December 01, 2010

Sweet animation software, c. 1990

One, I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to do computer animation in my youth.  An Apple IIgs ad featuring a rocket blasting off nearly made my head blast off.  Two, it’s hard to imagine that the app below predated Flash by just five years (FutureSplash by less).


On a related note, I was struck by David Pogue noting today, “Think of all the commonplace tech that didn’t even exist 10 years ago: HDTV, Blu-ray, GPS, Wi-Fi, Gmail, YouTube, iPod, iPhone, Kindle, Xbox, Wii, Facebook, Twitter, Android, online music stores, streaming movies and on and on.”

Previously: Old-school imaging: Warhol on the Amiga.

Posted by John Nack at 11:58 AM on December 01, 2010


  • Steve Howard — 12:46 PM on December 01, 2010

    Think of all the jobs and careers that did not exist then too!

    How many of us are doing jobs that flat did not exist when we were in school?

  • Rob — 12:57 PM on December 01, 2010

    Happy memories, not just of early animation programs but also of the Amiga and Computer Chronicles. I like that he says they’re coloring in the cels one by one because that’s the way traditional animators do it–as if they had any chance of developing software that would have been able to figure out which areas should be colored similarly from one frame to the next.

  • Rich Morey — 1:04 PM on December 01, 2010

    I loved that show!!

  • Armand — 1:33 PM on December 01, 2010

    Autodesk Animator was my first animation program, I think it’s from 1989.

  • K Brown — 2:35 PM on December 01, 2010

    I had that software when it first came out, a great package that actually made animation easy. I figured I was well on my way to Disney for my true calling.

    I’m a photographer now.

    The 90’s were tough, LOL…

  • J. Peterson — 2:48 PM on December 01, 2010

    Ahem. We had GPS in the 90’s. Maybe not with all the fancy maps, but at least with this level of functionality…

  • Alton Marsh — 3:44 PM on December 01, 2010

    News flash to David Pogue, whose reporting I enjoy. We not only had GPS 10 years ago, I was using it to fly an airplane seven years before that. We little plane pilots had GPS receivers, available on the market and cloned from GPS units meant for land travel but with aviation waypoints in 1991. The FAA administrator said this year that the marvels of GPS are coming. I asked him if there was something newer than what I already know about. He said no, I and other GA pilots were “early adopters.” But 17 years? That’s a “long time ago” adopter, not an early one.

    [Yeah, I know, and HDTV has been around for years, too, but I took his point to be “widespread use of XYZ…” –J.]

    • Chris Cox — 12:58 PM on December 02, 2010

      Yeah, I was making HDTV animations back in 1990.
      But only NHK had the facilities to work with it.

  • Adam Wolinsky — 4:38 PM on December 01, 2010

    I got my start in animation with Deluxe Paint on the Tandy 3000. I think it was out by at least 1989 and the resolution was 640×480 256 colors.

    [Yeah, and I got my start on an Etch-a-Sketch Animator. And “We were evicted from our ‘ole in the ground; we ‘ad to go and live in a lake!” :-) –J.]

  • Adam Wolinsky — 9:26 AM on December 03, 2010

    Oh yeah…Etch-a-Sletch Animator…I loved my dancing skeleton guy!

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