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How do they do that?

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How do they do that?

Hey guys! I was watching the project firefly 2d demo reel ( when I remembered a question that I had been meaning to ask. There's a part in the reel where Mushu is bouncing/skidding across the screen. After he gets to the point where it seems like he'd go off screen, the background moves and he's in the center of the screen again. My question is how do the animators draw that? I understand that the background motion is done seperately. But how do they go from animating Mushu until they get to the far right of the page and then animate him continuing to bounce in that direction yet moving back towards the center of the page/screen?

I relized this question earlier while I was still at SCAD. In one of my motion studies projects I wanted to do something similar but relized I didn't know how to go from a moving character with a still camera to the still moving character with a suddenly moving camera (since he neared the end of the page/screen). I understand how to do it in 3d since you just animate the character normally and just move the camera, some of you may have seen the 3d ref I made for that project and know what I am talking about. But I don't understand how to draw the character going in it's constant direction yet returning to the center of the screen once it goes too far to one side.

How do they do that? I figure I'll have to animate this kind of motion sooner or later and should probably find out how to do it, lol.

MightyMew1's picture
"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane

"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane

i didn't actually watch the link,but there are also virtual cams for 2d animated programs aswell...toon boom has one,flash has one,i think some compositing programs have some aswell.

nothing special really.the background doesn't move at all,everything is animated in on still scene,and then the vcam is added after and follows the character.

in sum cases,a director may move the background the character AND use the vcam.

If you watch the clip again (repeatedly), you'll see that Mushu never moves all that far from center screen. The closest he gets to the edge is about 1/3rd of the way across the screen. The movement to screen right gives the illusion that he's going farther than he does.

The way you'd do this is to key out the positions you want the character in at various points in his movement, including screen position. These would be rough keys, not necessarily final poses for that drawing. Then you'd breakdown and inbetween and tighten up the posing as you fill in the gaps. Lay this on top of a panning background, and voila! :D

Keep in mind that Mulan was a fully digital production, and doing the kind of compound pan that's shown in that clip would be relatively easy, compared to a traditional pan on a camera stand.

Thanks guys! DSB, thats for pointing out how far Mushu actually moves. I rewatched the reel and saw what you ment. It really is a background/pan trick, lol. It's pretty cool. NOOB, thanks for telling me about the camera thing. I didn't know Flash had a camera. Maybe Mirage has one too. :D

"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane