Photomatics, Photomatix or Rotomatics

Claire Hunns Articles

What is a Photomatic?
Originally a photomatic was a series of still photographs edited together and presented on screen in a sequence. Since the early days, we have fine tuned the process so the photomatic is now shot using real people against green screen at 25FPS. The footage is then composited onto a photo-realistic background. Finally, it is edited into a film with a voiceover, soundtrack and sound effects which looks very close to the final ad.

Just like an animatic, a photomatic is used by advertisers and advertising agencies to research the effectiveness of their proposed storyboard with their target audience before committing to a ‘full up’ television advertisement.

What is a Rotomatic?
Rotoscoping was invented in 1915 when Max Fleischer used the technique in the film Koko the clown. He used it to draw over his brother who was dressed as a clown as part of an animated sequence. You can see the film here.

The artist would draw onto a transparent easel, onto which the movie projector is projecting an image of a single film frame. The artist would then be able to draw over the image. This technique was then patented in 1917. Walt Disney used the technique as a study for human and animal motion.

In modern times the term Rotomatic is a test commercial.

What is a Digimatic?
A digimatic test tv commercial is produced with computer generated 3D animated characters, against a 3D or photographic background.

What is a Photomatix?
Photomatix Pro is a software plug-in that allows the user to create HDR (High Dynamic Range images). It’s made by HDRsoft and can be downloaded here.

What is Photomatic Booth?
Photomatic was also the trademarked name of many of the booths found in public places which took photographs by coin operation. The Photomatic brand of the booths were manufactured by the International Mutoscope Reel Company of New York City. Earlier versions took only one photo per coin, and later versions of the booths took a series of photos. Many of the booths would produce a strip of four photos in exchange for a coin.

Claire HunnsPhotomatics, Photomatix or Rotomatics