DVDizzy.com

Home | Reviews | Schedule | Cover Art | Search The Site
DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

It is currently Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:58 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Disney and Rotoscoping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:33 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:57 pm
Posts: 3535
Location: Puerto Rico
This is a topic that is confusing me right now, and I need some clearing up.

IIRC, the animators in Snow White used some slight rotoscoping because they were still having problems animating human characters, but did most of the work themselves. They used film footage for reference, but apparently never drew over them.

But what really confuses me are the 50s films. "Cinderella", "Alice in Wonderland", "Peter Pan" and "Sleeping Beauty" all use film reference extensively to give the films realistic animation while keeping the costs down. I've heard reports that the animation in those films are rotoscoped. The official Disney response is that while the films were shot in live action the animators only used it as reference for more convincing animation.

So which is it? Did the Disney animators use rotoscoping, or are people confusing "reference" with rotoscoping?

Also, did "Beauty and the Beast" use rotoscoping? While I can tell Belle was animated throughout the movie, the scenes at the book shop and her dad's workshop look oddly realistic and Belle's out of model.

I will appreciate any answer I can get on the matter.

_________________
ImageImageImageImage

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:38 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:02 pm
Posts: 4304
Location: SouthernCaliforniaLiscious SunnyWingadocious
I think people use the term "rotoscope" rather loosely.

It initially defined the direct tracing of live-action photography frame by frame in order to achieve a more realistic look for animation. Take a look at the Fleischer Studios's work for clear examples of this first definition (i.e. 1930's cartoons featuring Koko the Clown and Cab Calloway). However, many artists realized that direct tracing often looked stiff and unappealing as even the action of cartoon characters (and not just the characters themselves) need to be caricatured in order to feel convincing.

People eventually adopted the term to define direct referencing of live-action film (or even other existing animation) frame by frame when animating. I recall a Peanuts special where they explain how they photographed a dancer's routine specifically for "Flashbeagle." While they referred to the technique as rotoscoping, clearly they could not fit Snoopy's short, round anatomy over the girl's tall, slender figure and directly trace it. Instead, they had photostats made up of the dancer and the animator referred to them for free-handing Snoopy's poses for each frame.

Also keep in mind that cartoon characters (even ones that are semi-realistic like Cinderella) generally have much different proportions than real people anyway, so tracing over live-action isn't really an easy option. I can't say I can recall *any* Disney film where the characters were directly traced from live-action even when "rotoscoping" was involved.

But some amount of "tracing" from one animated film to another is a different story altogether. :p

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:46 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:57 pm
Posts: 3535
Location: Puerto Rico
I know the Don Bluth films are heavily rotoscoped. Even as a kid I could tell the animation was strangely different from other animated films.

Take a look for yourself:

"So this is love" dance sequence from "Cinderella"

"Paris holds the keys to your heart" sequence from "Anastasia"

Both are elaborate and heavily reference animated dance sequences. Yet, you can easily tell that Anastasia's sequence is heavily rotoscoped because it also features the stiffness of human movement.

Meanwhile, the dance in Cinderella looks floaty, dreamy and to an extend caricatured.

_________________
ImageImageImageImage

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:28 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:02 pm
Posts: 4304
Location: SouthernCaliforniaLiscious SunnyWingadocious
If you want to see real heavy rotoscoping, check out a handful of scenes in Ralph Bakshi's Wizards trailer, where high-contrast photographs were xeroxed directly onto the cels. :shock:

Maybe it's not the same exact definition we've been talking about but the animation textbooks still call it such. ;)

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:42 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:02 pm
Posts: 12530
Location: Somewhere in Time and Space
Enigmawing pretty much covered all the bases regarding rotoscoping, so I'll add a bit more about what live-action reference footage really is.

In essence, it's a guide for how movement is captured on film, so that animators can accurately draw it themselves. There's a famous picture out there of an animator sticking his tongue out and staring at his image in a mirror, to see how he'll draw Pluto with his tongue sticking out.

