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VWN Product Reviews: Horses and Other Animals in Motion: 45 Classic Photographic Sequences

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Site Shop > Horses and Other Animals in Motion: 45 Classic Photographic Sequences




Horses and other Animals in Motion is a collection of, as the title says, 45 sets of photographs of horses hauling, walking, trotting, etc., plus sequences of donkeys, an ox, pig, dog, cat, deer and other animals capture details of anatomy and movement. These images, were taken by the definitive expert in the field, Eadweard Muybridge.

Despite the fact that most of us see our four-legged friends walking around every day, most of us apparently still don't know how they do it.

All four-legged animals step with their left hind leg followed by their left foreleg. Then they step with their right hind leg followed by the right foreleg, and so on. Animals differ from one another only in the timing of that stepping.

The reason that manner of walking is so universal, is that it provides the maximum static stability. In other words, when walking slowly, a horse's or dog's body is supported at all times by three feet on the ground, which form a triangle. The closer their centre of mass is to the centre of those three points, the more stable they will be.



The above public domain image was assembled from Muybridge?s detailed photographs, and appears in photographic form in two of the books, of which this is one. It showcases swiftly and clearly how the photos can be used to help create animation sequences frame by frame, or as a guide for robotic quadrupeds, or even dynamic motion systems.

A second version of the book also exists.

Animals in Motion

This far bigger, more comprehensive version of the book comprises some 3,919 photographs of all manner of quadrupeds in motion. True-action shots cover 34 different animals and birds in 132 characteristic motions. Horses, goats, cats, gnus, eagles, gazelles, sloths, camels, many others shown walking, running, flying, leaping, almost a complete range of natural motions.

It is also far bulkier, and not the sort of book designed for use ?on the go?. Both books are ideal for animators, Animals in Motion is ideal for those who do most of their work in the home or office in which it is stored.

 

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