Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Animated Thoughts: Back to class...

Max Fleischer's "Rotoscoping" patent

Well, Fall semester begins next week and I'm currently wrapping up preparations for my class. This year, I've added an assignment that had me delving into the history of animation patents. What started out as a plan whereby the students read five patents and answered a ten question assignment quickly got scaled down to three patents. Since they're already reading two chapters per week, I figured giving them three weeks to read three patents and do the assignment was probably the better choice--those patents can get pretty dry.

I'm having them review the following from Earl Hurd, Max Fleischer, and Frank Lyle Goldman (in order):

  • 1,143,542: Process and Apparatus for Producing Moving Pictures (cel animation)
  • 1,242,674: Method of Producing Moving-Picture Cartoons (rotoscoping)
  • 1,715,127: Means for Producing Animated Pictures (three-hole registration)

I've actually wanted to include this information for quite a while, ever since I read the about Bray-Hurd patents when I was writing this course. So, it feels good to finally have added this assignment. Hopefully, it hits that sweet spot of useful historical information yet not overwhelming.

There's so much to the history of animation, you just can't fit it all into a semester.

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