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To do the breakdown drawing, the assistant must remember that the pendulum is swinging on an arc. This time, for the superimposition, the sheets of paper must be placed out-of-square (using the arm and the center of the pendulum circle as the key points for aligning the drawings). The final breakdown drawing can be completed as before, and—if it is correct—the inbetweens can be done in the same way.

It is always irritating to see parts of the animation suddenly freeze, while other parts of the scene are freely animated. This sudden freeze occurs when a held drawing is used. It is preferable (although more expensive from a budgetary point of view) for the assistant to trace back the stationary parts of the breakdown, or inbetween, from one or the other of the two keys in question. Basically this means that the assistant must precisely trace, on all the inbetweens, the parts of the action that are not moving. Although these nonmoving parts could be placed on a held eel for economy, when filmed the traceback drawings have life, which the held drawing does not.

To work perfectly, the tracebacks must be extremely accurate. When doing tracebacks, the drawing to be traced should be taped down at the edge opposite the registration pegs. This eliminates inaccurate tracing due to slippage of the paper caused by the movements of the drawing hand.

The golden rule of tracebacks is that they should always be traced from the original key, indicated by the animator, and never from any of the in-between drawings subsequently produced. Failure to follow this rule always results in inaccuracies.


Copy the two key drawings shown here and inbetween each action as indicated by the chart instructions. Then film each drawing on twos (two frames per drawing). Shoot the drawings consecutively, 1 to 9, then back from 9 to 1, without a break. Repeat this six times without interruption. When viewing your tests, try to run them over and over again on a loop. Look for jumps, kicks, or any other inaccuracies that disrupt the smooth movement of the action.

■"w r roducing realistic head turns requires careful inbetweening.

Remember that everything that moves in life, moves in arcs. This is true of everything but a machine, which, by its very nature, is mechanical. The animator must always bear this in mind when animating and the assistant must also bear it in mind when attempting a breakdown. Consider these two key drawings, which show a head turning from front to profile (1 to 9). © ©

How is the breakdown drawing drawn? The way that it is not drawn is as a straight inbetween:

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