Interview with John Hughes

John Hughes, President of Rhythm & Hues

John has been the leader in establishing a state-of-the-art facility that is a collaborative environment where the contribution of each individual is important. The personality of a company trickles down from the very top of the organization, and John's contributions have made Rhythm & Hues a company where employees feel free to be themselves and wbere creative and tecbnical excellence is nurtured Figures 2.1-2.3 show some shots of the Rhythm & Hues studio in Los Angeles.

Figures 2.1-2.3 Some images frcm Rhythm & Hues on Jandy Place in Los Angeles.

Prior to founding Rhythm & Hues,John spent 10 years at Robert Abel and Associates, where he participated in the development of motion control camera systems. In addition, he was a technical director on many award-winning commercials. john served as the head technical director on tbe Hawaiian Punch commercial, "Chain Reaction," which featured dozens of chrome robots. Nobody had ever attempted a project this large before that time.

TOM:Can you talk a little bit about your time at Robert Abel and Associates?

JOHN:At Robert Abel and Associates, we were working on some interesting things, and it was certainly groundbreaking in a lot of ways. Also, while we were working, there were a lot of things going on that we weren't even aware of. There was a lot of stuff going on at the University of Utah and at NYIT (New York Institute of Technology). We were pretty much oblivious to the things that were going on in raster graphics in the '70s. But we bad motion control camera systems, and we were certainly at the forefront of camera systems.span>

I started there November 16, l976. I was hired by Ray Feeney, at the prodding of Tom Barron, to help build computerized camera systems. At that time, our camera system were truly computerized. Simultaneously, there was another film being produced called Star Wars that had camera systems that were electronically controlled. They hooked up a joystick to a camera, and the joystick controlled the pul e train. The pulse train controlled stepper motors. As you moved the joystick, stepper motors would speed up and slow down. They recorded all this on mag­ netic tape, and then they played it back. It wasn't really computer controlled-it was an electronic system. That used to irritate us from a technology standpoint because we had computerized control, and they had electronic.

We only went into computer graphics to preview what was happening with the backlit graphics cameras. DEC-cam allowed us to build smooth moves with ease-ins and ease-ollls, and plot velocities and accelemons. It was a very sophisticated program, and then I added a curve-fitting program to DEC-cam.

They liked to publicize the fact that their system was not computerized. Their sys­ tem was under human control and had more naturalistic movement. But the fact is, as soon as they could get their system computerized they did. That was many years after we were doing computerized motion control. We were definitely one of the first, if not the first, to do computerized motion control.

We were defintitely one of the pioneers in computerized motion control. That was at the instigation of Con Pederson, who was the visual effects supervisor in 2001. They were doing a lot of work in what we called blue boxes. These were boxes that had dials on them that let you dial in how many pulses you would send to the stepper motors. When you pushed a button, you sent that many pulses to the step­ per motors. So what you had then were cameras that moved back and fot1h on stepper motors. The camera operator would have to dial in the correct number of pauses and push a button, and then he would dial in another set of numbers and push a button. This would go on for 20, 30, or 40 hours in order to do a shot.

I found a smooth curve routine based on rational B-Splines that would plot to curve through points. For us, going through the points was critical, because often­ times we would derive those points by going down to the motion control camera and looking through the lens and choosing the exact point where we wanted all the motors to be. When we created a path of action, we wanted it to go through those points that we had chosen visually. So it was very important that we had a curve-fitting algorithm that would maintain those points. the original source for that algorithm was based on an algorithm used in meteorology. Later on, Wavefront used that same algorithm in their animation packages, and we used it here at Rhythm & Hues. We may still be using it.

We were using a PS/2 to simulate what we would do on the graphics cameras. And then Bill Kovaks got the idea that computer graphics was good enough in and of itself to produce screen graphics. I rented this PS/2 from Bob Abel, and under the direction of C. D. Taylor and Mick Haggert. I did the opening title sequence for the movie The Black Hole. What we produced was a wire frame that was distorted into a hyperbolic solid that spun down into the black hole.

They would often lose track of whether they dialed and pushed a button or if they forgot to dial and then pushed a button. It was very unreliable. So this was why Con was motivated to computerize tl1e entire operation. That occurred before I got there.

