I’ve been to Disney Legends Plaza many times and never really thought about what all the plaques mean. They are for actual Disney Legends and it’s an honor to have one with your name on it. On one of my recent visits I met Floyd Norman who recently became a Disney Legend and he was amazing. He can draw many different Disney character is no time at all. he taught us how to draw a Dalmatian.
Floyd Norman started out “inbetweening”. Which is the process of generating intermediate frames between two images to give the appearance that the first image evolves smoothly into the second image. He was working on Sleeping Beauty first. What makes him go down in the history books is that he was the first African-American full time artist for Disney! Which led him into being one of the key artists working on 101 Dalmatians.
He also spoke a lot about the XEROX machine and how it helped the process of animation A LOT. Animation was expensive and took a long time.
In an effort to streamline and expedite the production aspects of animation, Ub Iwerks developed an approach to eliminating the process of inking altogether, by xerographically transferring the artist’s actual lines to the final animated cel. Working with the then, fledgling company of Xerox in 1958, Ub Iwerks built a custom camera/ photocopier which is still utilized today. Spanning the size of three small rooms, it took five people to run the entire process with two operators on the camera in its prime. Ultimately, this technology resulted in the elimination of an entire division of personnel, but brought about a quantum leap in the production time and efficiency of the animation process and soon became an industry standard.
Initially, this advancement was employed on one scene of SLEEPING BEAUTY while the first feature to be completed entirely with this innovative technology which would become the industry standard, was 101 DALMATIANS. The last animated feature film to utilize Xerox technology was THE LITTLE MERMAID. From then on, most of the industry shifted to 2-D CAPS Systems and now 3-D computer animation.
This camera can enlarge, shrink, rotate and relocate images, though everything done with this camera today is a 1:1 reproduction – essentially, a direct duplicate of what is placed in front of it.
The concept behind the Xerox Photocopiers that we are familiar with today, involves the charging of a plate, drum, or belt which is covered with a toner or photoreceptive material. This toner loses its charge once it is exposed to light. As the original work is brightly illuminated and reflected onto this charged surface, the exposed areas lose their electronic charge. The powdered carbon toner clings to the unexposed or dark areas. The toner is vapor-fused which solidifies the toner onto the blank paper or surface and a copy or cel is complete.
101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition is now available on Blu-ray and digital download.