Watch What Happens When a Ridiculously Fast Car Is Combined with an Ancient Animation Technique

Watch What Happens When a Ridiculously Fast Car Is Combined with an Ancient Animation Technique

Oct 09, 2013

The zoetrope is an animation technique that's nearly 2,000 years old, and it's so simple we've probably all made one as kids. All you do is take a circle, put a series of alternating images on it, cut some viewing slats, and then spin it. If you look through the slats, the images magically jump to life. It's that easy.

Or you could do the multimillion-dollar version, which involves a McLaren 12C, one of the most expensive and fastest cars in the world, blasting around a racetrack lined with meticulously placed printouts of frames of another car driving around a racetrack. Drive past them at the right speed with the right camera shooting at the right frames per second and panning with the right rotation and the result is one of the most unique pieces of animation you'll ever see.

Yes, this is all just a commercial for a new racing game, but we don't care. The level of precise camera science that went in to making it is incredibly complex, and the payoff is hypnotic. In fact, creating this thing was such a mind-boggling ordeal, we actually recommend you watch the brief making-of first before you see how it all turned out.

Pretty cool, right? Now we just wonder if they got the idea after watching the Wachowski's highly under-appreciated Speed Racer, which paid tribute to the zoetrope in its own beautiful way.

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