Best ever Victorian illusion?


Everything about this is wonderful.  Simplicity, great music and wonderful effect….

Any ideas how to create these images?


24 comments on “Best ever Victorian illusion?

  1. fie says:

    cool idea!!><thanks

  2. Paul Pearson says:

    1) Running man illusion cracked me up.

    2) I’ve seen this done in front of a camera, and the illusion did not work live, nor did it work in the viewscreen, only upon playback. Persistence of vision.

    3) Someone had too much time on their hands.

  3. Tony says:

    Awesome – anyone know where we can get those to be able to print them out ourselves?

  4. Dave Rickey says:

    Seems fairly straightforward, you start with a black and white animation, then print every nth (probably about 8) line of each frame, all superimposed and offset onto the same sheet. It would probably take only a few dozen lines of code in a specialized Photoshop filter for that part (creating the original animations would be another matter). Then you have a mostly blacked-out transparency that only shows one line’s worth at a time.

    Moving it smoothly enough to not mix frames would be touchy, but if you freeze it you can see it wasn’t always perfect and yet the illusion still carried through.


  5. fluffy says:

    It’s pretty simple to make these. First, your overlay just needs to have opaque bars with gaps between them which are sized such that for N frames of animation, you have 1 unit of clear and N-1 units of opaque. Then you have your frames of animation, and you cut them up into 1-unit strips and then put the first strip from the first frame, the second strip from the second frame, the third strip from the third frame, and so on, wrapping around. Then as you move the overlay, you get the illusion of motion.

    It’s sort of the mechanical opposite of a zoetrope.

  6. Matthew says:

    There are some cute children’s books using this technique – Kick! is one. The grating slides as you turn the page. Quite a startling effect when you first see it, though maybe more so for adults than kids who take it all for granted.

    Also, could you please turn off the wretched iPad theme for this site? It makes it borderline unusable, especially from Twitter.

  7. Rayne says:

    RICHARD- I am a subscriber to the person who made that video and they had made a how-to video

    Hope this helps. I would love to see what you do with it.

  8. Rob J says:

    Just out of interest…. Why Victorian?

  9. Lazy T says:

    (thanks for the opportunity to use one of my favourite words)

  10. Rufus Butler Seder has a series of kids books (Scanimation) that use this effect. They’re pretty cool. The images move as you turn each page.

  11. Grant says:

    WOW(ish). That’s all I can say.

  12. Magic Nuts says:

    Nice. I love the music. Does anyone know the name of the piece?

  13. […] Best ever Victorian illusion? Everything about this is wonderful.  Simplicity, great music and wonderful effect…. […]

  14. That’s really awesome! I really like the old flip-books with the animations in! They’re almost non-existant now 😦

  15. Denis says:

    Man, I’d love to get the print files for that. I teach a bunch of very enthusiastic 3 to 5 year olds, and I know it would just blow their tiny minds to see that in action!!

  16. Leonardo says:

    Star Wars version:
    A bit hard to see on video, but I’ve seen one on a bookstore and it is really nice.

  17. David Corney says:

    You can make your own with this software:
    You just need a set of simple photos, a printer and a blank acetate sheet. Enjoy!

  18. Nick says:

    The victorians had pacman? Wow!

  19. Jane O says:

    I have a little book called Magic Moving Images by Colin Ord, pub Tarquin, which has these in and the introduction describes how to make them from 6 frames of an animation.

  20. chuffythehorse says:

    Wow. Incredibly simple but so beautiful.

  21. jackjak says:

    i love this magical things ♥. ♥

  22. annoymous says:

    Very interesting and thought-provoking – possibilities could be endless.

  23. Jason Frost says:

    There’s some nice colour ones in the star wars book

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