Wednesday, January 16, 2008
One of the more vexing tasks I had for a while, was animating, and I say that in the loosest sense of the word, tiny birds traversing the arabian skies. This task was first the responsibility of Dave Cockburn and when he left the movie, it fell to me.
Dick always said that the blue sky was just paint on a background, but with birds flying around, they turned into the sky.
The birds were usually Swallow-like with a long forked tail. Dick didn't want them to flap their wings, but only glide across the skies. So I usually planned out several action paths and moved the birds along that path, more an exercise in spacing,sharpening pencils to within an inch of their lives and the patience of trappist monks.
I did this for several weeks and started to have trouble focusing and, after much hesitation, asked Dick for something else to work on, preferably something I could draw without the aid of an electronic microscope.To his credit, he complied, though for some time after,everytime he gave me an assignment, he asked: Is that big enough, can you see that? -and that was even for a full figure on 24 field... I rather took his gentle ribbing than spend my time on the movie tracing back miniature birds.
The only birds, apart from Phido, that I animated with flapping wings, were a flock of crows in the famous 'mouth to mountain'shot( see image). They were designed to cover the takeover from one background to the next. So I started animating the crows fairly big, then reduced them and the paths of action to fit the next BG and so on.My little contribution to an awesome shot, masterfully planned by Roy" patience of a saint" Naisbitt.