3-D Zoetrope

Torus-to-Costa's Minimal Surface Metamorphosis

by Stewart Dickson (c) 2000

Photograph of Installation -- click to enlarge Photograph of Installation -- click to enlarge

This is a museum-quality, mixed-media, kinetic artwork. It has received an International Award in Digital Sculpture and has been exhibited at the SIGGRAPH 2000 Art Gallery, the Arizona State University Institute for Studies in the Arts and the Exploratorium, San Francisco.

Computer-rendered objects, output in 3-D, in-the-round in physical materials via Automated Fabrication are attached to the edge of a wheel, set in motion and viewed under optically-synchronized, stroboscopic light. The objects are the sixty phases of a computer-generated animation loop -- a computer-animated 3-D MORPH in physical 3-D.

Detail with Window Removed -- click to enlarge The subject of the animation is a mathematical metamorphosis from a simple torus (donut) to a Costa's genus 1, three-ended minimal surface. Please see the original computer-rendered proposal for more background on the work.

Sixty phases of an animation loop were manufactured on a Stratasys Genisys Fused Deposition Modeling machine.

Please see construction details for more on this process.

Detail with Window Installed -- click to enlarge

The wheel is driven at 30 rpm by a DC motor. The animation loops in two seconds at 30 frames per second.

Please see construction details for more on the mechanical design of the piece.

Detail of Wheel in Motion with Illumination The animated obejcts are illuminated with super-brite Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The stroboscopic timing of the driving electronics for the illumination is derived from an optical trigger which fires as each object rotates by on the wheel. Because the illuminated timing is derived from the wheel, itself, it will never drift out-of-phase, no matter what the actual rotational speed of the wheel.

Please see construction details for more on the electronic design of the piece.

Detail of Zoetrope Animation -- click to enlarge The wheel motor and illumination electronics are driven from the same, single internal power supply. The power supply operates on 120 volts AC and is fused at 3 amps.

The Zoetrope animation is visible under subdued lighting, but does not require total darkness. Direct illumination of the piece should be avoided.

Please see the installation plan for a schematic of the exhibit space requirements for the piece.

Detail of Zoetrope Animation -- click to enlarge

The 3-D Zoetrope is shipped in palletized package of two wooden boxes measuring a total of approximately 36" high 48" by 48" and weighing a total of 320 pounds.

The first prototype of the piece has operated trouble-free at three different exhibit venues since August, 2000.

Please see the complete operation and maintenance procedures for the piece.

Contact: Stewart Dickson 23115 Bluebird Drive, Calabasas, CA 91302 (818)223-9117/(818)223-8986(fax) (c) 2000
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