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Animating with Stop Motion Pro by Mark Sawicki

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Chapter 7

Animate Monsters

Willis O’Brien

Willis O’Brien was born in 1886 and is considered the founding genius behind the art of combining stop motion animation with live action to create a specialized visual effects technique that has blossomed into today’s computer graphic spectaculars. O’Brien had a colorful past of being, among other things, a cowboy, a trapper, a boxer, and a cartoonist. While working at a decorator shop specializing in marble, O’Brien engaged the assistance of a newsreel photographer and shot a brief animation of a clay dinosaur and caveman modeled over wooden skeletons. This early test was crude, but the unique illusion of life impressed a San Francisco producer enough to invest $5000 in O’Brien to create The Dinosaur ...

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