Document details

"Shadowgraph" patent
Art of Animation
Walt Disney

This invention is particularly directed to improvements in the art of producing what are generally known as animated cartoons, this term being applicable to all instances in which drawn or painted representations of objects, characters, scenes and the like are recorded upon continuous film so that projection thereof creates the appearance of animation or movement in such drawn or painted characters and scenes.

In the preparation of such animated cartoons a considerable amount of action by a desired character, such as, for example, Mickey Mouse, may take place in front of a relatively stationary, unchanging background. Under such conditions, the series of events taking place before such background is termed a scene of the entire play or story. Since such scene, when projected upon a screen, consists of a large number of photographic images of drawings, or paintings, thousands of such drawings or paintings must be made. Ordinarily, the background of a given scene maybe drawn or painted upon an opaque or transparent medium and a number of drawings of the character, actor or foreground figures are then made on separate transparencies. The foreground or character transparency is then placed over the background drawing and the two are photographed simultaneously.

In order to properly position the character with respect to the background appearing in the drawing, it is necessary in most instances to show the shadow of the character since the shadow assists greatly in creating the proper perspective and positioning of the character. Moreover, the shadow of the character must be placed with due regard to the lighting effect which has been depicted in the background. When the background is complicated, angular, or contains a number of objects such as, for example, a balustrade, it is extremely difficult for the animator to properly create, by drawing, the shadow of the character upon these background objects.

The present invention is particularly directed toward methods whereby the foreground object, or character may be properly and accurately placed and correlated with respect to the background and accurate shadows rapidly produced so that the finished drawing (or combination of drawings) which is photographed in the produce den of the finished projection film, correctly and accurately locates the character with respect to the background and includes a virtually accurate shadow.


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Source type Document
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 9
Pages pp. 1-9


Id 2710
Availability Free
Inserted 2016-08-14