The Spinning Animation Show

Hypnotizing animation cycles ...

THE SPINNING ANIMATION SHOW is a unique presentation, a mix of exhibition and live performance, with different optical devices, which presents cyclic animation together with a cinematic soundtrack.


The show is the final presentation of my Spinning Animation Workshop. The participants are young talented youngsters, trainees or professionals. They develop animation on paper stripes, paper discs, record discs or transparent plexiglass. They can present their results themselves in an audio-visual ‘Spinning Animation Show’ on several optical devices like Zoetropes, Praxinoscopes or projection devices.


The duration depends on the number of finished animations. The show can portray a theme, a place or a story.

Zoetropes are optical devices invented around 1834, which can bring drawings of figures to life as if by magic. In the rotating cylinders of these devices short repetitive cycles of movement can be shown such as running, waving, hopping, opening and closing etc.. The repetitions have a hypnotic effect on the observer. Zoetropes and Praxinoscopes are the forerunners of film technology. Despite the success of film, the old techniques did not disappear. They are be used for a new field of animation art, called ‘Spinning Animation’.


Since I have been giving animation workshops with these historical devices, I have been fascinated by Zoetropes and animation loops.


I experimented with this in my new short film THE SAUSAGE RUN.

… made by talented youth

The result of most common animation classes are little animation films, which are rather unfinished due to the time-consuming production process. My ‘Spinning Animation Workshops’ produce instantly viewable animation clips, which concentrates on a very short act of less than one second. Such an animation can be made in a half of a day by one participant.

This making-of film was realized by Simone Klar for our workshop, which we led together in 2017.


‘The Spinning Animation Workshop’ and ‘The Spinning Animation Show’ were developed for the Academy of the German Prize Winners of the international youth creativ competition in 2015.

... developed with motivated trainess

I was commissioned to hold a ‘Spinning Animation Workshop’ at the Technical and Vocational College Straubing (FOSBOS/department of design) for the celebration “800 Years of Neustadt Straubing”. The goal of the workshop was to developed a “Spinning Animation Show’ about the history of my home city Straubing with the help of four teachers and 30 young creative trainees.

Report by Niederbayern TV

Finally, 81 humorously and succinctly animation loops of historical events were produced in two months. I was at the school four times for several days during that time for teaching and preparations. In the meantime, I composed music from prefabricated loops and developed a sound design with reference to the animations.


The results were presented by the participants and me on eight optical devices in a fascinating audio-visual ‘Spinning Animation Show’ of 40 minutes.

… presented by enthusiastic professionals

In 2018 I held a ‘Spinning Animation Workshop’ in Northeim for the German association of puppeteers and puppet theatres UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionette).

We developed a ‘Spinning Animation Show’ which presented an underwater world. In five days, eleven professional puppeteers created 35 animations, some drawn on paper strips, but also as three-dimensional objects on disks. The 25-minutes show was performed on six devices companied with live music played with a hang.

If you have any questions or consider booking me, please get in contact:

Idea and Realization

Thomas Stellmach


2D animation, object animation


Making of, Spinning Show, Workshop
animation workshop, loop animation, show, spinning animation, zoetrope