Learn how to rotoscope with Paint of Persia, a new animation tool

Before motion capture was a thing, there was rotoscoping. Sure, it’s wasn’t quite as entertaining as strapping middle-aged actors into black bodysuits studded with various balls and gizmos, but it was a versatile technique that’s been used in everything from Disney movies to the music video for “Yellow Submarine.” Invented by Max Fleischer and put to use largely in his 1940s Superman serials, the technique involves filming live-action footage and then tracing over it to create animated characters with realistic movement. It was originally a bit of a painstaking process, with artists having to project live-action scenes onto a frozen glass panel…


Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel, a cartoon jab into the past

There can be a fascinating tension in watching old cartoons—we’re talking pre mid-20th century here—it lies somewhere between the familiar and the absolutely unexpected. In early appearances, for example, Daffy Duck showed no signs of the devious but hapless narcissist struggling with his peers for the spotlight that we now know. Instead, Daffy is almost a pure agent of chaos; a mad mallard with a trademark HOO-HOO, HOO-HOO bouncing laugh that accompanies his most successful violations of the laws of physics and common sense. Bugs Bunny might be initially less jarring in terms of personality—he’s a bit more willing to…