save your work as a different file than saving over the original. If anything goes wrong you always have the original to work from.  Also when you are working on the computer make sure you save often.
  11. Transfer your scanned images to the phenakistoscope lining them up to face inward to the center of the phenakistoscope.
  12. On a separate layer, than the main image, use a line tool to trace your drawing.
  13. Make sure all areas, that are to be painted, are closed and no holes are left open for your paint to leak out.
  14. Using various tools such as paintbrush, paint bucket or airbrush, you can begin painting your animation.
  15. Make sure that when painting your project that the color is consistent and stays within the lines of the animation drawings.
  16. Work in layers this allows you to have more control over your artwork and make it easier to correct problem areas.
  17. When finished, save your project, then print.
  18. Glue the phenakistoscope template to black poster board.
  19. Cut out the disk with scissors.
  20. Cut out the slits using an x-acto knife.
  21. Using a thumbtack in the center of the phenakistoscope attach it to the eraser on a pencil.
  22. Hold the phenakistoscope facing a mirror and spin the disk.
  23.  Look through the slits to see your animation in motion.