The basic technology they were involved in when I started there was backlit graphics. We only went into computer graphics originally to preview what was happening with the backlit graphics cameras. So when we bought our first computer graphics machine, an Evan and Sutherland PS/2, it was with the intention of previewing what the motion control cameras were doing. By that time we had some reasonably sophisticated programs for calculating moves. l think Don Miscowitz did the first pass on that, and then Tom Barron rewrote the whole thing and called it DEC­ cam. This was because it was on the DEC computer (Digital Equipment Company).

After that, we began using vector graphics. This was not raster graphics. In order to make it appear solid, we had to put lots of lines close together. To make colors, we bad to put color filters in front of the lens tl1at was photographing the computer screen. It took a lot of work; shots would take quite a long time. You could only shoot one layer at a time, and In order not to contaminate other parts of the film, we would use a black-and-wlrite matte to protect the unexposed film. We would always protect the negative by putting a piece of black­ and-white film in front of it. (Figure 2.4 is an example of vector graphics used in a film. This image is from one of the shots used in the film Tron.)

Figures 2.4 This shot was created by Robert Abel and Associates for the film Tron.

So to do a shot, it required that we first shoot many black-and-white mattes and then hi-pack those mattes with the color negatives. It was a very time consuming and labor-intensive process. At that time, in the '80s, we became aware of some of the work that -was being done in the field of raster graphics. We began to realize tl1at raster graphics would make more se1m than vector graphics. So we began to push to get people hired that would write the raster graphics software.

So we had good curve-generation software and good previewing software, but we did not have good rendering software. So then we hired Richard Hollander and Michael Wahrrnan. They were the first to write the rendering software for Rhythm & Hues. And then we hired Roy Hall who rewrote everything. He was really a pioneer in the field of computer graphics. So then we really had some good rendering rendering software too. Then we did was the Panasonic glider commercial directed by Randy Roberts and the technical director was Richard Hollander. That was a very nice vector graphics commercial.

TOM:What was your favorite project you worked on at Robert Abel and Associates?

JOHN: I guess I liked being a technical director. I enjoyed matching the graphics to the model photography. Tom Barron did a lot of model photography. He did some incredible tuff. So I really enjoyed making the graphics match up to what he was doing in his model photography. there was an Excedrin commercial that we did with Clark Anderson that was pretty impressive and also a MAXFLI golf ball commercial, which was a tour de force of vector graphics. We also worked on were the Benson & Hedges "Gold" commercials filmed for an advertising firm in Malaysia.

We worked on the Hawaiian Punch robot commercial and the opening sequence for Amazing Stories. The Hawaiian Punch commercial was directed by Randy Roberts, and that was an incredible piece. We bad to implement so many things to pull that off because we were writing everything ourselves. That was a punishing project. All the projects were punishing because the technology was so slow that everything took an incredible amount of time to get done. People worked very hard, and they worked very well together, but it was just enormously expensive to do that stuff.

TOM: Could you give a brief history of the events that took place from the dissolution of Robert Abel and Associates and the subsequent formation of the company that became known as Rhythm & Hues?

JOHN A Canadian company called Omnibus purchased Digital Productions. Digital Productions was probably our top competitor in the commercial world. They were more advanced than we were in the field of raster graphics, so they were a little bit ahead of us. We caught up very quickly when we put our mind to converting from vector graphics to raster graphics. In many ways, the code we wrote was more sophisticated than what they were using. All in all, itwas a very healthy rivalry, and Pixar was also doing some wonderful stuff at that time. (Figures 2.5 and 2.6 are some examples of tbe work created by Pixar. Figure 2.5 is an image fromAndre and Wally B. This short film was actually created at Lucasfilm in 1984 before Pixar became an independent company. Figure 2.6 is an image from Luxo,Jr. , created in 1986 by Pixar.)

Then Randy Roberts directed Hi­ Fidelity, which was an important film that we did in raster graphics. This was one of the first films where we were using raster grapics instead of vector graphics.

While they were not competing with us for television commercials, John Lassiter would do an incredible piece every year for SIGGRAPH. Those three studios: Pixar, Digital Productions, Robert Abel and Associates, were pushing each other forward in the field of computer graphics. Digital Productions was losing lots of money, so they ended up selling their company to Omnibus. It was a very bitter situation for Gary Demos and John Whitney; who were in charge at Digital Promctions. Then within a few months. Omnibus made a deal to buy Robert Abel and Associate . Omnibusbuilt its own small computer graphics facility where Larry Weinberg was working at the time. lt then became our task to integrate the three companies.

