Animation BC (Before Computers)

April 1st, 2007


It wasn’t always as easy as powering-up the ol’ computer, loading up Flash and then happily manipulating your graphics to a soundtrack playing synchronously on the timeline. Nor could you instantly and easily review the work, make changes, and then pop the scene out in color – skipping entirely, a whole department called “Camera.”

Animation production last century meant sweating it out for a day or so until the film had been processed and printed. Only then could one see if the lip sync was right, or if the camera operator properly executed that double pass shadow effect, or if the ink and paint dept had applied the appropriate cel-level-compensated paint color. Not to mention the myriad of other things that could and did go wrong, even when the scene had been dutifully checked all along the way. That was just the way it went. Ahhh, the good old days…

A few months back, partner G. Brian Reynolds did a post on learning new methods and retiring the old. To that end, we’ve started a section on our website with a brief overview of some of the animation equipment we used to use and that was considered the industry standard for many years.

For our brief overview of the RB-300 Animation Stand, Click here.

If industry history bores you, I’ve posted the few frames from a scene Daryl D. Pyle is animating for us. It’s for a new “Crawford The Cat” project we have in the works.


To see the clip, Click here.

Coming soon – more HANDYCAT pencil tests.

Stay tooned!

Russ Harris

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