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See, Hear and Sing Animation
J. Stuart Blackton, 1912.
A portrait of J. Stuart Blackton from 1912

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Blackton--Father of American Animation
After meeting Edison, Blackton became interested in putting his drawings on film. He and Albert E. Smith formed one of the first film studios, the Vitagraph Company. They made a series of "trick films," using techniques including stop motion (stopping and starting the camera while making a change in the scene being filmed), dissolves (the first scene slowly fades out at the same time that a second scene slowly fades in), and multiple exposures (filming one image, then rewinding the film and shooting a second image) to achieve what they called "magical effects." (Today we call them special effects.) Blackton's first creation, combining drawings and film, was "The Enchanted Drawing." Using the trick film techniques he and Smith developed, the drawing magically comes alive!
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