Friday, June 17, 2011

TektonTV Behind the Scenes: Even Pan/Crop

Today's entry is about movement, and a specific tool I use in my film software to accomplish it. Here's a snapshot of a closing scene from my second most recent vid, where the cartoon ReligionFreeDeist character is rolling backwards along the floor of a dojo.

As cartoon RFD rolls, the background moves behind him. The character shots themselves are on trasparent backgrounds so that the dojo background shows through; we've already explained about that method in a prior entry. But how does the background move?

First of all, it's worth noting that the background is one graphic -- a very, very long graphic (dimensions: 2000 x 200 pixels) created by re-using the same smaller graphic over and over in a row. (Yes, that's how they did it in the Flintstones too; that was sufficient for the dojo, though I also added a lamp in the background for every fourth sector of the background wall.)
The "camera," as it were, is moving along this background section by section, giving the impression that RFD is rolling along it.

The film software has a tool called Event Pan/Crop, which allows me to have the camera move along larger graphics like this one for the background. Here's a screenshot of what that tool looks like. (Unfortunately, the graphic of the dojo wall turns red when I go “offline” from the film software to use a tool like screenshot capture.)

The dotted rectangle is where the camera is focusing, and the row along the bottom represents the total time that the graphic is being shown in the film -- here, a total of about 6 seconds The diamonds you see at either end of the time bar represent action marks -- places where movement across the background starts and stops. If necessary, I could have the camera range back and forth, and take turns in any direction, along the graphic. This particular sequence was rather simple, since I only went along the background in one direction, with no stops and re-starts or turns.

Almost any time you see background movement in a TektonTV vid, the Event Pan/Crop is the tool I'm using to do it. Sometimes I'll use different background drawings to accomplish this, but it can be a lot more work.

That's all for a bit -- I have a minor surgery Monday to ease my breathing through my nose, so the Forge will be off until at least next Thursday.

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