A Very Partial History in the Evolution of the Animator

 Today in Workspace we decided to move one of the machines that has lived under my desk to another room, and after some rearrangement and a removal of one large screen, We unobscured the direct view to the window. I immediately noticed a 12% upswing in my mood as the sunshine spilled in onto my blinking face. It also provides me with the option of  slight head turn to look at Far Away Things, a method suggested by many internet guru spanners to minimise the eye trauma suffered from working at close proximity to computer screens.

This sequence of events made me think back to my observation of the animator species during the course of the nineties. The decade began with the steadfast traditional animation techniques, light boxes and sealed, blacked out rooms where the precious things were moved very slightly frame by frame, or drawings carefully crafted, with, very often the curtains closed. Consequently animators were often pasty-skinned hunched-over morlocks with staring blank eyes and a tendency to euphoric inebriation at the animation festivals on meeting their fellow selves, as very often this was the only time they got out.

Mark Baker

As the decade developed and the computer was carefully introduced to workflows, from one festival to the next one could observe the increase in the tanned skin, the bright eyes, the straighter back, and a sense that these people were opening windows and going outside more. Some of them even took to surfing.

Nowadays one couldn’t really tell an animator from any other kind of general human just by looks alone.  Some would argue that that is a bad thing and computers are ruining everything. This partly true, of course.

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