Want a Free Animation Desk? Want a Free Animation Desk?
Cartoon Culture

Want a Free Animation Desk?

Free Animation DesksIf you want a free animation desk, and are willing to move it yourself from North Hollywood, this Craigslist post is offering thirty of them, sans disc.

(Thanks, Gary)

  • wes

    so what sets an “animation desk” apart from a normal desk?

  • If you gotta ask, just keep walking.
    : )

  • mark

    wes, an animation desk usually includes a light well and a round hole cut in the top for an animation disc to spin on.

  • Anne

    “so what sets an “animation deskâ€? apart from a normal desk?”

    Well…for starters, see that big, black, round animation-y thing right smack dab in the middle of it?


  • Cyrus

    If I lived in California I would pick up one of those. Or maybe two or three or what ever I could drag down the street.

  • Wes,

    Adding to what Mark said above:

    The animation disc has a peg bar(s) which holds the animator’s drawings in registration to one another . The disc which is set into the surface of the desk (and rotates) has a white, translucent plexiglass window so the animator can see through several layers of drawings on the disc when it is illuminated by the back-light which is on the underside of the table.

    Here’s a link to a photograph showing a similar desk to the one in the photo above, but set up fully and ready to draw. The shelves above and to the side of the animation disc area are for fresh paper & supplies and for storing finished drawings (but more often than not are filled with lots of CD’s or toys ) .

    Animation Desk photo

  • red pill junkie

    Wes. the difference between that desk and executive’s is about 3 or 4 ceros more in your paycheck ;-)

    I must say that for the briefest of time I had the opportunity (nay, the PRIVILEGE!) of working in one of those. I even became pretty handy with the whole page-flipping and all.

  • Mike

    I want one! I live in California, but I live in Nor Cal, I’m a good 10 hours away from from Hollywood, at least. Oh well.

  • Chris

    Hmm, that reminds me that I have a couple of those to sell. Bought three of them at an auction when Fox Animation went down. I kept the one I liked best, but the other two are in storage. Anyone know what a good animation table is worth these days?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    >> “so what sets an “animation desk� apart from a normal desk?�

    > Well…for starters, see that big, black, round animation-y thing right smack dab in the middle of it?
    > ;)

    I felt we’d be getting a few here asking that question. Glad to see there’s enough answers so I don’t have to chime in further. Only wish I had one of these too, best I got in my house is the Cartoon Colour Co. table I bought off eBay years ago, still it should suffice (having that thing would be a pain to find adequate space for).

    Thought we were through with that “-y” thing (being reminded of it getting used even in Pixar’s Ratatouille)? :-)

  • Does anyone know of any ready-made plans for such a desk, much as one finds for other DIY furniture projects? Online or elsewhere?

    Yes, I know one could study this photo and reverse engineer an approximation, but perhaps someone has done that work already.

  • Chris

    The desk is really just a drafting table (where the tabletop leans up toward the artist) with a hole for the disc and a light under it, so that in itself is really pretty basic to build. The tricky (and expensive) part is the disc. My recommendation would be to start with the animation disc and build the rest of the table based off of it.

    This might give you an idea of what you’re up against.

  • Diane

    I want one, I live an hour away from LA, now I just need someone to answer my obsessed email and a truck.

  • The Craigslist post has expired. Drat. I can’t see the underside to see how the top is adjusted. Looks like they’re manual though, not electric or hydraulic.

  • You guys who didn’t get one of these didn’t miss much. I drove up today from San Diego, to find a bunch of desks, well, mostly parts of desks, in a shipping container. After moving lots of broken glass, screws, and particle board, I managed to salvage one good desk. It’s frankensteined together from a few desks, and I grabbed the light table desktop part of another. I plan on making my own desk with those pieces. I also bought one of the discs, which is in great condition. It’s almost as though the discs were separated and the desks were then trashed. Apparently, these were from Nickelodeon and Klasky Chupo. They had two different types: a shorter one with more shelf space on the side, and taller ones with shelving on the top. I hope the people who got there before me faired better, but it’s hard to believe that any of the desks were in perfect shape, based on the way they looked when I got there today. At any rate, a free desk is a free desk. It’s going to take me a while to fix this up to something usable, but I’ll post some results when I done.

    For those still looking for desks, here is another Craigslist post with a similar desk:


  • Chris

    Hydraulics!? I’m not sure what you were expecting, but you usually don’t need to adjust the table that often. Once it’s set to where you’re comfortable you typically just keep it set there. So yeah, they’re manual.

    Still, maybe that’s because nobody’s tried hydraulics. Could be a new revolution in traditional animation!

    If I get the chance I’ll take detailed photos of my table and post them. That way the uninitiated can see how it works. It’s really not all that complicated.

  • gustavo

    Hi everybody: I’m on the way of building an animation light table with rotating disk. I understand that the disk is not absolutely necessary, but I would like to make a try. If it turns to be rather expensive or difficult, I may get along with a simple illuminated surface. The problem is that I could not find a single reference or detailed description of the intimate mechanism for which the disk rotates. Anyone who may help me? I woul really…REALLY! aprecciate any suggestion, guideline or instruction.Thank you all.

  • lida

    Im studying industrial design and working on an animation desk as the subject of my thesis. my advice is to buy a desk with more space on the side in order to have your notes,reminders, images or tips in front of you.

    and after talkin to many ppl working with such a desk i’ve found out that working with an easy adjustable one is more ok for your body. because its much better for you not to get used to a single position. so if u could adjust it easily, u may be able to adjust it with the natural movements of your body, not getting common syndromes by spending hours working at such a desk. besides adjusting the height of the desk is another important point.