John Whitney’s, one of the fathers of computer animation, “used a mechanical analogue computer of his own invention to create motion-picture and television title sequences and commercials. The following year, he assembled a record of the visual effects he had perfected using his device, titled simply Catalogue. In 1966, IBM awarded John Whitney, Sr. its first artist-in-residence position.
The following year, he assembled a record of the visual effects he had perfected using his device, titled simply Catalogue. In 1966, IBM awarded John Whitney, Sr. its first artist-in-residence position.
The analogue computer Whitney used to create his most famous animations was built in the late 1950s by converting the mechanism of a World War II M-5 Antiaircraft Gun Director. Later, Whitney would augment the mechanism with an M-7 mechanism, creating a twelve-foot-high machine. Design templates were placed on three different layers of rotating tables. and photographed by multiple-axis rotating cameras. Color was added during optical printing. Whitney’s son, John, Jr., described the mechanism in 1970:
“I don’t know how many simultaneous motions can be happening at once. There must be at least five ways just to operate the shutter. The input shaft on the camera rotates at 180 rpm, which results in a photographing speed of 8 fps. That cycle time is constant, not variable, but we never shoot that fast. It takes about nine seconds to make one revolution. During this nine-second cycle the tables are spinning on their own axes while simultaneously revolving around another axis while moving horizontally across the range of the camera, which may itself be turning or zooming up and down. During this operation we can have the shutter open all the time, or just at the end for a second or two, or at the beginning, or for half of the time if we want to do slit-scanning.” – Wikipedia
“In PERMUTATIONS, each point moves at a different speed and moves in a direction independent according to natural laws’ quite as valid as those of Pythagoras, while moving in their circular field. Their action produces a phenomenon more or less equivalent to the musical harmonies. When the points reach certain relationships (harmonic) numerical to other parameters of the equation, they form elementary figures.”- John Whitney