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Eadweard James Muybridge--Zoopraxiscope--1879-The first movie projector in history--Amazing moments

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Published on Apr 12, 2013

Eadweard James Muybridge (pron.: /ˌɛdwərd ˈmaɪbrɪdʒ/; 9 April 1830 -- 8 May 1904) was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion and in motion-picture projection. He immigrated to the United States as a young man but remained obscure until 1868, when his large photographs of Yosemite Valley, California, made him world famous. Muybridge is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion in 1877 and 1878, which used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-action photographs, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip used in cinematography.

In the 1880s, Muybridge entered a very productive period at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, producing over 100,000 images of animals and humans in motion, capturing what the human eye could not distinguish as separate movements. He spent much of his later years giving public lectures and demonstrations of his photography and early motion picture sequences. He also edited and published compilations of his work, which greatly influenced visual artists and the developing fields of scientific and industrial photography.

In 1872, the former governor of California Leland Stanford, a businessman and race-horse owner, hired Muybridge for some photographic studies. He had taken a position on a popularly debated question of the day — whether all four feet of a horse were off the ground at the same time while trotting. The same question had arisen about the actions of horses during a gallop. The human eye could not break down the action at the quick gaits of the trot and gallop. Up until this time, most artists painted horses at a trot with one foot always on the ground; and at a full gallop with the front legs extended forward and the hind legs extended to the rear, and all feet off the ground. Stanford sided with the assertion of "unsupported transit" in the trot and gallop, and decided to have it proven scientifically. Stanford sought out Muybridge and hired him to settle the question. In 1872, Muybridge settled Stanford's question with a single photographic negative showing his Standardbred trotting horse Occident airborne at the trot. This negative was lost, but the image survives through woodcuts made at the time (the technology for printed reproductions of photographs was still being developed). He later did additional studies, as well as improving his camera for quicker shutter speed and faster film emulsions. By 1878, spurred on by Stanford to expand the experiments, Muybridge had successfully photographed a horse at a trot; lantern slides have survived of this later work. Scientific American was among the publications at the time that carried reports of Muybridge's groundbreaking images.

Stanford also wanted a study of the horse at a gallop. Muybridge planned to take a series of photos on 15 June 1878 at Stanford's Palo Alto Stock Farm. He placed numerous large glass-plate cameras in a line along the edge of the track; the shutter of each was triggered by a thread as the horse passed (in later studies he used a clockwork device to set off the shutters and capture the images). The path was lined with cloth sheets to reflect as much light as possible. He copied the images in the form of silhouettes onto a disc to be viewed in a machine he had invented, which he called a zoopraxiscope. This device was later regarded as an early movie projector, and the process as an intermediate stage toward motion pictures or cinematography.

The zoopraxiscope is an early device for displaying motion pictures and it may be considered the first movie projector (1879). The zoopraxiscope projected images from rotating glass disks in rapid succession to give the impression of motion. The stop-motion images were initially painted onto the glass, as silhouettes. A second series of discs, made in 1892--94, used outline drawings printed onto the discs photographically, then colored by hand. Some of the animated images are very complex, featuring multiple combinations of sequences of animal and human movement. The device appears to have been one of the primary inspirations for Thomas Edison and William Kennedy Dickson's Kinetoscope, the first commercial film exhibition system. Images from all of the known seventy-one surviving zoopraxiscope discs have recently been reproduced in the book Eadweard Muybridge: The Kingston Museum Bequest (The Projection Box, 2004).

Resources: wikipedia.org, imdb.com
Music: Kevin Mac Leod (www.incompetch.com) licensed under Creative Commons licence http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-... . Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...

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