Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Forced Perspective on Physical Action: Batman Swinging on Rope and Landing

Here is an example where the forced perspective of the scene setup will make your individual animation drawings look strange. The proportions of the elements of the character's body will look wrong frame by frame, but not in motion.

Background with extreme upshot perspective.
Batman's body in normal proportions.

Left leg swings forward.

Extreme perspective as Batman is coming down for landing.

Batman's foot touches down. Impetus of forward motion forces upper torso to bend forward at the waist. The body "squashes" as Batman hits the ground.

Lower torso has lost forward momentum due to foot touch-down. Upper portion of body moving ahead of lower portion. Body into "stretch".

Upper torso at its most forward. Combination of holding on to rope and second foot touch-down about to cause shift in impetus in opposite direction.

Batman lands on third foot touch-down and...

...brings trailing foot to stop position.

The rest of this short scene consists of Batman on multiple levels for cape overlapping action and mouth positions for dialogue. There is also a quick bit of animation of Batman tossing the rope aside to accent a word.


  1. These Batman posts are very interesting! Keep them coming! It seems like it would have been very difficult to animate Batman though since he's drawn more realistically. I'm assuming the clients sent you model sheets for the characters when you animated them right?

  2. The only reference I had was the setup drawing for each scene, some basic instructions from the director, and the Batman graphic novel "The Killing Joke".

  3. Wonderful work, John, throughout the whole blog. I have a grandson who is very interested in animation and will point him to it. It will give us stuff to share. Meanwhile, I've linked to you from my blog, which may get you a bit of action here and there.