Visual, Written and Performing Arts

Scanimate: The Origins of Computer Motion Graphics

Digital artists have been trying to replicate the ephemeral quality of graphics from the 70s and 80s for years. But nothing comes close to the real (analog) thing. Get to know the first computer used for motion graphics and animation, Scanimate, and the men who’ve kept the machine alive for the last four decades. In this short documentary, Nick Campbell of Greyscalegorilla talks to Roy Weinstock, one of the original Scanimate animators, and Dave Sieg, the engineer who has kept it running all these years. Find out how this system of “tubes and 2x4s” became the predecessor of many modern motion graphics plugins and controls, and how the unusual collaboration between operators and engineers led to some of the most iconic motion graphics of the 1980s—including spots for Super Bowl VIII, Star Wars, and children’s shows like The Electric Company and Sesame Street.

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