CGIClassicDisney

30 Years Ago: Disney Released Its First Fully-CG Animated Short, ‘Oilspot and Lipstick’

This anniversary won’t be marked by many people, but Disney released a historic film on this day thirty years ago.

The studio’s first fully-cg animated short, Oilspot and Lipstick, debuted on July 28, 1987, at the SIGGRAPH conference, held in Anaheim, California that year. The short, as far as we know, was not released to the general public. (A clip from the short can be viewed below.)

In the animated piece, Oilspot and Lipstick are two small mechanical “junk” dogs who are threatened by a junk monster. The film, directed by Mike Cedeno, had actually been produced a year or two earlier, but released at SIGGRAPH in 1987.

Though it was Disney’s first full-cg short, the studio had experimented with computer animation techniques and incorporated cg elements into other projects it produced in the early- and mid-1980s. Among those projects were the 1982 live-action feature Tron, a 1983 test by John Lasseter and Glen Keane that combined hand-drawn characters with computer-generated backgrounds, and the 1986 feature The Great Mouse Detective, which incorporated computer-generated backgrounds in the climactic clocktower finale.

Tina Price, an animator who worked on Oilspot and Lipstick, wrote about the film in a Cartoon Brew comment some years ago, offering some details about the production:

We had 2 SGI hardware boxes called Mickey and Minnie running Wavefront software. We sent out the film printing because there was no optical printer in house, and Tad wrote the hiddenline code that was developed and composited over the 3D rendered images to create a ‘new’ 2D/3D look. We didn’t know what the heck we were doing but we had a lot of passion and ideas and talent that went on to fuel the 3D animation in feature films at Disney.

"Oilspot and Lipstick."

Here’s a list of creative credits for the historic short. The group that made the film called themselves the “Late Night Movie Group” due to the long hours they put into making the project.

Director: Mike Cedeno
Creative Consultant: Burny Mattinson
Story Development: Mike Cedeno, Bruce Morris, Gary Trousdale
Original Concept: Lem Davis
Music: Jay Ferguson
Animators: Ruben Aquino, Mike Cedeno, Tony DeRosa, Tina Price, M.J. Turner
Effects Animator: Barry Cook
Assistant Animators: Brian Clift, Jim Houston
Layout Artist: Fred Cline
Background Artist: Brian Sebern
Production Graphics: John Emerson
Sound Effects: Robby Weaver
Video Editing: Bob Lambert
Film Editing: Dave Wolf
Technical Directors (Production and Animation) Tad Gielow, M.J. Turner
Technical Directors (Compositing and Effects) Lem Davis, David Coons,
Jim Houston
Special Thanks To:
Wavefront Technologies, Inc – Loan of production software
Edge Computer Corporation – Loan of hardware for production
Pixar – Loan of hardware/software for animation tests

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