Animusic's founder Wayne Lytle began to envision algorithmically synchronizing music and animation almost 30 years ago - in 1982.
It wasn't until 1989 that he first began experimenting with music-driven computer animation. His first full multi-instrument music animation "More Bells and Whistles" premiered in the Electronic Theater at SIGGRAPH 1990. It has since won awards and been shown in various contexts world-wide. In 1991 Lytle received an award from IBM for his early work in music animation.
In 1995 Lytle brought computer artist David Crognale on board to produce a music animation for a commercial client. Animusic produced a 5-minute stereoscopic music animation for VRex, a manufacturer of stereoscopic glasses and projectors. The award-winning stereoscopic version was entitled "Concerto in 3D", while the regular version was called "Beyond the Walls".
In 1998 Lytle and Crognale began production on a computer animation "video album" which was initially released on VHS in December 2001, then shortly after on DVD. All the music and instrument design was original.
Following discussions with potential distributors, this original release was soon enhanced to include a 5.1 Surround Sound mix, full motion menus, and additional bonus material. It was subsequently released as "ANIMUSIC: Special Edition". Eventually, most people (including us) forgot the original stereo-only version ever existed, and now simply refer to this release as Animusic 1.
There was an extended break before production began on our 2nd DVD, allowing for rest and mental recalibration. Much was needed. Animusic 2 was completed and released in late 2005. But again, Wayne and Dave were exausted. While Dave was smart enough to rest. Wayne had other ideas, and jumped right into a total rewrite of their production pipeline. In hindsight, neglecting to take a short break may have been unwise.
from "More Bells & Whistles", Lytle 1990
Later in this transitional phase, we re-located to new office space in Ithaca, NY. In the process of preparing for Animusic 3, we reworked our entire production system, right down to the core (details in this Newsletter). Steve Westin came onboard for a couple of years and helped us on the graphics software side of things, especially RenderMan, shaders, GUI, and scene graph code. A while later, Ben Trumbore joined us as the primary developer for ANIMUSIC|studio.
Production for Animusic 3 has ramped up a few times, then taken a back seat to other projects as they were moved to the front burner. Among them were a Japanese release of Animusic 2 and a Blu-ray of material primarily from Animusic 2. Once the Blu-ray is out and another couple of things are taken care of, we'll be able to focus again on Animusic 3. We won't keep it a secret when it's ready.
In 1995 our name was changed from Visual Music to Animusic, for "animated music".
Animusic® is a US Registered Trademark.