Action Analysis : Analysis and Discussion of Pole Vault and High Jump Action

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Page 11 of 13

From the collection of Hans Perk at A. Film L.A. and reprinted here with his permission.


ELLIOTT: Don't you think that the rotoscope would
be useful for action like this pole vault?

Definitely not! If an artist cannot get the essentials of action
working with it as was done tonight, there's either something
wrong with him or with the approach to the problem. Five years
from now someone may approach the problem differently and get a
lot more out of it, which is to be hoped for. But right now it
is fair to say that if there's any fallacy in the basic idea, it
is the artist's erception, because the action is all laid out
for him as far as the underlying principles are concerned.
The rotoscope is something else. It is a literal translation of
something. The minute a three-dimensional form is projected into
two dimensions of photography, the artist's sphere of selection
is limited. If an artist takes photographs of an action first
and blows them up, it is more accurate and he loses a lot in do-
ing it. If he could go outside and really watch an athlete pole
vault, he would benefit even more than by watching the actionon
the screen. There are times when it is helpful to slow the
action up and see it in more detail than it would be possible to
see it with the eye at normal speed. That is the greatest ad-
vantage of being able to study the film.

CLINTON: It seems to me there's one thing you
cvan't get with the rotoscope, and that's timing.

Timing is established by the rotoscope; in other words the
matural timing is being used, but an animator of one year's ex-
perience should know how much and when to vary it. The more an
animator works with a rotoscope the more he weakens his develop-
ment in timing. It doesn't take a top-flight animator to figure
out natural timing on the rotoscope.

NOVROS: That problem came up in conjunction
with doing Snow White without the rotoscope. Some-
body said we couldn't do it, and took a scene we
were working on as proof. It was a scene where she
herds the dwarfs out, and her hands do all sorts of
fluttery things; and he said, "You can't do that with-
out a rotoscope." Well, the obvious answer is that
you wouldn't want to.

It comes back to the fact that the minute an artist tries to
duplicate natural acttion or natural life, he is playing with
dynamite, because his work will be second rate then - second
hand. Why not take the original and get a better thing out of it!
This is a vital problem for all in the Studio, and particularly
for the fellows that have a good background in art. This train-
ing can't be duplicated. It is something that can't be bought,
and it is up to the young animator to convince people that he
can do something with it. He says, "How am I going to convince
anyone that I can animate a figure?"