Animation Artifacts &Hubley &Tissa David 23 May 2007 08:05 am

Of Men & Demons

– Since first seeing the Hubley short, Of Men & Demons, back in 1967, I’ve been a fan. The artwork was stunningly different and original. It had a rich tone to it and some beautiful artwork. The music by Quincy Jones was as original as the film, itself.

The short was actually an industrial film done for IBM to explain the binary code to its employees. The Hubleys, however, built on that story to make something of a personal film that received an Oscar nomination.
(Click any image on the page to enlarge.)

Art Babbitt was one of the first animators hired. At some point, Tissa David was brought on to rework some of Babbitt’s beautiful animation. Unfortunately, it was on about a fourteen levels and had to be combined and reconstructed and shortened. (Today, of course, there are no limits to levels, but in the days of the camera you kept things to 4 cel levels, as a rule, and never more than 5.) It was complicated by the fact that John Hubley had decised to shorten the piece, and Quincy Jones’ score was shorter than Babbitt’s animation. This chore took some effort and involved dissolve animation. Tissa then continued on the sequence animating the little protaganist and his female companion through the remainder of the film.

About 25 years ago, Tissa David gave me an envelope full of art from this film, and going through a lot of my old material recently, I came upon that envelope. I’m going to post a few of these drawings in the next day or two.

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These are storyboard drawings for a short sequence. Tissa got these drawings and prepared LayOuts for the sequence. You can see how much is actually in John’s drawings so it’s easy to build on what he’s given you.

The following are key drawings Tissa prepared for the sequence in laying it out.






Here are some frame grabs from the scene in the final film:

2 Responses to “Of Men & Demons”

  1. on 23 May 2007 at 4:02 pm 1.Amid said …

    Thanks for posting these Mike. The sensitivity and creativity in those Hubley board drawings is second to none. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have animators like Babbitt and David following you up and making sure that vision reaches the screen.

  2. on 24 May 2007 at 12:18 am 2.Tim Rauch said …

    Wow these are terrific. Where can I see this film?

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