I tried to brainstorm some really complex ideas for the 3d zoetrope, like I wanted to have a cat turn into a crucifix and back into a cat but have it set up so the shadow cast by the cat did the opposite, start as a crucifix, turn into a cat and back. After thinking about how that would possibly actually work, I decided to do something simpler, and used a story I’ve told countless other times—a cat eats its own poop. To make it a loop, I had the poop turn into a flower. It could have stayed poop and I kind of wish that it had, but the flower looks nice and adds color.
I started by tracing a record and cutting it out of paper, then printing a circle broken into 16 even slices and tracing that on the record shaped paper. I started with the flower just growing from poop and then being eating to make sure my slices were even enough to produce the animation effect.
Then I started making cats. I had only one bag of pipe cleaners, so I made alternating colors pink and purple, and they had black heads.
Once I had the process for making the body and head down, making sixteen wasn’t so bad.
After I finished that I experimented with the turn table.
As you can see, the black heads didn’t work. They got lost in the darkness and didn’t read as part of the cat body. Fortunately, the heads were just attached by twisting the pipe cleaners, so I could twist them right off.
The pink and purple heads looked much better.
The video documentation is pretty glitchy because the strobe speed and camera speed do not match, but I think you can basically see the effect.