It's also featured (in little bits, unfortunately) on various Disney DVDs to show how it helps animators visualise a scene. In the Fantasia Anthology, a scripted scene involving four animators and a live-action reference model shows how they were able to capture ballet movements. And on the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Platinum Edition, there's several minutes of reference footage that show stuff like the dwarfs dancing. And the "Disneyland" episode Tricks of our Trade devotes some time to reference footage (and clips from it are in Fantasia and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs DVDs).

Rotoscoping has been used in Disney features before, but not of live-action footage to be animated. The Jungle Book is notorious for some re-used animation, and Robin Hood is infamous for rotoscoping various scenes from past Disney films for their "Phoney King of England" number (as well as their Cinderella-inspired ending).

Image
Image
Image
Image

Finally, two more example of rotoscoping are Richard Linklater's animated films: Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. Also, much of Gulliver's Travels (1939, Max & Dave Fleischer) is animated, but all of Gulliver's movements are rotoscoped from a live-action actor.

_________________
WIST #60:
AwallaceUNC: Would you prefer Substi-Blu-tiary Locomotion? :p

WIST #61:
TheSequelOfDisney: Damn, did Lin-Manuel Miranda go and murder all your families?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:59 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:02 pm
Posts: 4304
Location: SouthernCaliforniaLiscious SunnyWingadocious
Love those frame comparisons! :D I affectionaly like to refer to this form of rotoscoping as "recycled animation." :lol:

If I remember right, didn't they do the same thing at the very end of Beauty and the Beast because of time restraints?

Escapay wrote:
Also, much of Gulliver's Travels (1939, Max & Dave Fleischer) is animated, but all of Gulliver's movements are rotoscoped from a live-action actor.

Ooh, an excellent example I totally forgot about!

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:14 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:33 am
Posts: 4427
Location: TX
I tend to (try to) only use the term for the direct live-action tracing, and the first film that comes to my mind is "American Pop", which I actually like quite a bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOZVlZh-oJA

Haven't watched it in a while (I own it on VHS). Seeing a little of it again here on YouTube, it makes me think of what they do now with stuff like "A Scanner Darkly", which I've only seen bits of, but I find far less pleasant to watch.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:00 am 
Offline
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:52 pm
Posts: 1056
The difference between straight rotoscoping like Bakshi - - and what Disney did in the 50's is vast. Straight rotoscoping does not have exaggerated timing, shape, design, caricature, etc.

Hal Ambro, an animator under Milt Kahl on many of the 50's films, once explained to me the process they were using at the time (which differs from latter and recent years or what some of the 9 old men have said).

They shot the live action to exacting props and markers so it would match to the layouts and backgrounds. The directing animators would come on set and discuss ideas with the actor. But they used inventive physical actors who added alot of fresh ideas to the movement. Once approved, the live action was made into photostats the same size as Disney's animation paper - - punched and flippable.

Here's where the 50's Disney process differed from the usual rotoscope:

Then they would pull out the extraneous photostats and reshoot the key poses under the animation stand to cartoon timing, this changed the look and flow to match closer to how cartoons moved or were timed: IE: not so even and realistic.

Then the animators would pull the live-action "extremes" from the photostats and exaggerate the poses, but keeping them in scale with the background and other characters (which may be done by other animators). This would allow them to capture the pose and attitude, but streamline the design and push the pose, shapes and acting to the realm of drawing rather than tracing.

Then those poses would be assisted and inbetweened as in a normal cartoon, but with the photostats standing by to provide reference details. This is why Disney rotoscoping looks more cartoon than rotoscope.

This is how I understand the process was used from Cinderella through 101 Dalmatians - - of course with variation depending on the skill of the animator. But those films were all shot and cut (save Lady) completely in live-action before animation commenced on any sequence.

The 60's and 70's films used footage as looser reference the way it's told in the books.

The 50's live-action cut footage was almost ALL destroyed in the 80's - - little of it exists in the studio vaults (though some might survive as protection negative in the "salt mines"). However, the full-size photostats still exist for certain scenes from Sleeping Beauty and Dalmatians in the Animation Research Library and when you flip them along with the drawings, you can see how it was liberally adapted.

