Who Remembers Scanimate?

Who Remembers Scanimate?

I stumbled upon a really good site the other day which sent me on a trip down memory lane. The site is called "Scanimate Central" and is basically a resource for anyone to read about how animations used to be made.

This is how they describe themselves:
"Once upon a time (but not so long ago) making animation with computers was pretty farfetched futuristic wizardry. A few brave souls believed it was the future, and helped start what is today a major industry. This site celebrates the people, places, machines, and projects that came out of that colorful past."

For those of you who are too young to remember what I am talking about, Scanimate is the name for an analog computer animation system developed from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. It was used to produce the majority of the video-based animation shown on TV in the 70s right through to the early 80s. The reason why it was so widely used is because it enabled you to create animations in real time - it meant you could seriously speed up the time it took to produce animations and was a real advantage over using film-based animation.

Obviously, it all got superseded by digital computer animation, and the sort of sophisticated 3D animation we teach at Escape Studios, but back then, this was real progress.

Scanimate had a number of characteristic features which really set it apart from film-based animation: you could achieve very fluid motion with it for instance and the colours were more saturated and brighter. No wonder it was used in used in a great many pop videos such as the "Let's Groove" video from Earth Wind and Fire.

But it was also used in many TV series such Sesame Street amongst others...

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mark spevick
Thu 15 Sep 2011: 12:02pm

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