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Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Nicholas Sammond, Author

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Labor, Page 96

In 1915, Max and Dave Fleischer patented the rotoscope, a device for efficiently producing lifelike characters. Animation producers in the late teens worked to rationalize the process of animation by breaking the process down into discrete tasks, standardized so that one worker could complete the work of another, without variations in drawing styles. The rotoscope assisted in that process: animators could film action live and then trace cartoon characters over the image of the live actor.  This was meant to create more fluid and lifelike action, but the results were sometimes unsettling.
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