Sunday, June 5, 2011

Disney explains his multiplane camera

The multiplane camera was an ingenious device invented by the Disney studios to create the illusion of depth in their animation backgrounds.



In this archive video, master pitchman Walt explains how they came up with the idea, and how it helped create the immersive forest shots in Bambi.

Via Best of YouTube 
Direct link to YT video
The ILLUSION OF LIFE: DISNEY ANIMATION

9 comments:

Jon Hrubesch said...

I remember seeing this years ago. Walt was a great innovator always pushing the limits of film of that time. I love that you can see a mistake in the Mikey Mouse walking back up the hill. There is a flash frame of him back down the hill as he is nearly to the top.

Rockhopper said...

Still using this technique today although in after effects, it looks simple but is incredibly difficult to do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRgGLXA7auk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZdrtPRpHYs&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYJVI7PwD2k&feature=related

some examples of test work using this technique

Ethan Karnopp said...

It's crazy to think that I just finished up a job painting a parallax scrolling background for a videogame that took less than a week and realizing how much technology has simplified this process. It makes me thankful to live in an age with such great tools and access to them, great post.

Tyler J said...

Disney owned the camera, but his brilliant employee (who invented Mickey Mouse too, by the way) Ub Iwerks is credited with inventing the multiplane camera:
http://books.google.com/books?id=lSJIngvkCsAC&pg=PA133#v=onepage&q&f=false

However, the concept was used in what was considered the first animated movie, Lotte Reiniger's The Adventure's of Prince Achmed (1926):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-plane_camera

David Glenn said...

He was always trying to make his films more entertaining.

Rich said...

Very educative, thanks.
What efforts!

By the way, looking at Walt Disney elaborating; his features somewhat reminded me of Salvador Dali. Never noticed this kind of resemblance before.

James Gurney said...

Tyler, thanks so much for the clarification and the links. It's true that the Disney studios weren't necessarily the first innovator in a lot of animation techniques. Winsor McCay was singlehandedly doing stunning through-animation and mindboggling effects work way ahead of the mouse house.

James Gurney said...

Rockhopper, impressive stuff, thanks for sharing the links.

Vicki said...

I remember as a child seeing this. I think he may done some other programs as well that showed this effect. It was then that I realized (at the age of 10 or so) that when you walk along a path, the trees change in relationship to each other as well as to you. It is still an endless source of fascination to me to watch their relationships change as I move. Thanks Walt.