Dick Van Dyke: CGI artist for hire


But – as it turns out – the stories are true, folks. Dick Van Dyke really is a huge computer animation fan. And – as he stood on stage – he proudly showed off the CG footage that he himself had created. Which showed a computer animated Van Dyke doing an old soft shoe on stage – first alone, then accompanied by two CG dancing girls.

This was followed by some CG footage that had been generated by having Dick dress up in a motion capture suit. Then Van Dyke did one of his classic comic bit of a drunk stumbling around a stage. To see that bit up on the big screen – just like Dick used to do on the old “Dick Van Dyke Show,” only now in CG form – was really sort of bizarre but fun.

Mind you, Van Dyke’s not a Johnny-Come-Lately to computer animation. Dick’s been into this stuff for years now, ever since he bought his first Amiga. He’s even done some computer animation that you may have seen on the small screen.

And – no – I’m not talking about the soft shoe routine again. The one that appeared in that “Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited” TV special earlier this year (Which – in a weird sort of co-incidence – was rerun just last night on TV Land). But – rather – a CG motorcycle crash that actually appeared in an episode of Van Dyke’s popular 1990s mystery series, “Diagnosis: Murder.”

To explain: The script for this particular episode called for a spectacular crash involving a motorcycle. The only problem was … There was no money in the budget for a location shoot and/or a stunt driver.

But this didn’t stop Dick Van Dyke. He just went out – on his own, mind you – and shot a live action background plate. Then – on his own time at home – he used his personal computer to create this realistic looking CG motorcycle which crashed. Dick then combined the two pieces of footage and screened them for the producers of “Diagnosis Murder.” These folks were just stunned that the star of their show was this sort of technicial whiz.





That’s awesome:thumbsup:

I know that Les Claypool form Primus has been doing CG for a couple of years now and usually has some piece of his own art on every album:)


I guess stars feel the need to devote countless hours yelling at their computers too:shrug:


That’s so cool, and here I was thinking old Dick was propped in an old folks home, lol.

Talking of bands, I remember one of the guys from a Candian band I liked, called Voivod, was heavily into 3D. He used Sotfimage 3D for some album covers.


Dyke is an inspiration. It’s great that someone in the later years of life is so dedicated to his craft, while others lounge about for hours watching the PGA tour or playing Bridge.

I hope my desire to learn and do new things doesn’t dimminish as I reach the twilight years.


For fun, anyone know of any more CG “industry-types”???

I know “Robin” from the TV series is into 3d VFX [ forget name, sorry BW ]

Director Michael Ninn [Adult] has been a 3D Max user for many years.

Hercules actor as well.

                                Cheers, THOM


Sinbad was interested in Hash A:M at one point. And Dana Carvey’s brother developed the Video Toaster. That’s why Garth is wearing a VT shirt in one of the Wayne’s World movies.


He just got himself another fan :applause: :applause: :applause:


Hey a great actor with a great hobby! I’ve always liked his acting and I’m even more impressed now!


That is awesome that that got written up on Jim Hill Media! I happened to “tune in” to Newtek’s live stream of their booth shortly before Dick Van Dyke took stage and got to see him come on. But my stream wasn’t quite good enough and had fits of stopping and buffering or the video would freeze but still get audio…of course this happened just when Dick showed his animation examples. :banghead: Still was great to see…I did remember reading somewhere before that he was into CG and Lightwave. Thanks for the link, Roberto!


“Dick’s been into this stuff for years now, ever since he bought his first Amiga.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Brilliant! :smiley:


You all probably wont believe it, but:

I -met- Dick Van Dyke at Siggraph just 2 days ago.

I was working the 2005 Booth, he walked up, asked where Registration was, I pointed him in the right direction, shook hands, and that was it.

Overall it was really weird, I thought I had had too much to drink and not enough sleep the night before.


I know I’m diggin up a rather ancient post, but this really made my smile. I LOVED Dick Van Dyke as a kid, watched the Dick Van Dyke show every night on Nick at Night, and to think that he’s doing this kind of stuff really puts a grin on my face.

Thats really cool. hehe


One of the best experiences I had in SIGGRAPH 2005 was meeting him in a party in Hollywood Blv.

The man is pure class.

He was in a vendor party and few people seem to know who he was(Something that still blows my mind).

When I nervously introduced myself with my heavily accented english, he was very cool and gracious. Heck I even got to ake a photo with him, so I could later brag about meeting him.

He is really a great guy.



I was just thinking about Dick Van Dyke, as I just picked up “Marry Poppins” on DVD. Does anyone know if he has a production company for animation, or is he a hobbyist?


I wonder if the great man posts here…

It is so heartwarming that a childhood hero or icon of mine could have such a passion for 3D. He defies the clichés that are applied with technology and age which is in itself admirable. Really is one of life’s genuine people and certainly someone I respect. I would love to meet the guy.



I hope is CG Art Skills are better than his Cockney Accent (For all those who have seen Mary Poppins)(-:

I’m actually surpirised that more celebs aren’t into CG Art - having said that actors who star in CG Flix are probably put off by the hours that the CG Art teams have to work.

Anyhow, Dick - if by some small chance you happen read this (Though anyone serious about CG Art would surely visit these forums) then All the best to you. Perhaps you could post a link to some of your work!


I don’t think that he visits here… but according to http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=24002&highlight=van+dyke he did parts of a CBS reunion special and may have done some of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang DVD

according to http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=23459&highlight=van+dyke the scene in Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited was a “Laura” animation and Chroma Key, and http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=23459&highlight=van+dyke says that it may have been Daz built characters that he posed in poser.


One of my childhood heroes, John Byrne, does CG as well:
Click for interview with john Byrne


I’m not sure what to say,

other than I find it really cool at that. It seems to me that as opposed to the spoilt brats of the pop music industry, in film there are a lot of very driven and very gifted people often busy with more than one artform. The medium itself only is slightly older than a hundred years, there are people doing pioneers work in it and maybe we don’t even know it. I think it’s a wonderful business and artform and I’m really excited to try and make my way in it.
I guess I’m replying because it inspires me, my sister is a dancer and I wanted to animate also, it could be something in the blood! This guys Mr. van Dyke is a great dancer I see. language in motion and form, wow! Anyway, nice bit of info Mr. Ortiz, thanks.


Burt Ward, “Boy wonder” from the original batman owns “boywonder productions” which worked on about 20 films including…
Bulletproof monk,
Pirates of the caribbean,