BACK Button

The late '70's saw the marketing of several "Misters", beginning with "Mr. Coffee™", and continuing through to "Mr. Real Estate" (Mr. Fix-it was probably the granddaddy, but applying "Mr." to machinery and corporations was the new thing back then.

During an interview for a video magazine, I was asked what the animation machine was called. "An analog computer designed to work at video rates controlling and x-y-z display" was the answer. The reporter had a look just like the one preceding the famous line: "These knobs go to eleven." that ended that particular interview, so I said: "Mr. Animation". The reporter reported, and for 15 years the machine was called Mr. Animation, even by people who didn't think it was funny.

Click on the thumbnail pictures to see the pictures and video. 

Mr. Animation featured in a yellowing copy of VideoMania Magazine.

A close-up of the analog computer. This is all hand-built. It contains function generators that work at locked video rates, and the analog multiplier stages that morph from one layout to another. This is Mr. Animation II.

Mr. animation II with Mr. Colorizer I. The control panel is also different from the final installation.

Programming Mr. Animation was done using a 22 x 120 pin-matrix, in lieu of patch-cords. Waveform generators were routed through processing and positioning, and on to four outputs that are the equivalent of keyframes. The output multiplier "morphed" from keyframe to keyframe, just like a digital DVE would years later. Hey! I must have invented the "AVE"

Mr. Ani output its (his?) picture on a monochrome display that was photographed with a black & white high-resolution camera, and colorized with Mr. Colorizer. This is a regular TV raster with a graphic displayed.

This output has normal vertical scanning, with a flowing sinewave replacing the normal sawtooth ramp of a regular raster. Mr. Animation could morph among four presets like these. This is what modern DVE's do as well.


The original Mr. Animation demo reel. This was to catalog effects by name, so that clients could specify what kind of an effect that they wanted.


Mr. Animation Explained. By request, and explanation of how Mr. Animation worked.


The video above was produced on 2-inch videotape that was deteriorating at the time of transfer. These two short clips were produced to Betacam. They take advantage of Mr. Animation III's audio input.


You can see how luscious Mr. Colorizer's output was.


In 1993, Mr. Animation goes to the dump, as seen on "Wastenot".