3D zoetropes apply the same principle to three-dimensional models, using a stroboscope instead of a slit. The models are mounted on a rotating disk, and the light flashes in time with the rotation, illuminating each successive model as it passes the same spot – by the stroboscopic effect this appears to be a single animated object.

As a mechanical system, in practice the rotation speed will not be in sync with the electronic strobe, and the object will thus appear to move forward or backwards slowly, according to how much faster or slower the rotation is than the strobe speed.

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