Home Stop-Motion-Works
About | FAQ | Gallery | Library | Links | Store | Contact

« | Home | »

ANIMATION TOOLWORKS – Howard Mozeico 1947-2017 RIP

April 22, 2017

I just found out today, this happened last week, an unfortunate accident ….

Howard Mozeico Obituary – Will be online until about May

About Howard Mozeico

News Story

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:


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.

Topics: Biography-Books-History, Learning-Education-Tools, Puppet Animation, Stop Motion | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “ANIMATION TOOLWORKS – Howard Mozeico 1947-2017 RIP”

  1. JSWEELL says:

    Believe it or not have a Brand new never been used LunchBox DV, if you know anyone who might want one let me know…very good price/offers

  2. Don Carlson says:

    Sorry to hear about this. I owned a Lunchbox 256 about 10 years ago and it was very well designed and nice to have.

    The digital world really owes a debt of gratitude to Mozeico and Babitz for paving the way for the frame grabbers of the future for stop motion and their original machines worked beautifully and are now collector’s items on Ebay.

    It is also nice to see that the Lunchbox DV is still available. There is a certain utility of a stand-alone unit that does not require a computer to work. It’s not connected to the internet, so it can not get viruses. It also is not going to constantly be distracting you with unrelated tasks like checking your email and Facebook notifications. That alone an easily justify a sub-$4,000 price tag.

  3. Gerardo says:

    Hello !
    I’m sorry for that bad news.

    In relation to Jon S comment, I’m interested in buying your Video Lunch Sync, if it’s working.
    Thank You Very Much !


  4. Jon S says:

    I have a brand new ,never used LunchBox Sync, if anyone wants to make an offer please let me know..

  5. tim smyth says:

    Good for you Lio, thanks for writing this piece.

    I agree.

    I do want to add that Howard was a nice guy as well, and this device really helped change the face of stop motion, and allowed producers to think the process could be viable for features, and other applications, where before the wait, and uncertainty, of blind animation worried them.

    I think that Howard, and Arthur originally designed these machines for teaching animation, and may have been a little surprised when all the professionals wanted them in their studios as well.

    Thanks again Lio.

    R.I.P. Howard.

  6. Manny says:

    Great info. Thanks.
    What should a Lunchbox Sync be worth these days?
    Thanks again


'Smiley Icon Guide'

If your comment does not appear, do not worry. Our 'filters' at work and your post likely awaiting approval. If you are concerned, 'Contact me' and I will find your original post.