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New School Blues Dev. Diary #15: Dry Brushing
by Yoyo Bolo on 02/05/13 02:37:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

Now that the majority of the animation for New School Blues is complete I thought I might take time to talk about a fun animation technique that can be used to enhance very quick actions.  

You are likely already familiar with the concept of motion blur, when fast moving objects lose definition and become nothing more than blurs of colour.  Every fast motion that we see, both on a screen and in real life, is affected.  Animation however, can be created perfectly clean without any blur or distortion because all of the elements are still when photographed.  

The funny thing is that this perfect motion is less than ideal.  Without a blur of colour stretching across the object’s path of movement the eye has trouble following it, and the object appears to strobe rather than travel smoothly.  To remedy this animators must create their own motion blur artificially, and there has been a lot of exploration into different methods of creating the effect.

One technique, called “dry brushing”, closely approximates the appearance of motion blur on film. 

Here’s a couple pictures as examples:




The colored lines give the illusion that Daffy is falling




This example in turn portrays an object moving upwards

If you’re wondering why Daffy’s face looks so weird it actually ties into a second method of animation which also happens to be my personal favorite and one I’ve integrated into NSB’s design.  Tune in tomorrow to find out more about it!

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