Book of Motion for Kids

In our previous post, we talked about the world’s most expensive book. And we have also talked about pop-up books here. But, have you ever seen a book that brings its characters to life? A book that allows for motion? It is now possible through a technique called “Scanimation”.

From “The Book That Takes Off Running” :

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Over the years, innovative advances in children’s book publishing—books that light up, books that talk, books for the bathtub—have become almost commonplace. But this December, Workman will offer a new twist on how to show and tell with Gallop! by Rufus Butler Seder, a paper-over-board children’s title that utilizes a trademarked, patented technology called Scanimation to seemingly animate the movements of an array of animals with each turn of the page. And booksellers are galloping to sell it.

For Seder, an inventor and filmmaker who has been exploring methods of optic animation for the past 20 years, the meeting of art and science is what makes the book special. To create the animated effect, a sheet of acetate with thin black lines is set in a window over a “coded” image of the animal. When readers turn to a page, the layers slide against each other, and the animal appears to gallop, swim or otherwise move.“I try to find the one movement that defines the animal best, [such as] the singular coil and spring of a cat as it runs,” Seder said. “If you can succeed in capturing and conveying that, the user can experience that kinesthetically. That’s what I’m after.”

Workman realized the books would have to be hand-assembled, and sent Seder to China to instruct the 600-odd employees at the factory that produced the books, later sending Wolff to oversee final production and assembly. “Every single spread was double-checked,” Wolff said. “There were almost as many people in Quality Control as there were assembling the books.”
Because of the intricate nature of the technology, Workman knew that manufacturing the book would be challenging. “In a way it was not reinventing but completely inventing the wheel,” said Doug Wolff, senior production manager at Workman. “Not only are you dealing with regular printing issues, but everything had to be completely exact in how it was both produced and the mechanics of the actual moving images.”

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