5 09 2009

truman 2 comp

williams-trumann comm 1

in 1977 ANDREAS DEJA and I went to london and visited all the major animation studios, – HALAS&BATCHELOR, WHYATT&CATTANEO, DRAGON, TV-CARTOON, GRAND SLAM and of course RICHARD WILLIAMS ANIMATION. dick williams was not in london at that time, we met him a few years later. but they showed us their latest showreel with a selection of animated commercials. this showreel had a devastating effect, we were depressed for the rest of our london stay. it was the kind of animation we had never seen before, a quality that rivaled disney animation and was very, very different. especially a unique dissolve technique fascinated me. dick williams had developed that technique for his numerous animated titles for live action films like CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE and WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT. within the commercial-collection there was especially one that looked stunning – PUSHKIN WODKA. the dissolves seemed to go on without stopping and made the animation of more complicated mass-scenes easier. the cameraman explained to me that it was several dissolves on top of each other and even split in speed with masks. I asked him for more details but he did not want to explain it more. well, back at home I started doing endless tests. at that time I did all the camerawork for my animation myself and I wanted to find out how that technique worked. it took me over a year with endless tests. below is a diagram that shows you how it works, it is a mix of 3 exposures they are planned careful that the full exposure of all three is at any frame 100%. that way you only need 5 animation drawings to get 28 frames. usually you need 12 drawings on two’s for 24 frames. from that time on I did most of my tv-work using that technique, it looked like full animation and took only half the drawings. history! today it is probably a software you get for free as a download.

triple diss

© richard williams animation



5 responses

6 09 2009

It’s called “cascading exposures” and is an old film technique.

from hans –
there is no information on the internet about it. do you know about books are articles? thank you for the explanation…

6 09 2009
David Nethery

It’s a great technique. Thanks for reminding me of it. Those Williams studio showreels are inspiring.

This is one of the best explanations I’ve seen of how it works.

But yes , I expect that today it can be done more easily with software. There is a ‘interpolate frames’ function in TVP Animation which I think would work for this technique , though it would still take some careful planning of where to place the keys before running the interpolation effect.

6 09 2009
Michael Sporn

John Hubley came up with a trick on his CAROUSEL feature that he said he’d developed for FANTASIA. He shot a scene twice at 50% exposure each. The second shooting started on frame “2” so that the entire scene was moved one frame off the other. The end result allowed him to shoot a scene on two’s but it would have a one frame dissolve with every other frame a 50-50 exposure.

I still use this today in Aftereffects by running – offset – the same scene twice: once at 100% – once at 50%.

By running the same scene through Aftereffects several times you should be able to get the same effect you did in the camera.

from hans –
that’s a great trick! I did it by rewinding the camera constantly, what makes it way more complicated. this is so simple…

8 09 2009
jung etienne

after reading your post I watched a few of Williams animation on youtube.
Beautiful!Is that “50/50 exposure” technique the same used by Frederic BACK in”the man who planted trees” ?

from hans –
check michael sporn’s comment here. he explained the technique pretty well, that frederic back used. the williams dissolves are very different. look at the diagram I did, then you will understand.

14 09 2009

Are there any examples of this online? I couldn’t find any that I’m sure are this, and I’m still a little confused by the diagram. It’s very intriguing

from hans –
please send me an e-mail and be a bit more specific about the details you wanna know

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