Friday, May 04, 2012

Two Foto Animator: hand-cranked optical animation machine

A very good friend to The Automata / Automaton Blog, Joe Freedman of LEAFpdx in Portland, Oregon has come up with another great laser-cut wooden machine. If you don't recall, Freedman has brought us the hand-cranked Retroscope animation machine, the Weird Gears box set, and the divine PrimoGraf drawing machine among other things.

He's done it again with his latest optical animation toy called the Two Foto Animator shown here. The machine is made of cherry and walnut with brass fittings. The project is now seeking funding on

From the Kickstarter description:

The neat thing about two image animation is that your brain does all the drawing of the in-between frames. If you see a photo of a person with an arm that is raised and then another photo with the arm lowered, your brain says 'Aha, there must be motion!' And then your brain makes the motion seamless. Very cool! Since you're only using two photos for each movie, it's easy to produce your own animation cards. Think of it as a real life steampunk animated gif!

The good news is they have already met their minimum goal. Joe Freedman produces carefully crafted products, but he always has ideas to make them even better. It's not to late too contribute! The extra funding will allow him include more features. This is sure to be delightful optical toy!

Here's a link to the Two Foto Animator page on Kickstarter.


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