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DV Filmmaking by Ian David Aronson

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Chapter 13. Artistically Using Still Images

In this chapter

Animating Still Photos to Simulate Camera Movements

Any film, video, or animation project is essentially just a series of stills. Each frame is a discrete still image, slightly different than the last. When quickly displayed one after the other, these stills appear to form an image that moves (as mentioned in Chapter 2, this is called persistence of vision).

Understanding the way still images function on screen gives you both tremendous control and creative freedom. Some of the first artists to take advantage of this were cartoonists. Pioneers of the animated form, such as Chuck Jones of Bugs Bunny fame, created still images on clear cells of acetate and then layered them one on top of another to create animations that functioned more or less like frames of film or video. In fact, many of Jones’s techniques, including keyframes (which provide the foundation of all motion graphic programs in use today) and in between frames (which provide the basis for tweening, or intelligently filling in frames between keyframes, in animation programs like Macromedia Flash) are directly relevant to composite techniques in DV filmmaking. Especially when you’re working with still images.

Note

There’s a great documentary, Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens—A Life In Animation, that explores Chuck Jones’s work as a director at Warner Brothers, and the techniques he and other animators used to bring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd to life. It’s ...

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