Dave Sieg got a taste of television in high school and hasn’t looked back since. Fast-forward several decades and you’ll find a whole room in his house dedicated to video and one analog machine in particular, Scanimate. This animated words for the first time, basically laying the first brick for motion graphics #yesterdaymagic
Sieg remembers its huge role in the 80s. Back then, animated words could be seen on TV thanks to such a machine, of which about a dozen units were built. He has the last one remaining and functional. It’s a joy seeing him turning knobs and plugging in oscillators to customize the visual experience.
“It’s very tangible. You can affect the image with your hands. You can always touch it and you can’t touch any of this digital stuff”, explains Sieg a part of the reason why he’s so fascinated with the Scanimate:
You can feel his passion in the way his eyes shine brightly when he describes the technology: “With the Scanimate, you’re literally photographing light that’s coming off a phosphor screen”.
Of course, after the industry progressed to high-def, the technology was quickly pushed aside and forgotten about. By most of us, but not by Sieg. He reluctantly admits a Scanimate probably belongs in a museum but as long as his machine works, he doesn’t wish to part with it.