Perspective Guides in Camera View

A little background, in the Direct to Video move, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, In the intro sequence, just before the main titles come in, there’s a camera pan of the Batman on a building and as the camera goes around him, the buildings move in multi-plane and also in perspective. In the commentary track, the director said that it was all hand done animation, no 3D models used.

I’ve always liked that scene and wondered how I could figure out a way to use the “rules” of perspective to replicate that effect.

When I first started doing comics digitally, I carried over the idea of Perspective grids to my drawing. I would import these guides for each vanishing point for a panel and then moved them around for other panels.

I realized just this morning that I could apply the same principles to animation.

I fired up Illustrator and rotated a line so I had a nice radial collection of lines that shared a common center.

Then I imported this radial guide into TBS and created a new color palette with colors named for Right, Left, top, bottom and horizon line. Then I made 4 copies of the imported lines elements, named them VP_right, VP_left, VP_top and VP_bottom. I then colored the lines, using the palette colors to match the element the lines belonged to.

Now I’m ready to add pegs to these elements and see about how it works to create a pan with animated perspective. I plan on using the guidelines to create the extremes of the perspective panning shots and then use the ability to draw in Camera mode to do the Breakdowns and eventually the tweens for the shot.

I did a search on this forum, and there’s no post or topic that really addresses what I’m attempting to do.

I’ll be more than willing to do some kind of tutorial (either text or video with sound) on this method that I can share with y’all, if there’s any interest.

I’m kind of excited by this idea, because it can be added and worked with after the basic camera moves have been done and all that needs to be done is to move around the pegged Vanishing Points so they match the perspective of the extremes/breakdowns and then make the additions/modifications to the original elements.

This method could be applied to up/down and left/right pans and give guides to the artist for how to create a smooth pan that looks and feels “correct” and realistic.

Any thoughts or ideas about this? And yeah, I’m lookin’ at you JK! ;D

I’m really loving TBS!

mike, I think you have a great idea, & if you were to make a tut of some sort I’m sure many people would find it helpful. It’s definitely a time saver since your perspective grids can be saved as templates & re-used in other projects as well. I say go for it!

Mike, That is a great approach and you should continue and create a tutorial even if only text with photos. I for one would love to see the outcome. And if you bundle it up and make it into a download project we might put you up for sainthood right next to the Calico Monkey.

I have so many planned tutes on my todo list now and I would love seeing more people doing and publishing new and creative stuff. And I’m not surprised you like TBS and you are going to like V4.0 even more. Thanks -JK

Thanks for the feedback, guys. This will be worked on in my “spare” time, as I’m still doing that school thing (getting a BA in Animation and Visual Effects) so the tut will be some weeks away.

With that being said, I have the short scene that will illustrate the Dynamic Perspective Pan storyboarded and will be working on getting a rough done by next week. This will be an outdoor in the city scene, much like the BB:RotJ scene I described in the original post.

And I can’t wait for v.4, ordered my upgrade days after it was announced and the release can’t come soon enough!

I’m truly intrigued by your proposal and I look forward to seeing the results.
Rock on,