Wednesday
Jan092013

Television Commercials

While we're on the subject of animated television commercials take a look at this painted cel from a cream cheese animated spot we did back in the seventies. This elaborate cel was inked and painted by hand. Not only did we have to animate all the elements in this scene, the final drawings had to be hand inked and painted one cel at a time. As could be expected, the stack of painted cels ended up in the studio dumpster once photographed and approved.

I fished this loan cel out of the dumpster just so I would never forget how much time and energy went into producing this television spot. Again, I'll remind you this was a drawing that was being animated. Just imagine how many drawings had to be made and how many cels had to be painted. There were no short cuts in the old days. No computer, no Xerox, it was a hand made process and technology was still decades away.

I can't help but feel somewhat nostolgic about the animated process in the old days. It was a time when ideas had to be communicated by art and imagination and there were few tricks one could apply to simplify the process. It usually meant a lot of drawing and a lot of painting by people drawn to this very special and quirky way to earn a living. Even though we often worked hard and frequently burned the midnight oil, we seemed to enjoy every minute of it.

There was little time to bask in the glory of one's accomplishments. Before the animated commercial was being shown on your television set (more than likely in black&white) we were already on to our next assignment. More often than not it would be something completely different with a whole new set of technical and artistic challenges. That was the world of cartoon animation I fondly remember. Days I doubt we'll ever see again.

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