It is advisable for the animator to give the cameraman the center positions for each move on the pan, marked clearly on a path-of-action line on the field guide. The enlargement in the figure below indicates how this can be charted to guide the cameraman.

This is particularly important if the path of action of the pan is curved, or if the pan speed varies in any way, as in a slow-out or slow-in. In doing this, however, the animator must thoroughly understand panning speeds to avoid a strobing in the pan move. Remember that the slower the pan (that is, the less distance covered between moves), the smoother the pan, and the less chance of strobing. Although much is dependent on the nature of the visual images in the scene, a general rule to remember with pans is that anything greater than a move of 0.1 of an inch per frame move is likely to produce strobing. If, however, the camera is trucking in or out while it is panning, the outer edges of the field are likely to strobe, even if the center is moving to, or within, the 0.1-inch limit. This is because the outer edges of the field are moving further than the center movement. The center moves must then be slower to accommodate this.

When, on the other hand, the animation requires an extremely quick pan from one position to another—a zip pan—then it is possible to make the pan move extremely fast without incurring strobing. Subject to the nature of the scene, a general assumption is that moves of 0.25 of an inch or greater, will not create strobing problems.

If a zip pan is to be used, an effective way of adding drama to the action is—at the end of the pan—to travel just beyond the required end position, and then return to the hold at the end position in one, two, or three frames. This will give an excellent snap to the end of a frantic move. You should experiment with this and many other panning techniques in relation to the needs of the scene.

Camera shake, for example, creates the effect of the earth shaking if a character hits the ground from a great fall or runs into a wall after a speedy chase. The actual moves must be experimented with, but it is well to remember that the pans will jump from side to side of a center position and will lessen in distance as the effect of the crash diminishes and things become still.

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