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Rotoscoping (He's a tracer!)


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Rotoscoping was an essential part of the process, since the earliest...budding of animation as a trade. I think you'd be surprised how much is actually rotoscoped n' then later given artistic flare. Fleischer's Superman run is nothing short of spectacular - a super-human effort. Is that what you're talking about? Blatant rotoscoped presentation - or rotoscoping in general as part of the process?

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Rotoscoping was an essential part of the process, since the earliest...budding of animation as a trade. I think you'd be surprised how much is actually rotoscoped n' then later given artistic flare. Fleischer's Superman run is nothing short of spectacular - a super-human effort. Is that what you're talking about? Blatant rotoscoped presentation - or rotoscoping in general as part of the process?

 

Like with light boxing, it works fine when they use it as a base. But when the artist just traces over a video like Ralph Bhakshi or Prince of Persia it looks cheap and has an uncanny valley effect. Like I don't notice it as much on The Aristocats, but it bugs the shot out of me in Snow White because it's so blatant. And the only Ralph Bhakshi movie I can stomach is Wizards.

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For y'all who ain't in da know - light boxing is how animators trace - also, how they'd trace over film frames.

 

student_lightbox.jpg

 

I can totally see it taking you out when it looks too 1:1. Yeah, Disney has been essentially shooting their animated films in live-action first, well into the Disney Renaissance (Little Mermaid and Aladdin have pretty much full live-action versions that were essentially light boxed) It was a very common practice back-in-the-day, even w/ simple dumb Looney Tune sequences, same w/ 30s Popeye! The industry / artists were still learning / studying / experimenting / discovering timing n' techniques...they'd shoot each other and analyze / expand ideas frame-by-frame.

 

I've heard people calling it cheating - but you can argue so is using a mirror or watching your buddy act out a gesture a thousand times over. Using directed footage as a guide - totally makes sense. Now there's mo-cap.

 

As far as Disney's early stuff goes - it's amazing how real, the stylized version of filmed-footage looks, but - back on your point, I personally actually really like that 1:1 rotoscoped-look when it pops up in a Disney flick. Heavy Metal, Lord of the Rings...it messes w/ my brain seeing an 'animated character' move absolutely naturally - it just feels different. (shrugs) LOL - totally dig it.

Edited by Mr. Hakujin
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I don't consider it cheating so long as it's not 1:1 reproduction but you just change the clothes and hair. I know a lot of old cartoons used rotoscoping but most of them used it more like one of those wooden mannequin dolls. I don't consider that to be true rotoscoping though I know it technically is. But this for example:

 

 

The super-deformed cartoon animals somehow look more naturalistic than Snow White because her actions are too real. The animals are actually drawn, Snow White is traced.

Edited by Iambaytor
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As far as Disney's early stuff goes - it's amazing how real, the stylized version of filmed-footage looks.

 

That's not 1:1. They totally had reference / a guide, but they made it look gooooood...

 

img1952.jpg

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

I'm pretty sure I have a doc w/ the original filmed footage of that very scene and what Disney did to it. It's genius how they added and adjusted subtleties...brilliant. Seamless. Slowing down an arm...completely reanimating the head - or combining gestures from different shots. I'll see if someone has it up on youtube...it's amazing.

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LOL - totally. Damn, of the stockpile of material that's on the bluray, no one has uploaded any of the awesome reference footage or the before n' after stuff. Disney Inc. must've pulled 'em. Best I could find was this - @ :55 and @ 2:49

 

 

Snow White existing / dancing on a entirely different plane / synch than the dwarves is what I'm trying to get at - the results look 1:1 - it looks amazing. Reference material - up the wazoo, for sure - but it's a very disciplined stylization...resulting from many, many attempts and studying many, many different takes.

 

Disney settled for nothing less, than his artists' absolute best...and then some. It's a combination of takes and several attempts at artistic romanticization(?) / flair. It just being 'traced' is really putting it lightly - but technically, they did have a model...(shrugs)

 

Here - this is what I can't find for Snow White online.

tumblr_mrl823gqWW1qiumcjo6_500.gif

 

tumblr_ncfchzhgqh1qetpbso2_1280-behind-the-scenes-the-real-face-of-the-little-mermaid-jpeg-160287.jpg

 

The Aladdin stuff is pure corn - LOL - it's on the bluray.

 

Snow White's style of performance was intentionally very realistic, natural / human 'cuz Walt wanted a real character performance to get a real connection w/ the audience. In 1938, a full-length animated feature had never been done before, let alone even thought possible. He wanted to push the medium to a place that no one had ever been. Every scene was scrutinized and entire segments were reanimated if it simply didn't 'feel right' to him. It paid off - fucker changed the world.

 

Oy - Supermod, you maybe wanna this conversation should be ported over to the Animation Blargh, there?

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i always assumed that was the case - id read a ton of money was thrown at them, but whenever you're at a comic shop & see them in the background, it's unreal for their era.  no way that wasn't a botalod of barely-compensated people making that witchcraft happen. 

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