Making the Moiré Screens and Animations

Seeing as to how animation would be the constant in all the designs, I needed to carry out some experimentations into how the moiré animation technique really worked. I have previous experience in digital and stop-motion animation and I found that this was useful in understanding the technique better and working faster.

There are mainly two aspects to the moiré method. The first of which is the screen. The screen is what goes above the design. Sliding the screen is what brings about the effect. The screen has to be designed in such a way that it only allows one frame of the animation to be seen through the slits at any given time.

In reverse fashion, each frame of animation must only have one slit worth of image spaced out in an orderly fashion. The first frame must come first, so and so forth.

Another important thing that I to keep in mind throughout this process what the total number of frames that the animation would have. This was very important in creating the design and selling the effect well. In this breakdown, I use an animation that has 7 frames.

The Screen

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 7.28.17 PM

As mentioned above, the following animation had a total of seven frames that were planned. As such, I created the frame with 7 strips that had equal width. Then, 6 of these strips were colored black, with the first one remaining transparent. This method is the same for all the screens that I made, the only difference being the total number of animated frames.

The strips were then compounded into a screen. Careful care was taken to make sure each segment was aligned correctly with the preceding and proceeding one.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 7.30.55 PM

The Frames

The creation of the animation frames are a slightly more complicated process as mentioned previously. The first step was to ensure that all the frames were in the exact position i wanted them in. The next step was to create an inverted version of the screen. Instead of black strips, I created white ones. I then had to move the transparent ‘gaps’ over by one strip to create an overlay for each frame of the animation.

Untitled-1The movement of the gap is demonstrated above, with the filled in strips shown in black for clarity. In the actual creation of the design, the strips are filled with white instead, to ‘block out’ the “unnecessary” portions of the animation frame. The strips are then duplicated to create an inverted version of the screen and placed over the frame’s design.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 7.55.14 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 7.55.32 PM

The inverted white screen with a gap in the first position is used for the first frame, the inverted frame with a gap in second position is used for the second frame, so on and so forth.

These ‘blocked out’ frames are then superimposed with each other to create the final composite.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.10.04 PM


Author: Kapi

Kapilan Naidu is a multimedia artist, designer, data-junkie, sometimes DJ and bedroom producer.

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