5    A dead simple Pan

As was indicated on the previous page, the word "pan" is used differently in live-action and in 2D animation. Generally, the word "pan" in animation is meant to indicate any move in the xy plane.

Pans, rotations, tracks in and out are collectively referred to as camera moves.

Suppose that we want to move the camera across a background; the background may be a Photoshop file or an actual piece of artwork. For this example, assume it is a watercolour painting on panning paper - that is paper that is wider than ordinary animation paper. Confusingly, it is often referred to as 2 or 3 field panning paper - this means simply that it is 2 or 3 times wider than standard animation drawing paper, (which in turn is usually just over either 12 or 15 inches wide).

 

Now, traditionally, when you specify that a piece of artwork is to pan in one direction, say East, it means that you want it to look as though the camera is moving in the opposite direction, West. (Think about it). You can get very bogged down trying to explain visuals with words - so avoid confusion and present the information visually.

The camera guide below is far clearer at explaining what is required, which in essence is a simple horizontal move lasting 2 seconds.Fairing in means that the move accelerates from nothing, but it ends without a fairing, coming immediately to a stop.

 

Notes :

  • note the crossed "C"s near the field centres - this means the pan will go from centres A to C, which are precisely 16 inches apart
  • I use a small square symbol to mean "frames" - I am not sure just how universal this practice is
  • each round peg hole is labelled A,B,C (they are each exactly 8 inches apart)
    the frames are 16 x 9 shape
  • for readers not familiar with Imperial (that is non-metric) measurements, the next bit is for you:
  • The " mark means inches, so 12F = 12" field  = 12 inches field size. An inch is 2.54 cms, so a 12F is roughly 30 cms wide. The frames above are therefore approx. 30 cms wide by 17 cms high. We do not use Imperial measurements just to be awkward; unfortunately, animation is based on Imperial measurements. For instance, in the "dash dot dash" peg arrangement of a pegbar, the distance between each peg is 4 inches centre to centre (there's a picture here) and of course the camera sizes, "fields" are in inches. Even the term "foot" ( = 12 inches) is still widely used. (See glossary).
  • this set-up would be referred to as being on either double panning paper or 2 Field panning paper  (12 inch size) as there is only room for 2 non-overlapping 12 fields. Obviously 2 x 15 inch wide paper is going to be bigger than 2 x 12 inch.
  • In the above example, we simply move horizontally from one view to another. This could be achieved in different ways - either the camera itself could move or maybe just the artwork; it really does not matter and the person doing the scene-compositing can decide. All that is needed is a clearly drawn camera guide.

Use this sort of guide for all camera moves; whether the artwork is on paper or is a file. There is no reason why moves must start or end at the centres and of course the camera can track in or out and rotate. It can move linearly or it can follow complex paths.

The most important element in any guide is showing very clearly where the camera centre is throughout a shot.

 

  > 6 - a simple track in