Robert Abel and Associates and Omnibus were both Unix-based and workstatiot:-based production houses. Digital Productions had a Cray supercomputer. So Omnibus decided they would take Robert Abel and Associates' creativity, throw out all of the Robert Abel and Associates and Omnibus's technology, and focus on Digital Productions' technology. So they decided to do raster graphic using the Digital Productions' supercomputer. A lot of us thought this was Ludicrous. We felt the future would be workstations running Unix and everyone would have their own workstation. Everyone at Digital Productions felt that a single fast supercomputer was better than having a lot of workstations. We considwered it all absurd, and there were huge flame war over e-mail about this point of contention. It didn't make any difference. The people that ran the new Omnibus thought the Cray was an incredible asset, and they were going to do all production to the Cray

Figures 2.5 Early work created by Pixar.

Everyone at Digital Productions felt that a single fast supercomputer was better than having a Lot of workstations. ... The people that ran the new Omnibus thought the Cray was an incredible asset, and they were going to run all productions to the Cray.

The Cray (figure 2.7) was an incredible asset, but it was enormously expensive. It cost many thousands of dollar per month just to cool the machine, and for maintenance it required a team to keep it alive. It was just an incredible cost, and there was no way you could do enough work in the commercial field to operate the Cray. Yet the people that put together this conglomerate made these outlandish estimates as to what they could do in the way of revenue volume. It just wasn't sustainable. They couldn't do nearly that volume or generate near that amount of revenue. So wil10ut the revenue to sustain it, it just collapsed. They had to lay off large numbers of people.

Figure 2.7 The Cray computer at Digital Productions cost thousands of dollars just to keep it running.

Before any of that happened, Randy Roberts approached me and asked me if I would start a new company with him. He was thinking tl1at we would own it, and he would be the director. [said, "Sure, we can do that." That was in the fall of1986. Omnibus purchased Robert Abel and Associates in the summer of 1986, right before SIGGRAPH. s we started putting together a team. I asked Charlie Gibson if he would join, then Charlie asked Keith Goldfarb, Frank Wuts, and Pauline Tso. We figured ve needed another director, so we invited Cliff Boule. We also had a relationship at that time with Steve Beck.

So we put the company together, but we needed a name. We came up with hundreds of names. Nobody could agree on any of them. Then one day we were working on the Hawaiian Punch robot commercial. I was working next to Neil Escuri. He said, "I know you guys are forming a company; and I know you're having trouble finding a name. I got this name. I was going to use it for my company but I'm not going to form a company anymore, so if you want the name you can have it. The name is "Rhythm & Hues." We accepted the gift from Neil.

We formed Rhythm & Hues , and Omnibus was laying off the people that we had talked to when we were originally going to form our company. Pauline, Keith, and Charlie joined at tl1at time. Omnibus basically hut down the software division of Robert Abel and Associates, so there was pressure on us to really get Rhythm & Hues running.

I had a studio over on Larchmont Boulevard, and a couple of doors down there was a guy that lived tl1ere that was apparently involved witl1 some kind of love triangle. On New Year's Eve, 1986, somebody firebombed his studio, and the fire swept north and engulfed my studio where I had my computer. I bad one of the first Silicon Graphics computers made, and it was essentially destroyed by the fire. At the time, I didn't think I had any insurance because a few months before I got notice from d1e insurance company that they had canceled my insurance. They canceled it because of a leak i n the roof and a stain on the wall. A month or two after the fire, my insurance agent called. I told him that was too bad that they cancelled my insurance because I just had a fire. He said that he only canceled the property insurance; he didn't cancel the computer insurance. The insurance was replacement value, and I originally purchased that computer in 1984. Bill Kovaks and Jim Keating were using it to write the Wavefront software. So they used had already it for a couple years.(Figure 2.8 shows the Wavefront Logo.)

At the beginning of 1987, I had the replacement value insurance, which got us a brand new Silicon Graphic computer instead of the old obsolete one I owned before. That was really quite fortuitous. I didn't get any money out of the settlement but got a brand-new computer. The computers were very expensive back then. My first computer cost over $80,000. So getting the latest Silicon Graphics computer was really quite a coup.

Our studio had one state-of-the-art computer and a graphics workstation. And I had about $70,000 saved up, so we got started on that. We paid ourselves less than we were making at Robert Abel and Associates by far. Everyone even went on half salary, from our already nominal salaries.

