'Tom Waits For No One' Is An Unseen Rotoscope Classic (VIDEO)

07/20/2011 01:21 pm ET | Updated Sep 19, 2011

As if an animated Tom Waits, complete with two animated strippers, weren't enough reason to watch this 1979 short, film buffs will love the history and technique behind it.

'Tom Waits For No One' was created when two animators, dying to test out a new use for rotoscope, the method of tracing over live action film frame by frame, happened upon a Tom Waits performance at the La Brea Stage in 1978 purely by accident.

After viewing the live show, Bruce Lyon and John Lamb, knew it would be the perfect test song for their unique process. So the pair visited Waits at the infamous Tropicana Motel and after getting the okay, they set to work using five cameras, six takes and 13 hours of footage to assemble the 5-minute movie.

Though their technique went on to score them the creation of Ralph Bakshi's 'American Pop' as well as a Technical Achievement Oscar, the flick was largely unseen -- until the YouTube age, that is, where it's assembled over 500,000 views, and growing.