One of my last-second purchases on Sunday, just before I left the San Diego Comic Con, was snagging this copy of the November 1936 issue (at right) of POPULAR SCIENCE magazine. I love old magazines. This one was in a stack of several PS issues, but it had an article that totally justified the $15 price tag: two pages describing the mechanics of Max Fleischer’s patented three dimensional Stereo-Optical Process.Fleischer Studios isn’t even mentioned in the piece, albeit Max is refered to in the last sentence. But among the great graphics and interesting tidbits, the article reveals:
“Several sets can be prepared on the rotating table at the same time. As soon as the filming of one set is completed, the table can be swung to the next.”
The level of detail in these sets has always amazed me. The shots usually last only several seconds – but always ignite gasps of awe from audiences, even today. In fact, there’s nothing in computer graphics today that can compare to the magic in those Fleischer three dimensional sequences. I’ve scanned the article for you to read, below. Excuse the moray pattern which causes parallel lines to appear over the pictures. Click on each page for a larger image.