Below is my second favorite drawing item from when I was an animator's brat: the double-bladed blue and red pencil. You had to be careful not to poke your eye out. But what real animator would care about that? They'd just pop their eyeball back in and keep on going. These days, your monitor blacks out and you cry out for Mama.
Below is my very favorite drawing item. Generally known as a china marker, my dad and his real animator brethern called them grease pencils. Yeah, grease. Ya got a problem with that, you digital debutantes? When was the last time you got down and greasy with your work?
One oldtimer who doesn't get enough hand's-on props is John Oxberry. This guy should be enshrined in several of those mutual-backslapping organizations you modern guys got -- and you can make room for him by shoving out the guy who invented the graphic accelerator card. Ox's animation cameras were ubiquitous to just about every studio in the real animation era. Made of metal, flesh and blood, no one had wait overnight for rendering: you shot it, you got it, you shoot the next. Case closed Go over to the Splog and see this amazing post on him.
Below is Paramount's in-house guide on their use of the Oxberry.
An alternative to the Oxberry was the Richardson-Bowlds. The model RB-300 could stand in a real animation studio as if you'd parked your big ol' humpback Oldsmobile 88 inside, and looking like it could have had the the eponymous starring role in Transformers. You modern folk, I'll bet you got Smartcars and drive them in the slow lane, starring in some flick with Hugh Grant and Mandy Moore. Bah! Just look under the hood, man:
Seymour Kneitel sent my dad the following letter when he screwed up some animation direction. That's probably why I have the Oxberry guide -- Seymour must have sent it to him as a reminder.Kneitel addressing my dad as "Irving" is equivalent to Hilary Clinton calling her husband William. In the industry everyone always addressed my dad as either Spec or Irv. The only time someone ever called my dad Irving was my mother when she was pissed at him. So maybe Seymour, gentleman that he was, was annoyed. Around this same time my dad had resumed his brogue so the scotch had to go back into the cabinet. I reasoned hard with my dad that he really was of Russian ancestry -- so out came the vodka. Hence we got Boris the Matchmaker and his samovar. Whatta ya got now? Kimpossible? Bah!