Animal Locomotion: Reanimating Muybridge’s 19th Century Illustrations with GIFs
The 19th century photographs by Eadweard Muybridge captured something that had previously been too fleeting for the human eye: the mechanics of animal locomotion.
In his 1893 book Descriptive Zoopraxography, or the Science of Animal Locomotion Made Popular, Muybridge described his most famous animal locomotion capture of a horse. The series of photographs aimed to settle a dispute over “the possibility of a horse having all of his feet free of contact with the ground at the same instant, while trotting, even at a high rate of speed.” The photographs revealed conclusively for the first time that a horse’s feet do indeed leave the ground all at once while in full gallop, the horse pulling its legs briefly underneath itself before sprinting forward.
Muybridge’s animal locomotion studies were a great success and he traveled around showing the horse and other creatures in motion through his “zoopaxiscope” that brought the series of frozen images to life in a sort of early stop motion movie projector. Collected in the Descriptive Zoopraxography book are some of these images, which were traced from his original photogravures. While you might not have a zoopaxiscope handy to reanimate the animals, we do have the magic of animated GIFs.
For many more of Muybridge’s dizzying GIFs, keep reading Animal Locomotion: Reanimating Muybridge’s 19th Century Illustrations with GIFs on Atlas Obscura…
Victorian house in Arcata, Ca
Although I’m not one for landscapes, or backgrounds in general… I made this illustration for a poster for a charity hair and make competition that had a Wizard of Oz theme. Eh at least it made me try something different.
POINT BLANK (1967) is a perfect revenge crime thriller set in Los Angeles. It can be argued that Lee Marvin’s portrayal of Walker is not that far removed from Schwarzenegger’s turn in THE TERMINATOR (1984). Both characters are single-minded in their quest and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. In both films, there is a mechanical efficiency to how they approach their tasks. They both speak only when necessary… and even then it is an exercise in minimalism. Lee Marvin is a physical force as terrifying as Arnold… and this is clearly displayed as he takes “The 160 Angriest Steps in Cinema History” to begin his revenge on those who wronged him. Watch and listen as his unbroken, unstoppable momentum drives the story forward… —vashivisuals.com
Recommended reading, viewing, and listening:
- Alexander Jacobs’ screenplay of Point Blank
- Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait by John Boorman is both a tribute to and an anecdotal reminiscence about the star of Point Blank who was also Boorman’s friend
- John Boorman and Soderbergh provide a fascinating commentary track included on the DVD of Point Blank
#Santa #Sketch ✒️