The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

3pt Perspective Grid

Alright, Eric.
It looks like your short is going to look like a Pink Panther cartoon. However, I want your film to have a bit more discipline. Western animation has to compete with anime nowadays, and the audience’s taste has migrated to story and design in favor of Disney Physics. In fact you’ll find that that the animation laity considers animation shot on 4’s or Batman Beyond besides all of it’s violation to animation physics like fluctuating volumes and lack of anticipation, settles and eye direction, great animation—because they’re drooling over the design! Full animation is still appreciated, but only by an esoteric group. Like 2D hand-drawn, full animation in this same medium had become a fine art. The distinction between limited animation and full is only accessible to some.

Pink Breakfast. I think your layouts could be better than this. Push yourself.

While you have time as a student, I would still peruse animation excellence, but to win over your future employers who are playing the design game with audiences, you’d better put some discipline in your layouts. There’s noting like wonky perspective to ruin a design. Animation layout style of the 70’s constantly bent this rule, and although your colleagues will find it appealing for those were old master who intuitively bent the rules, as a student, you need show the studios what you can do with classic training and bend the rules later after you’ve earned some clout, otherwise, you won’t even be honored with a studio test, much less hired.

The Best Layouts of the Pink Panther cartoons.

Most of these cartoon are very charming in their doodley nature. However you’ll hear many a layman say: “Couldn’t they draw back then?”

You can dodge this criticism with more 101 Dalmatians in your BG’s and less 6th grade perspective class effort.

Dick Ung, Corny and et al. would produce a mixed bag of quality in their BG’s granted some of the layouts were created for television where there is little time to think much less create a spectacular BG layout, but when it came to the theatrical shorts they showed a bit love in their work—for they had more time and you’re supposed to up your game for theatrical projects anyway.

I’ve screen captured a few images that shows discipline mixed with doodle as well as a few BG layouts that were obvious rush jobs that resulted in sloppy character layout for the horizon line was barely established. Which brings to my next point: make sure you’re never the weak link in the chain. Solidify your perspective skills before you leave school.

Here is an example for your fence

Learn something from Corny Cole’s palette in the examples below. This is a nice, simple minimalist style for when you finally get around to rendering your BG’s.

Dick Ung’s Pink Plasma for your closing scene when the pig lady storms through the alcove and into the kitchen.



Not only is this very nice by both sides of the layout crew, but the tones and shadows add much to the piece.


Now for your down shot. I’ve included a 3 pt perspective grid. This grid is used by industrial designers to show orthographic views of a product. There is no visible horizon line on an down shot like a top orthographic view so this grid helps take out the guess work on where vanishing points should converge in their respective infinity and give the proper angles for your object’s contour line.

What I’ve done is take a screen capture of a kitchen that I previously created in maya. Hopefully this will prevent further headaches. It may be cheating, but in this world of ” We Want it Yesterday” it’s a good cheat. What you do is drop the grid and the screen capture in Illustrator and render the vanishing points and draw the reander the image.

More on this later after I draw an example for you. Hold tight, I should be finished by tomorrow 09/29/11



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