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New School Blues Dev. Diary #16: Smearing

Our last post focused on the animation technique of dry brushing, while today's entry (originally dated November 29th) details smearing. YoyoBolo Games artist and animator Jonathan walks us through it.

Yoyo Bolo, Blogger

February 6, 2013

1 Min Read

Developer Diary #24: Smearing

Another method of animation, my personal favorite, is called motion “smear”.  Rather than creating a feathery, formless blur the artist creates a solid drawing that distorts the character or object and smears the form across the range of motion.  

The effect works beautifully in motion, and it is a lot of fun freezing the animations mid-motion to see the unbelievably distorted frames.  In our game I made use of motion smear to help mask the transition when the new kid takes off their raincoat and throws it over the wall (that animation was posted on the site a while back).

Here are a few stills that show classic examples of the motion smear technique.  Each picture is from the Chuck Jones directed film “The Dover Boys at Pimento University”.


The woman in the background gives you a sense for how stretched the characters are here.


This one is Mike’s personal favorite.


Again it’s important to remember that background objects remain static, it’s only the characters and animate objects that stretch to these unusual sizes!

Thanks for reading!

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