Long before computer animation, in the old, magical, early days of Disney, animators used a rotoscope to draw over live-action film. Frame by frame, the artists would trace over the actors and actresses that enacted each scene. Retronaut dug up some of these old images from Disney movies and it’s amazing to see the actresses that played our beloved princesses like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Disney was ahead of the trend, slimming down the waists of the models for the animated version, like the magazines now do regularly with Photoshop.
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Rotoscoping was invented in 1915 by the animator Max Fleischer for his cartoon animation series Out of the Inkwell in 1915 and patented 2 years later. Fleischer first used it to create a character named Koko the Clown with his brother Dave Fleischer dressing in a clown costume to play the live film reference. Disney first used the technique for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.