Also there are lots of still photo negatives in the Photo Archives that show how these were done.

It's a shame we don't have cut footage, but I think the magicians did not want us to see the trick - - and likely they were right about that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:51 am 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:06 am
Posts: 16073
BUMP

This may be slightly off topic but I found this interesting:

Q: "There has been a lot of debate concerning the use of rotoscope/tracing in Anastasia. Some argue that live-action footage was not just used for reference but was heavily rotoscoped something that allegedly does not happen in an average Disney movie. Could you please clear this for us once and for all?"

A: (The Film Editor of Anastasia): "As there was so much human animation needed in Anastasia there was an huge amount of live action footage shot as reference for the animators. (Especially for the choreographed dance sequences) but this was used as reference NOT rotoscoping. Some animators adhered more to the movement styling of the reference material than others but this was definitely not a rotoscope project. As a point of perspective compare and contrast the volumes of the of "Snow White" character animation as opposed to "Rasputin" character animation. Rotoscoping can cause a floating line effect as it doesn't allow for the "squash and stretch" and hits problems when you have a "straight on poses" actually it is very restrictive when it comes to pretty much all of the 12 basis principles of animation."

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdfA6Imh4fE


Hmmm, what do you think?

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Disney and Rotoscoping
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:33 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:02 am
Posts: 11499
Location: America
If this is the case, then all it means to me is that other studios did the same thing Disney did, live-action reference...but Disney still did it better! There's something about the magic, creativity, and talent of Disney, especially the Walt-era animators...

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:56 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:02 pm
Posts: 12530
Location: Somewhere in Time and Space
Mike Duster wrote:
Disney still did it better!

All of a sudden I want to watch The Spy Who Loved Me...well, just the opening credits song.

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/MZBCcY0nJao&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/MZBCcY0nJao&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

albert

_________________
WIST #60:
AwallaceUNC: Would you prefer Substi-Blu-tiary Locomotion? :p

WIST #61:
TheSequelOfDisney: Damn, did Lin-Manuel Miranda go and murder all your families?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:36 am 
Offline
Limited Edition
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:00 am
Posts: 1841
pap64 wrote:
I know the Don Bluth films are heavily rotoscoped. Even as a kid I could tell the animation was strangely different from other animated films.

Actually, thats one of the reasons my former mentor left Don Bluth for Disney is because his later works were using way too much rotoscoping/heavy referencing. Originally Bluth developed his own bouncy style and everyone tried to stick with it while adding their own flair it but in later years he grew a fascination with rotoscoping (Thumbinlina, Anastasia, Titan A.E.). He told me that when they filmed the actors, Bluth wanted everything they did to be animated exactly as the actors did it as he put more trust in the actors (who were originally hired to only voice) than the animators. Basically taking any acting choice the animators could've had away instead of just using the footage as inspiration/reference. What the hell is the point of having an actor with a pencil if your not going to let him/her make the acting decisions? Mo-cap is the same thing, they both leave the animators with nothing to do but try to fix it so it looks decent.

We all remember this video, don't we?

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WzyLZYYb2qk&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WzyLZYYb2qk&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Atleast the animation re-used was good animation :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:21 am 
Offline
Limited Edition
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:02 am
Posts: 1597
Location: the balcony of the Bijou...
jpanimation wrote:
pap64 wrote:
I know the Don Bluth films are heavily rotoscoped. Even as a kid I could tell the animation was strangely different from other animated films.

Actually, thats one of the reasons my former mentor left Don Bluth for Disney is because his later works were using way too much rotoscoping/heavy referencing. Originally Bluth developed his own bouncy style and everyone tried to stick with it while adding their own flair it but in later years he grew a fascination with rotoscoping (Thumbinlina, Anastasia, Titan A.E.). He told me that when they filmed the actors, Bluth wanted everything they did to be animated exactly as the actors did it as he put more trust in the actors (who were originally hired to only voice) than the animators. Basically taking any acting choice the animators could've had away instead of just using the footage as inspiration/reference. What the hell is the point of having an actor with a pencil if your not going to let him/her make the acting decisions? Mo-cap is the same thing, they both leave the animators with nothing to do but try to fix it so it looks decent.

