Much like the Praxinoscope, an animated GIF image uses a series of seperate images or ‘frames’ to create the illusion of an endlessly moving image.
Using a pre drawn selection of images that make up a walking movement, selecting a different image or ‘layer’ for each frame and nudging each movement forward slightly each time I was able to create the illusion of a man walking across the picture.
1: 12 frame animated sequence
The sun and moon cycle was used to showcase the exponential curve of complexity required each time a new moving object is introduced as the process of selecting the right layer for the sun/moon, sky and man each time for each frame.
An extra GIF image done with a sprite sheet and the exact same technique
Screenshot example of layer and frame selection (in descending order)
This is a great way of making very simple animations with one or two components, if you have the patience; I found photoshop animation to be very laborious and extremely repetitive. Organizing all the layers and making sure the right layers were hidden on the right frame was very frustrating especially as every time a new layer is added it is added to all the frames, meaning having to go back and hide the layer from each frame.
Use After Effects, basically.
2: Short experimental sequence
Instead of shooting actual photos for the stop motion, I decided to break down a digital self portrait of me and animate that into stop motion steps:
The drawing ‘comes to life’ over the cycle of the stop motion.
This too faced similar problems to the first GIF animation.