When I started the research I thought it would be good to have a closer look at the origins of cinema and found out that in the beginning there is the illusion of motion, described in 1824 by the British physician Peter Mark Roget. It is the visual experience of a series of still pictures set into motion creating the illusion of movement, commonly known as the term ‘persistence of vision’.
Persistence of vision is a little bit of a controversial theory stating that the human eye, or sometimes claimed the brain, keeps images for a fraction of a second (+/- 0.04 second). This theory assumes that everything we see is a mix of what is happing now and 0.04 seconds ago.
For a long time this phenomenon was the explanation we perceive a sequence of frames as a continuous moving picture. In 1912 this idea was challenged with the theory that the illusion of continuous motion is a result of the brain assuming movement between two static images when shown in quick succession, known as beta movement, rather than storing images for a fraction of a second.
How ever exactly this works we know that we experience ‘normal’ motion when frames are displayed at a speed of 24 frames per second.
Eadweard Muybridge paved the way for animation with his “The horse in motion” (1878), showing the motion of a horse galloping, frame by frame, having all of its four hoofs off the ground at some point during the galloping sequence. It was an experiment initiated by Leland Stanford , a race horse owner, in cooperation with Eadweard Muybridge to prove that a horse has all its four hooves off the ground during the galloping sequence. The outcome of this experiment that involved 24 cameras with delicate triggers did not only prove this was the case, but also that these static images resulted in movement when played at a speed of 24 frames per second.