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

(Click on graphic for full-sized image.)

Page 7 of 13

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

[...] ing. Problems come up everyday that arereally too difficult
for the animator to executeat present. As a result the rotoscope
is used as a crutch. This, of course, will probaby call for a
lot of comment both ways, because there is no doubt but the roto-
scope is correct when it comes to natural action. But on the
other hand natural action itself is dead action, in the same way
that natural photography is dead or that drawing made lietrally
from a model is dead. As soon as an artistmakes an exact picture
of nature, he is in a trap, he is on the slide - becase the
minute he gets an exact reproduction of nature he no longer has
an art form of any kind.

At the beginning of the year it was assumed that the most impor-
tant factor in drawing is caricature, and by caricature is meant
the ability to clarify and dramatize nature. It was also assumed
that animation is a graphic expression. In other words, anima-
tion is based on caricature because it is based on good drawing,
and good drawing is based on caricature. Hence the peculiar
situation - on one side there is animation that stands for anima-
ted caricature, and on the other side there is the rotoscope
which stands for naturalism, which is a lie to caricature. And
so - a paradox. The rotoscope is a crutch, and any way one looks
at it the reason for its existance is that the draftsmen in the
Studio are weak. The minute a crutch of any kind gets into a
business, the minute an artist assumes that there is a mechanical
way to do the job for the artist, that business is on the slide,
or that the artist who does it is on the slide, because there is no
possible way by which caricature can be emulated. Caricature
must be the expression of an artist. It can't be manufactured.
There are no mechanical ways to draw, there are no mechanical
gadgets with which to draw. As a matter of fact, there is a
machine available now which carves bas reliefs by use of a photo-
graph. That is, a pointing machine is matched to the tone of
a photograph. It is possible to take a photograph of George
Washington, put it in the machine, go out and get a soda, and
upon returning, there is George Washington carved in stone.

This is a definite reflection on the drawing that is going on
here in the Studio. If a job comes up which is too difficult for
the animator to handle, that job should not be attempted. It
means that the story is too ambitious. If a story is involved,
say six or eight characters, and they are all human characters,
and nobody in the plant can handle a human character, then it
should not be that kind of a story. The menshould be trained
until they can handle a human character. If a human character
is in a picture and it is necessary to meet an economic deadline,
then it is a matter of necessity and the Studio must have the
rotoscope; but it is still a crutch.

However, the trouble is that the minute a crutch or mechanical
means of doing an artistic job enters into the picture, then at [...]