Then in early April 1987, Ornnibus disappeared, and everybody was laid off. They closed it down. One day, people came back to work, and the doors were locked.

There was a logo for United Artists that was being worked on at Omnibus at the time. The project was just getting started, and they had nowhere else to go. The three studios that could have done the project; Omnibus , Digital Productions, and Robert Abel and Associates all disappeared simultaneously. So we ended up with that job.

On April 23rd, 1987, we got our first job, which was to do a film job. So you've got to remember, with the computers back then it was really, really hard to do a commercial, let alone having to do a high-resolution film job. Very few people in the United States even had film recorders. In order to record it, we had to messenger tapes to the supercomputer center data in San Diego. They had the closest film recorder down there. Because one of the computers at Robert Abel and Associates was financed by the father of Allen DeBevoise, we were able to lease that Celerity computer too. In return for using the computer, we would make payments on it.

So we had one Celerity computer and one Silicon Graphics workstation. We were working out of my apartment on Melrose Avenue, and then Charlie Gibson said "I'm not going to work here anymore; you have to get a real office." So we found a real place.

We found a basement of a dental office in Culver City, and we moved in there. I had Jet Wavefront use my computer where Jim Keating wrote the modeling software. When Wavefront (Figure 2.8) went public, they needed to control everything. We had to agree to let them control the modeling software ill return for shares of their stock. They had been paying Jim Keating all along, but their agreement was that we could use the modeling software but we would both own it. They didn't like that agreement. Once the more financially astute guys got involved with Wavefront, the agreement had to change. So we got shares of stock in return for them getting control of the modeling software, which at the time was called model.

Bill Kovaks wrote the animation software for Wavefront, Jim Keating wrote the modeling package, and Roy Hall wrote the rendering software. Jim and Bill were working out of my studio when they were writing the software, and Roy was working at home.

TOM: What would you consider your dream project?

JOHN: I am a big fan of John Lassiter and the work that l being done at Pixar. If I had to choose a dream project would be to have an animated feature film done here at Rhythm & Hues with the same production values as the work being done at Pixar. John Lassiter is a terrific director, and the films coming out of that studio are of the same quality and subject matter of the kind of work I would like to see being done here

Figure 2.8 Wavefront Logo

The original code for Wavefront Technologies, the first off-the-shelf software available for creating broadcast graphics. was written on the computer that belonged to John Hughes.

Interview with Bill Kroyer

Bill Kroyer

Bill Kroyer, Animation Director

Some milestones define digital images. These projects were there first, setting the bar much higher than was thought possible. One of these projects was Tron. This Disney film ·was not originally intended to include computer-generated animation. But, as it turned out, the 1982 release became the first film to produce mare than 20 minutes of computer·-generated imagery. One of the people who was involved with Tron was Bill Kroyer.

Bill served as the animation director Tron and continues to direct animation today on feature films and commercials. His animation of the light-cycle sequence in Tron still inspires digital artists. Bill's more recent achievements include directing animation on Cats and Dog (Warner Bros.) and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (Universal Pictures).

Bill has produced many traditional animation pieces, including titles for Honey, I Slhrunk the Kids, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation,and Blake Edwards' Son of the Pink Panther. He directed the animated feature Ferngully: The Last Rainforest for Twentieth Century Fox, and he received several awards for his 1988 computer-animated short Technological Threat. This film is considered by many in the field of computer graphics to be one of the seminal pieces of work that define the craft.

TOM:Can you describe the technical and creative challenges associated with the ground breaking work you did on "Tron"

BILL: Tron was the first movie that I worked on that used computer graphics, and I thi11k it was one of the first feature films that had computer graphics. It was not originally conceived as a computer film because that technology was not widely used or widely known about.

Tron was conceived as a conventional animated film but the subject matter was about life in the computer so it lent itself naturally to that kind of medium. When we first developed the story we were going to do it with like a back-lit technique so it had kind of an electronic glow feeling to it. But then, as word spread around tl1e industry that we were actually going to do a computer-animated film, people who were interested in this newer form of computer graphics started coming out of the woodwork. I mean, we were getting calls from all over the country asking about this film. When Disney picked up the option it became really the rage. Of course, the computer graphics community in 1979 was a lot smaller than it is today. A few of the key people, like Alan Kay, heard about the project and started flying down on their own money from Xerox PARC to Lo Angeles. Every Friday right after work we would go down on the shuttle and come over to our studio and just ask to sit around and consult with us on story board sessions. And when a guy like Alan Kay finds out about a movie in those days, he makes a couple of calls and the next thing you know, everybody in the computer graphics business, all 47 of them, knew about Tron.

