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Animation Treasures
August 10, 2007 3:58 AM   Subscribe

The author of this site takes screen-shots from long-pan scenes of classic animation and puts them together to re-create the original larger background images. Much cooler than it sounds, honest. [via MeFi's own kokogiak, sort of]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (47 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

These are all so amazingly gorgeous, but I adore the fact they did the backgrounds for Mr. Bug Goes To Town, which has been a favourite of mine ever since my dad made me watch it as a child (when it was titled Hoppity Goes To Town).

FilmFour aired it a few times during the last Christmas holidays -- I must have rewatched it three times in two weeks.
posted by Katemonkey at 4:05 AM on August 10, 2007

I love this artwork from a Fleischer Superman short.
posted by octothorpe at 4:16 AM on August 10, 2007

Very cool post! This guy is performing a great service. I'd love to see him extract some of the great Maurice Noble paintings from his Warner's work, especially his Roadrunner backgrounds.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:23 AM on August 10, 2007

Hans Bacher (aka Rey León) has quite a resume having worked in various capacities on The Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, among others. The artwork he presents on the linked site is stunning and obviously a labor of love. Great descriptions of his techniques in putting these together. There's a lot of old Disney stuff, but quite a bit from Max Fleischer too (probably my favorite), plus others. Great find and thanks!
posted by sluglicker at 4:24 AM on August 10, 2007


Now all I want is for him to do the Chigley background in Winkstead Hall that Brackett used to walk in front of...
posted by i_cola at 4:36 AM on August 10, 2007

Thorzad: The first thing I grepped for was Maurice Noble--it's in there.
posted by sourwookie at 4:44 AM on August 10, 2007

Neat idea, but it doesn't seem like it would be that much work.
posted by DU at 4:48 AM on August 10, 2007

Nothing is very much work in this New Digital Era, when it comes down to it: it's all about the ideas. And I reckon this was a great idea, so great that some of the images he's put together (especially the Chuck Jones era stuff) make me all tingly. That doesn't happen very often, for me at least.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:53 AM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Great post.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:55 AM on August 10, 2007

Awes-tastic! Thanks!
posted by The Deej at 4:59 AM on August 10, 2007

Excellent! It's a delight to see the larger space as the artists conceived of it.

I recently assembled screencaps of the two long pans of Woodstock's utterly amazing bachelor-pad birdhouse from "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown" just for my own enjoyment. (The scene starts about 5:20 in this video.) If I ever own a home, I swear I'm going to make a room just like that, complete with the really weird hi-fi system.
posted by SteelyDuran at 5:09 AM on August 10, 2007

As I look at these scenes, I see characters from my childhood walking around in them, characters I haven't thought about in years. Thanks so much for this.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 5:10 AM on August 10, 2007

Lovely stuff.
posted by Kinbote at 5:27 AM on August 10, 2007

DU: "Neat idea, but it doesn't seem like it would be that much work."

I don't think autostitch would work. It assumes that the photos are part of a panoramic view from a single viewpoint, but that isn't how these screenshots are used. They're shown from an isometric point of view, so they're totally flat, not the inside of a virtual sphere. So there's a lot of calculation and surface-mapping and spline-reticulation that autostitch does that would break these images.
posted by Plutor at 5:28 AM on August 10, 2007

Oh yes. This is quite good.

Stav, are you an animation buff?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:37 AM on August 10, 2007

Och, aye.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:40 AM on August 10, 2007

posted by Abiezer at 5:42 AM on August 10, 2007

Thanks. This is excellent.
posted by recurve at 5:59 AM on August 10, 2007

without seeing it, I'll say this sounds cool as hell to me.
posted by Busithoth at 6:07 AM on August 10, 2007

Fabulous stuff, mr.wonderchicken - really giving some gorgeous illustration work its due. Great concept.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:21 AM on August 10, 2007

Great post.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:33 AM on August 10, 2007

Where are the desktop-wallpaper-resolution versions?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:45 AM on August 10, 2007

I wish I knew.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:51 AM on August 10, 2007

Thanks for steering me to that site, stav. Great stuff.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:55 AM on August 10, 2007

Sweet post. I always liked the original Tom & Jerry cartoons to the later stuff, but now I can see just how beautiful they really were.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:13 AM on August 10, 2007

That was a fun journey. Great post. My vote would be for some Eyvind Earle backgrounds.
posted by podwarrior at 7:22 AM on August 10, 2007

Were those Tom and Jerry examples during the Chuck Jones era?
posted by sourwookie at 7:27 AM on August 10, 2007

Excellent link. Thanks stavros, I'll have to take it out of my 'to post' bm folder.

Everyone should take some time to root around this guy's 900-odd blogspot accounts. He runs out of img hosting space every month or so and adds a new blog. Lots of good animation/cartooning/illustration stuff tucked back in there.
posted by carsonb at 7:42 AM on August 10, 2007

Fantastic post, thank you. What a find.

