PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From Three Rivers Stadium to PNC Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates Rally Train had a good long run.
Original art for the Pirates, the Steelers, and the Penguins is highlighted in a Toonseum exhibit featuring the pro scoreboard art of Kensington Falls Animation.
Mike Schwab, who teaches animation at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, wasn’t much older than his students when he co-founded the studio in 1979.
“This was the first campaign that we did for the Penguins in 1984 when Lemieux was drafted,” said Schwab. “Two seasons later, we actually did two other campaigns for the Penguins. We ended up using the same animation that you just saw, with different backgrounds behind it, which you end up getting to see; so it ends up absolutely different.”
Early story boards are part of the Toonseum show.
In a nod to computer animation, Schwab says he paints his scenes digitally, but that’s as far as it goes. He says there’s still no substitute for original artwork on paper.
“Everyone has a deep appreciation for the classic animations that have always been done,” he says.
Speaking of classic, that award-winning Rally Train was a group effort.
“In our story meetings, we were actually acting this out,” Schwab said. “The clapping, and that would build, and one of the guys got into such a frenzy that he just went ‘Woo-Woo,’ you know.”
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