Animation Films and Systems

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Early Experiments

The earliest films produced on the SC4020 were trials to see what was possible. Paul Nelson completed a 7-minute film called FOCUS describing the SCFOR Fortran software for the SC4020 which included a zoom from outer space that eventually arrived at the front of the Atlas Building. It also had an early attempts at a computer-generated sound track. Bob Hopgood produced a 10-minute film describing the features of the GROATS Algol software.

Later, other software systems were added (including ANTICS, CAMP/CAMPER, Polygraphics) that allowed Atlas and 1906A users to produce films initially on the Stromberg-Carlson SC4020 and later the III FR80. Many of the films are no longer available, particularly those produced by Atlas users. The complete list currently available is given below. Most have some associated documentation.

The year of production is approximate. The time, in some cases, was over a year between starting and completing the project. In the early days, producing a final release copy of the film could take as much as 6 months if the SC4020 system was having an off period.

Name Authors Length
Year Recorder Short Description
GROATS Hopgood 9:52 1969 SC4020 Describes Algol GROATS System
Focus Nelson 6:51 1969 SC4020 Describes FORTRAN SCFOR System
Change & Chance 1 Black, Ogborn, Hopgood 2:29 1969 SC4020 Nuffield A Level Physics, Introduction
Change & Chance 2 Black, Ogborn, Hopgood 0:52 1969 SC4020 Shows Random Motion of Energy Quantums
Change & Chance 3 Black, Ogborn, Hopgood 0:58 1969 SC4020 Independent of size of board
Change & Chance 4 Black, Ogborn, Hopgood 1:33 1969 SC4020 Follows a single position
Change & Chance 5 Black, Ogborn, Hopgood 0:52 1969 SC4020 Different starting position makes no difference to steady state
Change & Chance 6 Black, Ogborn, Hopgood 1:38 1969 SC4020 Heat flows from hot to cold by chance alone
Syntactic Dominoes Stapley, Hopgood 6:50 1970 SC4020 Explains various syntax analysis approaches
Demo Reel Nelson, Hadingham 2:30 1970 SC4020 Experiments with colour output and synchronisation with existing film images.
Open University Maths Asbury, England, Hopgood 2:04 1970 SC4020 Open University First Maths Course with Computer Animation
First Order Reactions Groves 5:46 1971 SC4020 Explains chemical reactions
Linear Hash, Random Keys Hopgood 2:47 1971 SC4020 Demonstrates the linear hash technique; the Version with synthesised soundtrack produced in 1974
Linear Hash, User Keys Hopgood 4:25 1971 SC4020 Shows effect of non-random data
Galaxy Evolution Hockney 2:56 1971 SC4020 Simulation of galaxy evolution
Tomorrows World 6:25 1971 SC4020 Shows how computer animation is achieved
Quadratic Hash, Random Keys Hopgood 1:45 1972 SC4020 Demonstrates the quadratic hash technique
Quadratic Hash, User Keys Hopgood 3:34 1972 SC4020 Shows effect of non-random data
Physex 1 Various 5:53 1972 SC4020 Aerial Synthesis, Boltzmann Distribution, Jet Flow
When Polar Bears Swam The Thames Emmett 3:22 1972 SC4020 Excerpt from Horizon Programme on BBC
Physex 2 Various 14:20 1973 SC4020 Solitons and Bions, Wind Tunnell Testing, Stratospheric Temperature Fields over the Southern Hemisphere
Antics Demo Reel Kitching 4:26 1973 SC4020 Examples of ANTICS in action
HPD Queue Bell 7:39 1973 SC4020 Buffering between the 360/195 and the Hewlett-Packard Front End and the Hough-Powell Scanner
Orbits in a Hyperbolic Well Mendoza 6:45 1974 SC4020
Expanding Universe Aarseth 10:43 1975 SC4020
PIGS Shaw 2:07 1974 PDP15 Interactive animation system on the PDP15
Magnet Design Trowbridge 7:43 1975 SC4020 Explains interactive magnet design at RAL
Finite Elements Kitching, Crow 11:40 1975 SC4020 Explains the Finite Element technique using bridges, estuary flow and air flow as examples
Computer Animation from Other Early Systems
Force, Mass & Motion Sinden 9:29 1965 SC4020 Bell Labs
The Mark Of Man Stromberg-Carlson 11:20 1967 SC4020 Explains the importance of the SC4020
CAMPER Example Anderson 0:41 1968 SC4020 Woody Anderson's CAMPER System
Conic Sections Schey, Schwartz 1:41 1970 SC4020 MIT Excellent series from Harper & Row
Moving Charges Excerpt Schey, Schwartz 1:17 1970 SC4020 MIT Also Harper & Row
Scanimate Computer Image 0:04 1970 Scanimate First Computer Image System
Scanimate Computer Image 0:23 1970 Scanimate Demonstrates system
Caesar System Computer Image 3:10 1971 CAESAR Computer Animated Episodes with Single Axis Rotation
Quartetus Caesar Computer Image 3:10 1971 CAESAR First CAESAR Demo Film
Coyote & Lizard Computer Image 2:01 1971 CAESAR One of a series produced by Computer Image
Laser Separation Livermore 0:47 1975 FR80 Sound drawn on the cine film
Los Alamos Colour Los Alamos 1;01 1975 SC4020 Showing colour output on SC4020 from a white phosphor tube with filters