"John Whitney, Sr. was one of the earliest and most influential of the computer animation pioneers. He came at the problem from the background of film, working with his brother James Whitney on a series of experimental films in the 1940s and 1950s. His work in this area gave him the opportunity to collaborate with well known Hollywood filmmakers, including Saul Bass.
His earliest computer work used analog devices for controlling images and cameras. After the second world war, Whitney purchased surplus military equipment and modified it to be used in his art making. One such device was an analog mechanism used in military anti-aircraft controllers, the M-5 (and later the M-7). Whitney and his brother converted this device of war into an animation controller, and used it together with a mounted camera as an animation stand. ...
After establishing his company Motion Graphics, Inc in 1960, he used his analog devices for the opening to the Hitchcock movie Vertigo in 1961. His company was focused on producing titles for film and television, and was also used in graphics for commercials. But Whitney was far more interested in the use of the technology as an art form, and began a series of collaborations in art making that has lasted for years. Many of these early collaborations revolved around the advancement of the vector graphics device as a viable tool for making art. Whitney received funding from IBM to take a look at the use of IBM equipment in the design of motion. He worked with IBM programmers in the development of a language for extending the computer to the control of graphics devices. This resulted in one of his most famous animations, Permutations in 1968."