Lee Harrison’s Scanimate: The First Widely Applied Analog Computer Animation System

In 1962 Lee Harrison III built ANIMAC, a hybrid graphic animation computer. This was a precursor to the Scanimate, an analog computer animationOffsite Link system designed and built Harrison and the Computer Image Corporation in Denver. From the around 1969 to the mid 1980s, Scanimates were used to produce a significant portion of the video-based animation seen on television in commercials, show titles, and other graphics. Scanimates could create animations in real time. This helped the system to supercede film-based animation techniques for television graphics, and from the early 1970s to early 1980s systems were in operation in Japan, Australia, Luxembourg, London, New York, Hollywood, and Denver. Altogether, eight Scanimate systems were built. The systems were also used in films. However, by the mid-1980s Scanimate was superseded by digital computer animation, which produced sharper images and more sophisticated 3D imagery… read more >

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