Animation idea: Robot reincarnation


This is the story board:

The little robot is “born” as a round head on the lowest level. It is painted blue, then robot arms add eyes and a neck. A platform rises from the ground, and lifts the head to the next level. Here, it gets a body, legs and arms. It is done! It is lifted up by another platform to the final level. Here, it takes off its head and tosses it to the bottom level, where it becomes the beginning of the next robot. The top robot then removes its body and legs and tosses them down to build the next robot. Finally, it hops over and paints the next robot’s head red. And round and round we go!

Here is a little animation of the story board. It will be a lot easier to see the detail when it is 3D on three levels.


Hi @carolmdieter, I think this idea has some potential. Some of the transitions are a bit fast and harder to read, like the tossing of the head and when he steps up to the final level. What frame rate is the youtube clip?


It is 40 frames per second.
Is that close to what it should be?
I agree with you about the speed of action. I am re-working the series to be smoother motions.
I’m also doing a 3D model in the correct scale.
How tall can I make it?


I believe the actual frame rate is closer to 30fps. @kevin can confirm the exact frame rate for the zoetrope and can maybe also advise on the height limitations.


I have been reworking the story board to make it smoother and less complicated. The story is perpetual, with the the finished robot being recycled into the next one.
The story goes:
The full robot is alive on the top tier. He plucks off his eyeballs, tosses them in the air, where they are caught by the robot body on the bottom tier. The bottom tier robot attaches its eyes, and is lifted to the second tier. It then reaches up and steals the legs off the top robot. Now complete, it rides up on a platform to the top level. Meanwhile, top robot, now legless, loses its balance, and falls forward, sailing past the middle tier, and landing on the bottom tier. Its body now becomes the one being built. It reaches its arms in the air and catches the eyeballs, attaches them and is lifted up to the middle tier… and on and on.


Here is a partial drawing of the 3D tiers and robots. I did sketch a round story board but it is so messy, I will have to rework it again.


I think that is really cool


That is very cool, the airborne eyeballs are a problem though. Everything has to be attached, and the support struts holding the eyeballs would be have to be about the same diameter as the eyeballs themselves, which would be problematic for the animation.

Great work by the way, I love how you just took our description of how we made the 2D storyboard gif and did it yourself.


Thanks for the feedback. I love tinkering with these ideas! I was thinking that I could make the support for the eyeballs out of clear plexiglass sticks so they would be less visible. I saw one where they had geese flying by extending wires horizontally from a tall pillar in the center. Perhaps I could do that too.


You could, we use clear supports for our airborne frogs and for our fish - but my experience is that with small objects even clear supports can be distracting from the animation. My concern is that the eyeballs are very small, and that the supports would really distract from the eyeball motion.

Do they need to be in the air so long and so high? do they have to be in air at all - could they be passed hand to hand?


@kevin, I changed it so the eyeballs fall down, rather than passing over the center of the structure. Here is a video of the animation. It is really hard to show the eyeballs (they are yellow in the animation). But I tried to show the movements of everything. The squares are the platforms that go up and down.

And of course, because it is from the top, the height differences between the three levels is just flattened out. the center circle is tallest, and the robot is standing up there. I think I will do another video where you see a close-up of a few slices showing the animation passing through it. Maybe you will be able to decipher it better.