Zoetrope Animation

August 8, 2020

Animate your drawings with a low-tech device called a Zoetrope and watch as images come to life. 

Amazeum Tinkering Lead Alicia Jones gets you started making art move with a simple device that spins up your creativity. 

Materials | Supplies

  • paper strips
  • markers, crayons, pencils
  • turntable or rotating drum*

* see additional resources

Concepts Explored

  • creativity
  • animation
  • motion
  • optical illusions

Discovery Starters

Why does your drawing appear to move? 

Can you make the motion larger and smaller? How? 

What happens to detailed drawings? Do they appear to move more or less than those with fewer details?

Why are the slits in the Zoetrope important? 

Explore Further

Zoetropes are just one mechanical device to create animated drawings. Can you discover others? 

Try using a lot of color in your drawings, what happens? 

Do simple or complex drawings animate better in a Zoetrope?

Additional Resources

Sick Science video: Build a Zoetrope 

MYO video: Make Your Own Cardboard Zoetrope

Amazeum YOU activities Flipbook