April 22, 2017
I just found out today, this happened last week, an unfortunate accident ….
Howard Mozeico Obituary – Will be online until about May
This may be of interest to only a minority because many may have no idea about the history of animationspecifically about frame grabbers/capturing methods. Before digital … animation was shot on movie film. You could NOT Preview what you animated especially stop motion animation techniques. With drawn 2D animation, one could somewhat preview by flipping through the drawn images (flip-book style).
Animation Toolworks roots was in the US state of Oregon and consisted of partners Howard Mozeico and Arthur Babitz. They started to developed a stand alone device around 1996 that would capture images which where stored in memory, and the animator could instantly play back the animation, viewing each still image saved to memory. Their products where called the Video Lunchbox and later Lunchbox sync, Lunchbox DV You can read more detailed info about them, here:
About ANIMATION TOOLWORKS
A methodology was created, so when you animate, a tool/device would allow you to record & instantly play back your animation one frame at a time. That was the purpose of Animation Toolworks Lunchbox products. Before such tools, in 1993, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ used an analog VCR based frame grabber. I think it captured two frames, & the live image. So you can playback 3 frames instantly to check your incremental animation movements. The movie camera would film the animation, and the VCR framegrabber would let you preview before you filmed.
Of course today … ‘computer animation capturing software’ with digital still cameras is the predominate technique used. The Lunchboxes are no longer manufactured and it seems difficult to now find used units for sale. Animation Toolworks website is still online ANIMATION TOOLWORKS. Somewhere, there are a few thousand lunchboxes in people’s secret possession! In the past recent years, I was lucky to acquire & purchase a used original Lunchbox and later, a more featured version called the Lunchbox Sync. I LIKE the ol school’ analog concept’ of animating without a computer.
It is very sad about Howard Mozeico’s accident. Maybe unknown to many in this current animation world, but I believe Howard & Arthur Babitz made a significant contribution to the advancement to the ‘traditional’ animation arts …. 2D & Stop Motion via his company’s products.
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