Monday, April 9, 2012

Today's Google Doodle

Hey guys!

So I don't know if any of you noticed or not but today's "Google Doodle" is an animation using Eadweard J. Muybridge's famous film animation of the horse galloping. If my memory serves me right Arturo introduced us to this short little film at the beginning of the semester, correct? Or maybe it was last semester in his 3D animation course that he spoke to us about it. Anyway, in case we didn't actually talk about it in this class or you forgot what was said, I thought I'd give you a little background on the history. This animation, which Muybridge made even before film strips were invented, was originally created to settle a debate over whether or not all four legs of a horse are off the ground at one time when it gallops. According to ABC New's Science blog, Muybridge was hired by the governor of California to settle this debate by taking a picture of a horse mid gallop. After proving that a horse does in fact have all four feet off the ground mid-gallop he decided to take the photo project even further by taking a series of photographs of a horse as he runs. He did this by setting up several cameras in a row. Each camera's shutter was linked to a line of string so that when the horse ran past it would release the shutter to snap the picture at the right moment. The images he took were then viewed through a device he invented called the "zoopraxiscope" which made the photos look as though they were moving. As ABC's blog post states, "The series of images as seen in the zoopraxiscope is regarded as one of the earliest efforts in taking motion pictures and probably inspired Thomas Edison’s invention of the kinetoscope."

Oh, and today is the 182nd anniversary of his birthday, which is why choose his animation as the inspiration for today's Google Doodle.

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