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Gary Green

Friday, May 12, 2006 

The Vines - "AnySound"


Rotoscoping is a technique where animators trace live action movement, frame by frame, for use in animated cartoons. Originally, pre-recorded live-film images were projected onto a matte windowpane and redrawn by an animator. This projection equipment is called a Rotoscope.

The technique was invented by Max Fleischer, who used it in his series "Out of the Inkwell" starting around 1914, with his brother Dave Fleischer dressed in a clown outfit as the live-film reference for the character Koko the Clown.

Fleischer used rotoscope in a number of his later cartoons as well, most notably the Cab Calloway dance routines in three Betty Boop cartoons from the early 1930s, and the animation of Gulliver in Gulliver's Travels.

Walt Disney and his animators employed it carefully and very effectively in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, primarily used in the animation of Prince Charming. Rotoscoping was also used in many of Disney's subsequent animated feature films.

Here, animator Tennessee Reid Norton and company put the rotoscoping to fantastic use on a music video for "Anysound" by The Vines. (t/y Red Hatchet Films)

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