Fast Action Treatment

May 6th, 2007


I love seeing stretched-out, multi-eyed, multi-bodied character drawings. A lot of the time that’s how animators draw a character to add to the illusion of super fast action. Also adding blurred paint strokes to the art helps “seal the deal.”

Check out this initial Pencil Test ANIMATION.
(May load slower)


Check out the color ANIMATION.


All the above “squash and stretched” poses appear on screen within 21 frames - that’s about one second. Pretty amazing how much info the human brain can process in that amount of time.

Animation by G. Brian Reynolds. Nice work, Brian!

Click here for other HANDYCAT clips.

Click here for a CRAWFORD THE CAT clip.

Stay tooned.

Russ Harris

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Just a little note on this. The drybrush technique is something we used to use in traditional cel animation to create blurs or streaks and when we started using Flash, it was something I missed.

I finally came up with the idea of using a black grease pencil on the animation paper to draw the drybrush. The coarse grease pencil along with the grain of the paper simulates the old fashioned dry brush well enough though there’s no nuance to it. When I colored it in, I broke it up into the various colors.

Because it is “a million little dots” in a vector system, it uses a tremedous amount of memory and slows the computer down when it renders, but it’s worth it.

I’m not saying I’m the only one to come up with this, just that, for me, it’s a new way to do something - and something I made up as we went along.



That’s a pretty cool comparison. For CG stuff, we have been doing a combination of really high motion blur settings for isolated areas of motion combined with custom blend shapes for smear frames. It’s a lot more work, but as you mentioned, it’s worth it.

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