Rainbow Winner of

10 Emmy Awards

for Outstanding

Children Series !!





Roger Holden Animation Computer Designer - center and seated
Loren Dolezal Director of Animation Photography,Centron Films - back
Photo - University Daily Kansan, July 1983






Series of


Videography !!

Hi and welcome to the official

Rainbow Cyber Cam Guy


"I like to say we were Ken Burns before Ken Burns. We moved the camera across an illustration the same way a child’s eye would move across it", Twila Liggett (Reading Rainbow Co-Creator, Executive Producer)

I'm Roger Holden and I designed the original animation computer system used by Reading Rainbow to film the vast majority of the Feature Book segments for the first five seasons 1983 - 1987. Many of these Feature Book segments have become American classics. They include, among many others, Arthur’s Eyes (This was the first national broadcast of the character of Arthur in a story), Abiyoyo with narration by Pete Seeger, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain with narration by James Earl Jones, Mystery on the Docks with narration by Raul Julia and Paul Bunyan with narration by Buddy Ebsen. Indeed the proudest accomplishment of my life has been to be the Digital Pioneer of the PBS Reading Rainbow series.

The system I designed helped kick off the series of Reading Rainbow to an exciting start, bringing Disney like quality to the physical camera moves over these Feature Books through robotic motion control. This Reading Rainbow Cyber Cam system became the first Personal Computer technology to be used centrally in the production of a nationally broadcast television series. In contrast, other computer assisted TV series, at the time, used minicomputer and custom microprocessor based systems in their production.

The Reading Rainbow Cyber Cam system executed the famous pans and zooms over the books’ illustrations to a precision of 1/2000 inch. Three axes of motion were controlled to create pans and combinations of pans and zooms. The Z axis was the motion of the Camera up or down. The X and Y axes of programmed motion translated into the book illustrations panning right, left, forward, back or diagonally. Occasional curved camera motion paths were achieved by independently programming the X, Y and Z axes of motion’s accelerations, decelerations, and their start and stop times.

click on chapter number

Chapter 1 The Reading Rainbow Animation Photography Robot is Born in Kansas

Lawrence Journal World Dec. 5, 1982

Chapter 2 National Premiere of the Reading Rainbow Series with The Rainbow Cyber Cam

Lawrence Journal World July 10, 1983

Chapter 3 Centron Films uses the Rainbow Cyber Cam to film the first 5 seasons' feature books

Chapter 4 Gilda Radner & The Tortoise and the Hare

Chapter 5 Official Reading Rainbow Website with my Link


e-mail Roger Holden at