Please note: if an earlier link doesn't work, it may have changed following an update! Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-six shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

UM41 Revisited - Now With Nasty Clicks...

Last night and tonight I had some fun programming a click track .WAV and .AVI program, which uses a simple text file as input. I put the beat info of UM41 Mirrorland in it, and below is the result, put together in Premiere with a rip from the DVD (excuse my interlace). It fits like a glove... Check it out before it is removed by people who cannot see the educational value in it!

Since it can be hard to follow the film with the bar-sheets in hand, I found this more immediate and obvious. It is interesting to hear (and 'see') how the music was written - the 'vamps' that cover the transitions to other beats. And also I note that the music once in a while 'lags behind' in fast passages, only to recover when the conductor regains control. I never understood that strangly out-of-place queue before the Neptune bit. And the end might just as well have played as 2-16s instead of 2-8s. It seems pretty hecktic...
The conductor would not hear all these clicks, though - probably only every second or even fourth click - one per measure.

If the timing to a beat was a 'lost art', I hope that these posts help change that. It is an integral part of the entertainment of the 'Golden Age of Cartoons', and deserves recognition as a tool that can improve the value of the project at hand. There are many ways of dealing with this. Loosely, sequence for sequence (as we did on Anna & Bella) or throughout, like here. It's a matter of taste.

[A note on the symbols: a circle is a beat. If it has a cross through it, it is the first beat in a measure and the note is a bit higher. If the cross is red, and the note is even higher, then it is the first beat of a new tempo (though note that a change from a 2-12 to a 3-12 and back also generates red crosses and higher notes).]

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Anonymous Mark Mayerson says...

This is just great! Thank you for doing this. I wonder if some of the dialogue, such as "Call out the cards!" was also recorded to a beat, since it seems to fit the tempo so perfectly.

I can't remember if you have the animator draft for this cartoon or not, but if so, it would have been doubly great if you superimposed the animator's name on each scene.

Let's hope that Disney realizes that this is not an attempt to rip them off but to educate animators and they leave it on YouTube. I wish that they would do something similar on their own DVD releases as extras.

Friday, November 10, 2006 at 6:16:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Michael Sporn says...

This took a lot of work on your part, and the reward for us is an enormous one. There are so few times one can see a film of this importance with the skeletons visible.

I've watched the film (that I already knew by heart) at least a dozen times and compared it to the drafts, breaking it down for myself.
Great job, and an excellent and exciting posting, and I can only say thank you.

Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 5:10:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Thanks, Michael - I really wanted to see this myself, and as I could write the program to do so, I think that worked out nicely: all can study this and now I have a program that I can use myself! (Note: I am working on another Mickey film, doing the same thing - it will turn up one of the next days, probably late Monday).

Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 5:26:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

(Added the draft animator info to the file, as Mark suggested).

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 8:13:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Andy J. Latham says...

I'm a couple of years late in commenting on this, but it's fantastic stuff! I'm only just discovering the old way of timing animation. Hopefully I can put it to good use in the future!

Thanks for sharing this valuable stuff!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 1:00:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous :: smo :: says...

I've come back to these posts numerous times since you first posted and each time i feel like i understand something a little further!

I just sat down with the bar sheets open and followed along. it's pretty tricky to watch and read the music at the same time but i guess it's kind of like sight reading and you can get the flow after a bit.

it blows my mind how in depth these are. and they were done at the point in the process where there were just boards? then exposure sheets were made off of these for the animators?

it's obnoxious coming into animation NOW where it's difficult to find a project that's well planned in process to work on and learn from. i really appreciate all this work you've put in it's been an invaluable resource! i've been trying to spread the knowledge among my fellow pigeonholed flash animators in new york as well.

thanks again!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 11:01:00 AM PDT  

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