Graphic Designer Creates Mesmerizing Animations Using Phenakistoscope With Stop-Motion Technology

Tee Ken Ng, is a graphic designer, a video producer, a stop-motion animator, and a visual artist, all rolled into one. This expert animator creates short videos by incorporating stop-motion technology to create optical illusions. His use of phenakistoscope, a device that creates a fluent illusion of motion, is something to be seen to be believed. He also uses zoetrope, a pre-film animation device that produces the illusion of motion by means of a sequence of drawings.

According to Ng, creating animations on a disc is nothing new. It is one of the oldest techniques in animation that got a boost by the invention of phenakistoscope in the 1800s. This device consisted of a flat cardboard disc on which the animation images were printed. When the disc was spun, the images seemed to move, when viewed through the slits in the cardboard. The cardboard disc eventually evolved to a vinyl disc. Here, instead of the slits, the shutter of a camera or phone is used to create the same effects.

Ng explains the difference between his animation and film in an interview to, “The interesting thing about animating in this way is that all the frames in your animation are visible all together, unlike film where you only see a single frame at a time. I find this is the most challenging thing to get your head around but is also what makes it look so mind-bending when it works. You literally see a static picture come to life as it starts spinning.” 

In his website, Ng explains what motivates him to make short videos, thus, “My inventive approach to film-making is borne from a fascination for practical effects and optical illusions. In my video, I often incorporate the use of stop-motion, playing with perspective and more recently, zoetropes.”

Ng gained recognition from a video he made for Eristoff Vodka. It became viral in no time and messages from musicians and record labels started pouring in with requests for creating custom clip mats and vinyl. So popular are his vinyl that the one he made for Dope Lemon’s Smooth Big Cat appears regularly on popular weed-friendly Instagram accounts. It simply displays a running cat. Little wonder people call him ‘that animated vinyl guy’!

Ng works have been featured by Apple, BuzzFeed, George Takei Presents, Huffington Post, Juxtapoz Magazine, My Modern Met, and others. He has also directed videos for major brands, such as Google, Netflix, Perrier, Starbucks, Toyota, and Twitter.

Tee Ken Ng: Instagram | Website

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