This one requires more explaining than the others, as it ended up being a ‘failure’ in some respects. Having exhausted my supply of nerdy reading material on automated music machines in early 2004, I moved on to reading / learning about rudimentary animation technology, since knowledge of praxiniscopes and the like is in such high demand in today’s job market.

     As Christmastime rolled around, I set out to combine a praxinoscope / phenakistoscope (sometimes spelled with an ‘i’) hybrid with the faux ‘music box’ concept I had constructed the previous year. The first step was to find something to animate. I ended up using frames from an old phenakistiscope disc that I found here. If all went according to plan, the animation should look like the image below:


     I divided the CD face up into 12 equal wedges in Illustrator and dropped each frame of the animation into a wedge. I ended up with a pretty decent recreation of the Phenakistiscope disc. Animating this disc required devising a way to construct a 12-sided, reflective cylinder. I tried several different methods, and what I finally ended up doing was getting some reflective cardstock and folding the cylinder together from a template I cooked up in Illustrator.


     In theory, the reflective surfaces on the 12-sided cylinder in the center of the photo below should reflect each frame of animation as it rotates. In the end, it never really came together as well as I wanted it to. The animation sort of works, but the seam in the cylinder disrupts everything. If, for some reason, you share these bizarre interests and would like to make an attempt at smoother animation, I’ve included .pdf files containg my template for the 12-sided cylinder and the CD Label below. You’ll be relieved to learn that this concludes the ‘Out-of-Season XMAS Crafts’ portion of our broadcast.


Music Box – “Caroline” (Harry Nilsson)

From: My Diningroom Table

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