Rubber band effect dating
One classic use of traditional rotoscoping was in the original three Star Wars movies, where it was used to create the glowing lightsaber effect, by creating a matte based on sticks held by the actors.
To achieve this, effects technicians traced a line over each frame with the prop, then enlarged each line and added the glow.
The Sawyer controls the movement of the carriage with the wooden-handled lever on the left, while simulataneously controlling log-loading and log-turning with the control on the right. In this photo, Bill Oakes adjusts the steam pressure feeding the engines.
The control on the right also operates the “short transfer” chain conveyor and the log cradle. The mast is so long that transporting the log required a truck-and-trailor with stearable rear wheels. Bill’s family, like many employees at the mill, has a long history of working at the mill: his father, Ken Oakes, felled timber in the logging woods for forty years, providing logs for the mill.
Large long timbers are still used in railroad trestles, the restoration of historic structures, and for the spars and masts of ships. Thayer, an early 20th century three-masted schooner used to transport lumber along the West Coast.Fleischer ceased depending on the rotoscope for fluid action by 1924 when Dick Huemer became the Animation Director and brought his animation experience gained from his years on the Mutt and Jeff series.Fleischer returned to rotoscoping in the 1930s for referencing intricate dance movements in his Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons.By coincidence, the day I arrived the mill was cutting an 80-ft. In 1934 Ralph Hull went into the sawmill business by leasing a mill which had been closed since the beginning of the Depression. The waggoner operator also doubles as the “pond monkey.” Back in the early 20th century, a pond man walked the logs in the pond, arranging them with a pikepole and stacking them at the log lift.Hull started building a plant on the current site in 1938. But today, a pond boat quickly shuffles the logs, picking and ordering them at the base of the lift, so the boat operator is often called a “pond bronc.” The logs continue on the conveyor to the “short transfer,” or log table, where they stack up.
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Originally conceived as a "short-cut" to animating, the rotoscope process proved to be time consuming due the precise and laborious nature required in tracing.