Wednesday, 24 April 2019

"Smear Frames" Tutorial by Simone Giampaolo

Daffy Duck "smear" drawing
What is a "Smear Frame"? Smear Frames are a technique developed in early the days of hand-drawn animation, to simulate motion blur in super-snappy animation, in the style of Tex Avery or Chuck Jones, such as in the Daffy Duck example to the left.

Today, the acknowledged master of the smear drawing is animation legend Eric Goldberg (he boarded and animated the "Genie of the Lamp" sequence from Aladdin).

But how do you do a Smear Frame in 3D animation, using Maya character rigs? Escape Studios animation tutor Simone Giampaolo explains how, in this new tutorial at our Vimeo Animation Channel

I was lucky enough to work with Eric Goldberg on the feature film "Looney Tunes - Back in Action", animated in the super-snappy Warner Bros style from the 1940s. Eric he taught me a lot about comic timing, and smear drawings, and about how much you get away with terms of tightening up the timing of your animation.

The problem of 3D Animation
But how do you do a smear drawing, or smear frame, in 3D animation? Escape Studios animation tutor Simone Giampaolo explains how to simulate a smear transition using one of the freely available Maya rigs, accessible to all our students.

Tutorial Videos
1. Introduction:
2. The Breakdown:
3. Keep Blocking:
4. Moving to Splines:
5. Overshoot:
Simone Giampaolo

Like all our Vimeo videos, this tutorial series is password-protected. If you're a current student or Escapee, send me an email at

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our BA/MArt, follow this link.  To apply, visit the offical page here

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