Created as part of her dissertation project, Katy Beveridge’s The Bicycle Animation was produced as an exploration into whether it was possible to film animation in realtime. Inspired by the her research into the earliest forms of animation (like magical zoetropes and phenakistoscopes), Beveridge’s aim was to, “see if it was possible to make the audience highly aware of the process behind animation as most traditional animation focuses solely on narrative.” She continues, “This video aimed to make people aware of the physicality of animation and thus engage the audience on a more didactic level.”
The artist/animator/transformer-of-bikes is quick to point out that she is not the first to bring animation to a set of wheels. In her YouTube channel, The Manimation, she gives props to Jim le Fevre, David Wilson and Tim Wheatley, whose earlier works she follows.
Whether Beveridge is the first to take shapes to the spokes or not, the result are nothing short of wondrous.
If you’d like your wheels to jump to life, Beveridge is selling a limited edition of intricate lasercuts that can be attached to your bike. When filmed in motion the paper cutout will animate to create sinuous fluid movements: Cogs spinning, growing clouds, rhythmic poofs, and so on. The pieces are 42 cm diameter on a medium to heavy, white, gloss coated paper ($20.00).
Although the rolling animation will not be visible to the naked eye — thanks to the mysteries of animation — the sets come with instructions for how to film it for best effect.
A student project transforms bicycle wheels into rolling animation — magic ensues.