Triple dissolves easily done

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slowtiger
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Triple dissolves easily done

Post by slowtiger »

I've always been a fan of all those nifty in-camera techniques of animation from Eastern Europe or Canada. This night I found a way to re-create one of them more easily (yes, I dream of animation and technical problems).

This one is a way to have a limited set of drawings appear to be animated more softly, or create some soft animated texture effect without real inbetweening. You can find examples everywhere, prominently in the films of Frédéric Back ("The Man Who Planted Trees" was completely done with this) or the advertising work of Richard Williams.

Basically you have three or more passes in camera where each drawing is faded in and out, the following passes start with an offset so in the end at every given frame somethig adds up to 100% exposure. Hans Bacher gave a nice diagram on his website https://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/20 ... dissolves/:
triple-dissolve.jpg
Note that in each frame, all passes add up to 100%. You can use your own values (like I did), but you get the idea.

You can create a simple version of this with having some animation on 1's, then stretch it to a multiple of the layer's length set to interpolate, but this is just one layer of drawings and often just gives the look of a badly transcoded animation from a cheap VHS tape. We can do better.

The more passes, the denser the resulting effect. Useful for moving foliage, waves on water, the heat-shimmering sun, and the like.

So here's my new recipe for that:
- Determine the overall animation interval. Example: I have a set of 3 interlocking layers of several drawings, each drawing 9 frames long, with an offset of 3 and 6 frames of the last two to the first. Draw them.
- Create a new layer.
- Fill this layer completely with solid color, with different opacity for each frame. Example: 83%, 60%, 40%, 13%, 0% - now copy the first 4 frames, append, and reverse order.) 9 frames full of differently transparent color.
- Set the mode at beginning and end to repeat.
- Set this layer as mask. See that it aligns with the 9 frames of your animation.
- Select your complete animation and hit delete. (You may duplicate your animation before this operation, just in case.)
- Now each of your drawings fades in and out over 9 frames. Arrange your layers so you get the offset you want.
- Hit play. Enjoy.

You can tweak this in any direction: longer or shorter intervals and different opacity settings. You could even use some paper texture while building the fading mask. After this operation you could merge all those layers and stretch them even further for really slow effects.
TVP 10.0.18, Mac Pro Quadcore 3 GHz, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11, QT 7.7.3
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CartoonMonkey
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Re: Triple dissolves easily done

Post by CartoonMonkey »

Do you have any examples of this technique? I would love to see it in motion.
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slowtiger
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Re: Triple dissolves easily done

Post by slowtiger »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvUenM8BXRs The Charge of the LIght Brigande (Williams) has several scenes with it.
Frédéric Back's films are online, but in such bad quality that you can't even determine wether they're animation or live action.
I've seen it in numerous shorts but can't name any names off the cuff.
TVP 10.0.18, Mac Pro Quadcore 3 GHz, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11, QT 7.7.3
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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Triple dissolves easily done

Post by D.T. Nethery »

slowtiger wrote: 09 Aug 2022, 07:44 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvUenM8BXRs The Charge of the LIght Brigande (Williams) has several scenes with it.
Frédéric Back's films are online, but in such bad quality that you can't even determine wether they're animation or live action.
I've seen it in numerous shorts but can't name any names off the cuff.

The technique is used for the ghosts in the Richard Williams version of "A Christmas Carol". https://youtu.be/34Wexo0VTRE?t=58

Also in many commercials from the Williams studio, such as this one for Ben Truman beer at the 0:34 mark: https://youtu.be/FBUwQuDucho?t=34

At the link that Slowtiger posted above (to Hans Bacher's blog - https://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/20 ... dissolves/ ) Michael Sporn added some information about the technique in the comments section:
"John Hubley came up with a trick on his EVERYONE RIDES THE CAROUSEL feature that he said he’d developed for FANTASIA. He shot a scene twice at 50% exposure each. The second shooting started on frame “2” so that the entire scene was moved one frame off the other. The end result allowed him to shoot a scene on two’s but it would have a one frame dissolve with every other frame a 50-50 exposure.

I still use this today in Aftereffects by running – offset – the same scene twice: once at 100% – once at 50%.

By running the same scene through Aftereffects several times you should be able to get the same effect you did in the camera."

-Michael Sporn , 2009

As Slowtiger mentioned,the technique is used masterfully in the films of Frédéric Back, notably The Man Who Planted Trees.

https://youtu.be/epTqUnKsuUY

Last edited by D.T. Nethery on 10 Aug 2022, 15:17, edited 1 time in total.

Animator, TVPaint Beta-Tester, Animation Educator and Consultant.
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,Wacom Intuos Pro 5 , Wacom driver version 6.3.38-3
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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Triple dissolves easily done

Post by D.T. Nethery »

slowtiger wrote: 06 Aug 2022, 10:00
So here's my new recipe for that:

- Determine the overall animation interval. Example: I have a set of 3 interlocking layers of several drawings, each drawing 9 frames long, with an offset of 3 and 6 frames of the last two to the first. Draw them.
- Create a new layer.
- Fill this layer completely with solid color, with different opacity for each frame. Example: 83%, 60%, 40%, 13%, 0% - now copy the first 4 frames, append, and reverse order.) 9 frames full of differently transparent color.
- Set the mode at beginning and end to repeat.
- Set this layer as mask. See that it aligns with the 9 frames of your animation.
- Select your complete animation and hit delete. (You may duplicate your animation before this operation, just in case.)
- Now each of your drawings fades in and out over 9 frames. Arrange your layers so you get the offset you want.
- Hit play. Enjoy.

You can tweak this in any direction: longer or shorter intervals and different opacity settings. You could even use some paper texture while building the fading mask. After this operation you could merge all those layers and stretch them even further for really slow effects.

Thanks for this detailed explanation of how to achieve the dissolve effect in TVPaint.

Animator, TVPaint Beta-Tester, Animation Educator and Consultant.
MacOS 12.5 Monterey , Mac Mini (2018) , 3.2 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7,
16 GB RAM , TVPaint PRO 11.5.3 - 64bit , Wacom Cintiq 21UX 2nd Gen.
,Wacom Intuos Pro 5 , Wacom driver version 6.3.38-3
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slowtiger
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Re: Triple dissolves easily done

Post by slowtiger »

Of course for lots of scenes it would be enough to just stretch a layer (with interpolation), or do that with 2 layers and offset one of them. But sometimes you want a very distinct result, like 5 frames dissolve, then 7 frames at 100%, or something like that, and for these situations I stick to my recipe.
TVP 10.0.18, Mac Pro Quadcore 3 GHz, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11, QT 7.7.3
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