… is the German word for an animation stand which I hereby announce to finally possess myself. I wanted to own one of these for a very long time and last week I was able to buy a used one (though I think the guy who sold it thought I must be totally nostalgic and beyond help).

*Tricktisch*, or animation stand.
My new Tricktisch which seems to be a tiny bit old-fashioned nowadays.

On this animation stand you’re able to film any kind of animation that is placed on a flat surface, including cel animation, graphic animation, clay animation, cut-out animation and silhouette animation as well. I worked on one more sophisticated stand in Vienna but this one is nice, simple and working.

According to Wikipedia on animation stands,

the vertical positioning of the animation camera, always shooting down, is the main component that defines an animation stand, as opposed to a stop motion set-up, or other equipment arrangements for animation production.

As you see in the picture above, there are four lamps attached to the stand’s surface which lights your setting evenly and ideally from an angle of 45 degrees. The camera is panable and moveable up and down the column. All parts move smoothly and could be fixed properly.

You wonder why I wanted to have an animation stand for my studio? From time to time I’d love to animate cut-out puppets – it’s much easier to do this with this device than with a camera on a tripod fixed by the help of some strange constructions… Oh, and there once had been a time when it wasn’t old-school to use such an animation table: the Popular Science magazine featured an article about these new so called cartoon cameras in December 1940 when they seemed to be pretty astonishing. Ocassionally I absolutly enjoy putting my computer away and get fascinated with old and manual techniques

If you got hooked and want to build one by yourself, I’d like to share a website with instructions how to do so: On, film and animation artist Jan-Erik Nyström offers a great overview on animation stands and a how to construct one.

28. October 2009 by Jessica
Categories: Stuff | Tags: | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. very cool TOY!!


  2. Hey Justin,
    it’s nice that you’re stepping by!

    And yes, it *is* a really cool toy and it’s pushing my creativity and playfulness a lot!

  3. Holy Jumping Jesus.

    quote: ‘though I think the guy who sold it I must be totally nostalgic and beyond help’. Didn’t you had the opportunity of working on Mr. Chuck ‘I drew the Road Runner Cartoons’ Jones animation stand in Vienna some time ago. This device even looks VERY professional !

  4. Hey Michael,
    it’s always good to have you here! Actually it was Mr Jones light table… ;)

    I bought it from a pro guy who now works mostly digital due to twenty years of analogue experience…