We all remember this video, don't we?

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WzyLZYYb2qk&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WzyLZYYb2qk&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Atleast the animation re-used was good animation :roll:


I love the fluid human animation in "Anastasia"; Bluth can try to argue his way out of it, but I'll bet 99% of what went onto the screen was rotoscoped. The end credits sequence names live-action reference actors for almost all the roles in the film, so this also backs up the theory.

_________________
I'm just valentine candy and boxing-gloves!

My DVD Collection :
http://classic-movieguy.dvdaf.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:32 am 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:20 pm
Posts: 3673
Location: Boston, MA
My all-time favorite example of rotoscoping is Ralph Bakshi's craptastic animated "Lord of the Rings", where from scene to scene the characters will change from rotoscoped animation to like live-action footage of actors literally just tinted so they end up looking like a horrific animatronic nightmare come to life. Terrible movie...

_________________
"Ta ta ta taaaa! Look at me... I'm a snowman! I'm gonna go stand on someone's lawn if I don't get something to do around here pretty soon!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:50 pm 
Offline
Gold Collection
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:02 pm
Posts: 140
Location: California, USA
I know the model for Snow White opening admitted at the D23 Expo that Disney used rotoscoping for the footage that was filmed with live actors for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I don't know if she meant that they merely used the footage as reference or the animators actually drew over it, but I just thought I would mention that for those who didn't know. :)

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Disney and Rotoscoping
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:15 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:02 am
Posts: 11499
Location: America
Actually Disney drew over the live-action reference, but did not use any of those drawings in the final animation. They looked at the drawn-over live-action for reference.

Marge Champion should have explained that, but of course she may not have known/cared, but for possibly misleading people to think Disney did direct tracing of live-action directly into the animation she is a...well I dunno.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:21 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:02 pm
Posts: 12530
Location: Somewhere in Time and Space
Mike Duster wrote:
Marge Champion should have explained that, but of course she may not have known/cared, but for possibly misleading people to think Disney did direct tracing of live-action directly into the animation she is a...well I dunno.

I'll finish it for you: "an old woman who we should be grateful is still alive to discuss what it was like to work on the film."

Remind me in September 2079 to ask you about a job you did in July 2006, and then you'll see how hard it is to accurately recall information on a job done over 70 years ago.

albert

_________________
WIST #60:
AwallaceUNC: Would you prefer Substi-Blu-tiary Locomotion? :p

WIST #61:
TheSequelOfDisney: Damn, did Lin-Manuel Miranda go and murder all your families?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:39 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:20 pm
Posts: 3673
Location: Boston, MA
...seriously. She's how old, not to mention that I'm going to go out on a limb and assume she herself wasn't animating Snow White, so she only has so much first hand knowledge herself. It's like, how dare that woman not speak with 100% certainty about an event from early last century.

_________________
"Ta ta ta taaaa! Look at me... I'm a snowman! I'm gonna go stand on someone's lawn if I don't get something to do around here pretty soon!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:44 pm 
Offline
Limited Edition
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:02 am
Posts: 1597
Location: the balcony of the Bijou...
SpringHeelJack wrote:
...seriously. She's how old, not to mention that I'm going to go out on a limb and assume she herself wasn't animating Snow White, so she only has so much first hand knowledge herself. It's like, how dare that woman not speak with 100% certainty about an event from early last century.


I agree. Cut the woman some slack. I doubt she was actively involved or versed in the animation process. She had her job and did it very well. I wouldn't expect her to know the in's and out's of the entire production.

_________________
I'm just valentine candy and boxing-gloves!

My DVD Collection :
http://classic-movieguy.dvdaf.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:48 pm 
Offline
Gold Collection
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:02 pm
Posts: 140
Location: California, USA
I'm not saying what she said was true. I'm just telling you guys what she told the audience, since it had to do with rotoscoping and all :P

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 17 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group