What is with the "jitters" in old cartoons shows?

Watch till the credit scene where they are just showing the names, what is with the jitters ?!!!
Was it done on purpose or bad tech at the time ?

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Good old fashioned Gate weave[edit]

Gate weave, known in this context as “telecine weave” or “telecine wobble”, caused by the movement of the film in the telecine machine gate, is a characteristic artifact of real-time telecine scanning. Numerous techniques have been tried to minimize gate weave, using both improvements in mechanical film handling and electronic post-processing. Line-scan telecines are less vulnerable to frame-to-frame judder than machines with conventional film gates, and non-real-time machines are also less vulnerable to gate weave than real-time machines. Some gate weave is inherent in film cinematography, as it introduced by the film handling within the original film camera: modern digital image stabilization techniques can remove both this and telecine/scanner gate weave.

Note, I did not write all that I just copied it from wikipedia :slight_smile:

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I actually enjoy seeing that, as it’s nostalgic.
Also…ha! I love how Tom & Jerry Kids is now considered “old” - give me the original any day! :wink:

Gotta love old tech…

I remember when Disney finally went all digital. They had rows of animation desks sitting in a back lot collecting dust. To give you an idea of what they looked like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxJOw5O0h8o&feature=emb_rel_pause

Although not relevant to wobble, that is interesting to note is that, the final composite image might have been burnt to film multiple times as much passes required.

As for example:
Burn the cartoon to film, do the edits and cuts with scissors and cellotape, burn the letters to film, then burn a new film combining light sources from both the cartoon film and the letters, etc…

So the more you would fiddle with source material the more chances to introduce artfacts such as dust and scratches, perhaps distortions, perhaps some wobble too.

Another very important consideration for cartoons of the era was that they were often produced using rather extreme labor-saving techniques. Footage was often produced at a 15fps frame rate or lower. So-called “limited animation” involved superimposing “moving parts” onto static scenes – the most-extreme example of which might have been the Clutch Cargo series in which live-action lips(!) were composited upon non-moving drawings. Anything to save a buck.

The process was extraordinarily labor-intensive, and “only Walt Disney could afford to do what Walt Disney did.” … and let the record show that Walt very nearly went bankrupt doing it, too. Several times, in fact. Even when you squeezed a dollar until it hurt, it still cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce even a very simple show.

Also, remember that a lot has changed since yours truly your dad first encountered these gems on my his black-and-white or maybe(!) color television: folks have tried very hard to make this stuff look as good today as it possibly can – certainly, much much better than it did, I assure you(!) – but they may have made compromise choices which led to “jitter.” After all, the orginal source material “is what it is.” :man_shrugging:

Still: I think that this stuff is very informative: “Wow, look what they did(!), and with absolutely nothing! Sometimes today we say that they were ‘innovative,’ when they were just trying … literally … to survive. For quite a few of those years there was a Great Depression going on …”