What is the Term For an Early Form of Animation That Combined Sculpted Figures With the Illusion of Movement Using a Rotating Disc Or Screen?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

What is the term for an early form of animation that combined sculpted figures with the illusion of movement using a rotating disc or screen?

Animated movies are part of a long tradition in storytelling, visual arts and theatre, with roots in shadow play, mechanical slides used in magic lantern shows (especially phantasmagoria) and the use of fanciful moving images in illustration, caricature and comic strips. The animation techniques of the 1900s, like the phenakistoscope and the zoetrope, allowed multiple viewers to view a sequence of pictures in motion at one time.

By the 1940s, experimentation with computer graphics had begun but had not garnered much attention until commercial (coin-operated) video games began to be marketed in the 1970s. It was around this time that Disney and other studios also started to produce cartoon series for TV, including such classics as Walter Lantz's Adventures of Pow Wow and Jim and Judy in Teleland.

Georges Melies' fantasy and trick films released between 1896 and 1913 occasionally included elements that resembled animation. For example, painted props or creatures were moved in front of painted backgrounds and the film was retraced to create each new frame. Later he pioneered a peg system to make it easier to align drawings and a "slash and tear" technique that allowed him to avoid drawing the background or other motionless parts for each new frame - instead he cut out the previous drawing, replaced it with a new one and erased the old drawing.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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