There's a beauty to these hand-colored animations that is really moving. I don't have enough understanding of visual art or the process of animation to say what exactly creates that effect; but there is something about the light, the translucence of the colors, the varied shading that presents convincing shape and texture, while the CGA stuff just looks....made of plastic. I encourage everyone to scroll down to the screenshot from the recent "Bee Movie" from Pixar and read the comments by the author's fellow animation geeks. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in thinking that the emotional effect of the watercolor backdrops is quite a bit stronger than the 'wow, look at that' smoothness and detail of computer aided illustration.

I think with CGA, it's almost like the images are so close to reality that they are almost readable as such, which is lulling. But then some deep distrustful circuit in the brain is tripped, something that says 'danger - that's not real. There's something off about this person. There's something wrong with that shadow.' This gives rise to a fundamental eerieness and discomfort in watching those images that has creeped me out ever since the first stages of this really layered human-modeled texturized stuff started appearing.

The idea to put the screen images together into panoramas is pretty darn brilliant. He is recreating the movie world of our imagining - a place that never existed, not even on paper in whole form. That's pretty amazing. And I'm really happy to learn about the Fleischer Superman - look at that awesome, Art Deco city, pregnant with the tension between evil and decency! I'm a fan of other Fliescher work like Felix and Popeye but never saw this.
posted by Miko at 8:11 AM on August 10, 2007

Truly a great find. Thanks for posting this.
posted by Outlawyr at 8:56 AM on August 10, 2007

But then some deep distrustful circuit in the brain is tripped, something that says 'danger - that's not real. There's something off about this person.

This is known as the uncanny valley.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 9:05 AM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Please tell me that that Bambi scene completely kicks Thomas Kinkade's [NSF ... anyone, really] use of illumination and claims of invention to the curb.
posted by scruss at 9:10 AM on August 10, 2007

God, these are gorgeous.

A few years ago I happened to catch some Tom & Jerry cartoons on TV. I thought I was going crazy because they looked awful - not at all the way I remembered them from my 1970s-Saturday-morning-cartoon-watching. The animation was flat and mechanical - it was just all so wrong. I was relieved to find out that they'd been made post-Chuck Jones, and that I wasn't misremembering and important part of my childhood.

Yes, Bambi totally rules Kinkade.
posted by rtha at 9:32 AM on August 10, 2007

this is amazing. did you see where he studied the shifting color palettes from What's Opera, Doc? so cool.
posted by shmegegge at 9:40 AM on August 10, 2007

and yeah, the lighting from Bambi is out of this world.
posted by shmegegge at 9:41 AM on August 10, 2007

Were those Tom and Jerry examples during the Chuck Jones era?

No, Chuck Jones didn't come in until the sixties. The only common animator on those two episodes is Irvin Spence, though they were both directed by Hanna and Barbera.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 10:09 AM on August 10, 2007

Exquisite. Although the blogger repeatedly uses the word "pan" to describe side to side camera motion as well as up and down camera motion. When the camera goes up and down, it's called tilting. And some of these images aren't meant to represent a camera panning or tilting from a fixed axis, but rather moving through space, in which case it is a "dolly with" (or tracking) shot.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:54 AM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Buriednexttoyou: That's amazing. I had no idea that phenomenon had been studied and named. Thanks.
posted by Miko at 11:46 AM on August 10, 2007

Bambi's stuff...Trees... is just gorgeous. Wow. What a great collection.

Thank you!
posted by misha at 12:03 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

To those saying it's autostitched, this Fantasia shot has 27 layers, all hand composited
posted by Brainy at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2007

Awesome. Great post.
posted by davejay at 12:46 PM on August 10, 2007

This is a MUCH better implementation of this, using tracking shots from Futurama

Stitched from the full DVD resolution, not retardedly scaled down like the FPP guy's are.

The original site has htaccess issues, so the link is to the backup.
posted by blasdelf at 3:07 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Cool, this shot is pretty much right where I live. Although from what I've read, Johnny Appleseed never actually lived in Pittsburgh but it's a neat image.
posted by octothorpe at 3:19 PM on August 10, 2007

Good idea but way too flippin small to deal with.
posted by puke & cry at 3:54 PM on August 10, 2007

I tried this myself many years ago. I stitched the fast opening pan of the Simpsons... moving past the school to the house as the family arrives. It's probably 12 frames at most, but there sure are a lot of Springfieldians in there. There's also a surprising amount of distortion near Flanders' house, which is virtual camera motion that we the viewers never even notice. I've long since lost that image.
posted by rlk at 10:23 PM on August 10, 2007

Thank you thank you thank you...
posted by Faze at 6:51 AM on August 11, 2007

Thank you thank you thank you mrwonderchicken
posted by Faze at 6:52 AM on August 11, 2007

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