Post_Historic

Post_Historic (Sheridan College 1994) from Scott Baltjes on Vimeo.

This is my student film from Sheridan College (April 1994) integrating computer animation with classical animation. I was the first person to do that there. I animated the mechanical creatures using SoftImage 2.5 (students back then were limited to 75 megabytes MAX in those days). I had to render each frame as a line image, convert it to a binary file to print onto 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper that was then taped to a sheet of animation paper to be filmed under a Bolex camera. My original notes say I spliced in 134 sound effects and audio clips.

My former Art Instructor from Niagara College was the opening narrator, my neighbour’s daughter provided the voice of Dreeki while I provided the voice of her pet Rabbit-Squirrel, Tayo. A friend provided the flute music near the end as well as helped me cel paint a scene of the Chainsaw Vultures. I would go on to cel paint the T-Meck dinosaur scenes at 100 minutes per cel (No digital paint back then). The film is actually part of “Post_Historic: The Concrete Jungle”, one of the many adventures I’ve written about these two.

After the screening, a representative from Hanna-Barbera offered me $3600 for the film, lock, stock and barrel. I turned it down as that was like $1/hr for all the work I put in it. It did get me noticed by various animation studios including Pixar and Warner Bros but it would be ReBoot Inc (later renamed Mainframe Entertainment Inc) that would finally hire me some 7 months after I graduated. They were going to hire me 5 months earlier but thought someone must have snagged me by then (I was cleaning barns for $5/hr – the Recession killed most construction jobs and a late frost wiped out most fruit in the Niagara Region).

While at Mainframe, I got asked to use my film to test out a digital paint program SoftImage Toonz 4.5. It was great! Tried a number of things I couldn’t do at Sheridan. Unfortunately the project got wiped from the drive without my being informed so I don’t have that version to post.

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