Press Release

Animation Toolworks Introduces PAL LunchBox Sync for Animation

June 6, 2001 Annecy, France - At the opening of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival today, Animation Toolworks introduced a new European version of their popular electronic audio-video device for animators, the LunchBox Sync™. The LunchBox Sync enables animators to instantly test their work in progress and eliminate time-consuming errors by monitoring pacing, lighting, audio synchronization, and registration. The LunchBox Sync also results in bolder animation by reducing the time to try alternatives. As with its predecessor, studios and independents use the LunchBox Sync for feature films, Academy Award nominated shorts, weekly television series, television specials, commercials, web animation, and theme park rides. Colleges, elementary and high schools, museums, and after school programs build classes around the LunchBox.

The LunchBox Sync captures still images from a video camera and plays back this sequence of images at the same rate as television, 25 frames per second. It accepts input from either composite or S-Video PAL devices such as cameras and VCRs. It cleanly outputs this same format video to monitors, VCRs, computers, etc. Over six and one half minutes of animation can be stored within the LunchBox. The LunchBox Sync can also record audio input, play back the audio with the video, and play associated audio when frames are stepped through one at a time (audio "scrubbing"). The "Sync" comes from the LunchBox's ability to synchronize the audio with matching frames of video, at the touch of a button. In addition, the LunchBox Sync provides simple controls to alter holds (the number of frames each image is shown), replace, insert, and delete frames.

The reason for the LunchBox's popularity among professionals, schools, students and hobbyists - is the product's instant feedback, and the ability to learn and use this technology in ten minutes. Animators appreciate the simplicity and transparency of the LunchBox, calling it "a liberating tool."

"You've made it ten times more capable than it was before, and it's still easy"

The Disney Institute's animation program, current users of the LunchBox Sync, summarized their use of the LunchBox with, "you've made it ten times more capable than it was before, and it's still easy," and, "Audio sync on this box is faster than anything else now. You will make people's lives much easier. You have a small studio in a box!"

"The editing features are invaluable for character animation"

The LunchBox Sync is immensely popular with colleges and universities. Cal Arts' animation departments are current users of the LunchBox. The faculty at Cal Arts contributed to the requirements of the LunchBox Sync, and to beta testing. Their assessment of the usefulness of LunchBox Sync, "The editing features are invaluable for character animation."

"I wouldn't consider animating without the LunchBox"

Mark Osborne, nominated for the Academy Award for his short animated film, More, says of his use of the LunchBox Sync, "It's perfect for what I'm doing, a lot of subtle animation to dialog, which I wouldn't have attempted in the past. I wouldn't consider animating without the LunchBox at this point."

The PAL version of the LunchBox Sync, model 3000P, will begin shipping in volume shipments commencing in September. Price for the LunchBox Sync is $3,495 USD. Animation Toolworks, based in Oregon, USA, serves professional animators and animation students by providing tools to reduce their cost and reinforce their creativity.

"Get it. Does what you want it to do and more. And it's relatively cheap"

Find out what everyone's saying about the LunchBox