So, when we got to Disney, we started getting all these film samples sent to us. There were no videotape . People didn't send you a cassette or a 3/4 tape. You actually had to get film. There were on1y four companies in the whole country that could do a computet animated film, and they all sent stuff to us. Steve Lisberger said, "We could actually do this film with computer animation, like real computer animation." I think there were no people in the business d1at had any experience at that. Since I was animation director of the movie, I automatically inherited the computer animation director job. It turned out that the kind of animation I was used to at Disney was exactly the kind of thing you needed for this movie. In those days you needed to visualize very precisely what you wanted for computer animation because there was no ability to preview it like we do today. There were no workstations that could play back imagery. You couldn't even play five frames at a time on a computer. All you could do was look at one frame and often a wire frame. There were no flip books, there was no SGI that had the graphics pipeline technology where you could actually watch it play. And consequently, viewing or doing that movie Tron, meant you had to completely envision and almost animate in our beads and then describe ti1e detail witl1nnmbers and graphs md literally describe the channel band and exactly how the objects would move. And we literally handwrote x, y, z translation, and rotation channels per frame for the light cycles and so forth (Figure 2.9). We wrote exposure sheets with all those numbers on it about how those vehicles got moved.

Steve Lisberger said, "You know what, we could actually do this film with computer animation, like real computer animation. I think there were no people in the business that had any experience at that. Since I was animation director of (Tron), I automatically inherited the computer animation director job.

The animation on that picture was interesting. As I said, we would do the graphs, we would do the plans, we would do the exposure sheets, then give them all to the programmers at the animation companies. They would type it all but they couldn't see how it would move. The fir t time ru1ybody saw it was when they filmed it out onto a film recorder. They sent it to us, and we put it up on a 70 mm projector (Figure 2.10) , and that's tile first time we saw anything move. That was our very, very, very, very first look at the animation. That's what you tweaked. You tweaked a wire frame pencil test. And, consequently if you didn't have it very close, you would have spent a lot of money. The other issue in those days was that there was no standardized software. Literally, every company in the business was writing their own software in-house. There were no commercial companies. Alias/Wavefront didn't exist yet. No one was writing modeling packages or animation packages or lighting packages. So the four companies we used, Triple I, Magi, Robert Abel, and Digital Effects in New York, all had absolutely different software, completely incompatible-tl1ey never talked to each other-they were incapable of talking to each other. Triple I even went as far as to build its own computer. They did the whole movie on their own piece of hardware called the Foonley, which was their personal computer that they built. It crashed every couple of hours.

Figure 2.9 The light-cycle sequence in Tron had to be animated by writing down the values for each channel for each frame on an exposure sheet.

Figure 2.11 The Foonley was a computer built by Triple I.

Figure 2.10 The animation in Tron had to be shot to 70 mm film just to preview it.

The only company that modeled in wire frame in a way that has become sort of traditional, with polygon , shaded polygons, was Triple I (Figure 2.11); they were using shaded polygons. Robert Abel and Associates didn't have any ability to shade at all. Their work was pure vectors, and they actually output eels, you know, acetate eels. Digital Effects did some kind of polygonal modeling. They only did one shot for us. And then Magi, of course, did this thing called Synthavision, which was their software tl1at was based on principle of ray tracing. They did solid geometry. All their objects had to be built with solid geometry that were really mathematical formulas. They can only build things by adding or subtracting geometric shapes that were easily described by formulas.

So you can only have circles and rectangles and crescents, and things like that. And everything you built, like the light cycles or the solar sailor, had to be made by simple solid geometry (Figure 2.1 2), which was then rendered in the system the Synthavision system. Dr. Phil Mittelman, who founded Magi, was the guy who invented ray tracing. What he developed wasn't my tracing for animation, it was a CAT scan. I think he was a medical doctor, and he used the same technology that he used for a CAT scan to do this. So anyway, it was every things out on a plotter, and so I talked with him and said "What if we developed this software and we could make computer animation on a plotter?" I went out and got some funding to do this. I borrowed some from my father-in-1aw. I took a loan out, then I spent all this money leasing an SGI for Tim so he could sit there and write this code. It was a iterative process where we constantly had to learn about this brand new technology, what it could and could not do, and then literally design the film. The content of the film had to be designed around what could be done and what couldn't be done. was a very iterative process where we constantly had to learn about this brand new technology, what it could and could not do, and then literally design the film. The content of (Tron) had to be designed around what could be done and what couldn't be done.

