Multiplane

This YouTube video linked from Marco Arment (riffing on this post by Manton Reece) is awesome. It’s Walt Disney describing Disney animation’s Multiplane camera, which was used to provide a much better sense of depth and movement in their feature films. Some points I took away from it:

  • How much they shared that could be considered a “trade secret”. I don’t know much about the history of animation, and it very could be that this was old news at the time, but you don’t see too many companies revealing how their technology works in that level of detail.
  • How educational it was. It’s just seven and a half minutes long, but you’ll learn how traditional cell based animation worked, how it limits perspective, and how the “new” multiplane camera fixed that.
  • Walt Disney called them “cartoons”. Not “animations” or “films” or anything else.
  • The acting from the guys moving the camera is hilarious.
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