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This article was published on November 24, 2011

    Watch this bike turn a ‘snowflake’ into one beautiful animated visual [VIDEO]

    Watch this bike turn a ‘snowflake’ into one beautiful animated visual [VIDEO]
    Sherilynn Macale
    Story by

    Sherilynn Macale

    Sherilynn "Cheri" Macale is based in San Francisco, CA. You'll probably find her tucked away in her apartment blogging, playing video games, Sherilynn "Cheri" Macale is based in San Francisco, CA. You'll probably find her tucked away in her apartment blogging, playing video games, or immersing herself in geek culture. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+

    I wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing when I first viewed the video below. To me, it looked like someone was decorating his or her bike with a giant snowflake(?). My first thought was, yes, I get it. It’s cold here in the western hemisphere, and Christmas is definitely around the corner — but why are Redditors so excited over a snowflake bike? Last time I checked, snowflakes were not that awesome.

    Upon closer inspection, the supposed snowflake revealed itself to be a “Zoetrope”, or in layman terms, a device that produces the illusion of action — an animation, if you will — from a rapid succession of static pictures. When placed in the spokes of a bicycle wheel, actually riding the vehicle causes the snowflake to rotate, therefore progressing the “frames” of the Zoetrope.

    On film, the result is a fantastically animated visual. Amazingly enough, the visual only comes to life when captured on film, not through the naked eye. Take a peek for yourself.

    It’s worth noting, of course, the more famous and well-known Zoetrope from Disney’s Pixar. The company has a 3D version of its own Zoetrope, one inspired by the famous Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, who also produced its own. To produce the Zoetrope effect in a way that viewers could see through the naked eye, Disney and Ghibli relied on strobe lights flickering over several rotating 3D sculptures to create the illusion.

    Watch the video below.