TOM:Could you describe the production environment you created for the film Technological Threat?

BILL: After Tron I worked in the computer industry for about four years, and I really enjoyed computer animation even though it was very primitive at the time. l liked a lot of things about it, but I still missed the organic, instant nature of hand drawing animation, so I wanted to find a way to bring the precision, accuracy and the power of computer generated geometry into tile world of hand-drawn organic imagery. This friend of mine, Tim Heidmaun, had been doing some work in computer graphics, and developed a little software program where you would plot thought, "I'll do a duel between computer animated characters and hand-animated characters, and I'll do the computer­ animated characters by computer, and I'll do the hand-animated characters by hand." ... the philosophical depth of that was just amazing. Nobody had ever seen computer animation plotted out on paper. So we thought, well, we'll go ahead and make our own film as a demo. So I started thinking what would be a fun film to show off the difference between computer animation and hand-drawn animation. advantageous part of the medium.

We did this short little film called Technological Threat (Figure 2-13), and we did it by doing exactly what I said. We boarded it all traditionally and then I animated all the computer stuff myself. We plotted it all out on paper, and then we did the hand animation, and then I took it all to Korea to a studio. We inked and painted the whole thing in three days and came back. And that was our movie. And, of course, that movie got an Oscar nomination and won festivals all over the world, and then we became really well known. We got so much work that we never made another short film again because we were too busy.

But we didn't have any money. You know, there were only three of us, my wife and I, and one computer guy.

We recruited a lot of friends to work on the film who subsequently became famous. Rob Minkoff, who directed Stuart Little, animated. Chris Bailey, who directed the animation for Mighty Joe Young at Dreamquest, was an animator. Brad Bird, who later directed The Iron Giant, helped us out. Rich Moore, who directed the some Futurama episodes, helped us out too. We had really great people helping us out.

Figure 2.12 The models of the light cycles in Tron had to be described as a series of solid shapes that were added to and subtracted from each other.

TOM:You've been involved with many traditional animation projects, as well as computer-animated projects. Can you explain your favorite and least favorite things about each medium?

BILL: Computer animation has been evolving a lot , but what I have always liked about it, I guess, was that you didn't have to draw. The thing that separates animators from most other human beings is that an animator has the ability to draw a character over and over and over again in any position, from any angle, and make it look like it's the same character. And that pure drafting skill is very rare. But then you combine that drafting skill with the ability to add movement to those drawings, so that drawing to drawing to drawing it appears as if you have the illusion of life that's animated characters by computer.

Hand drawn animation is a skill that a small portion of the human population possess. I mean, literally, the number of good animators that can draw in the Disney style in the whole United States of America. Out of 275 million people, there s literally 1,000 human beings that can re1tlly do that well. It is a really, really rare skill. And it's hard, really hard. You have to love it, and so love doing it, and I can do it but it is really difficult to do; it is a lot of work. And you slave away. I worked at Disney for a year, and I did 6o feet of film. I created 40 seconds of animation in a whole year· of my life. So at that rate, you know I could work for 50 years and I would end up with a half hour's worth of work, you know. That's my least favorite tiling, is how slow it is and how long it takes. Computer animation, on the other hand, is great because once you build a model, you've built it, literally. And that model looks the same from all angles, and when you move it , at least it still looks the same. So a huge amount of the difficulty and labor of hand-drawn animation has been replaced. You can now just focus on performance, how it moves and how it acts.

Figures 2.13 Technological Threat was a hilaious mix of traditional and computer animation.

The difference between computer animation and hand-drawn animation, and the problem with computer animation is this: literally anyone can move a character in computer animation. Most of the people who would call themselves animators are not really very good animator . They're just people who can move things, but you don't really notice it because they always look the same. So, consequently, in the whole computer animation industry now there haven't been that any really, really great animation performances, but they're getting better, and the standards are being raised, and you look at movie like Shrek and look at the business.

Computer animation's got to be 19 years old. Characters started being animated in the early '80s, you know-Tony De Peltrie something like '84 or '85. It took 16 years to really get the Disney quality performance animation to start showing up.