05 May 2006

Royal flight of fancy!

Here is probably the biggest panning shot I have ever assembled! In He-Man's "The Royal Cousin" episode Jeremy "borrows" a Sky-Sled and takes it for a joyride over the rooftops of the Royal Palace! Now as it was filmed for a few seconds Filmation artists created a looping background. Here from start to finish I have assmebled the looping background with Jeremy's starting position, all the way to the very last frame of the panning shot with Jeremy removed. It's always nice to see how looping backgrounds work, and I have to admit that I'm a little impressed with my composition here!

(click on the image to see it at full-size)


Mosquitor said...

Looks like the architects of the Royal City lack imagination when it comes to variety in their designs... either that or they just love a symmetrical skyline. ;)

Chris M said...


And you have every right to be impressed, very well done :)

Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous on my computer! Nice job of piecing it all together. :)

To the best of my knowledge, I think we see the same background setting again in episodes like "The Rainbow Warrior" and the intro scene from "Beauty And The Beast."

Some of my other favorite looped background scenes includes the exterior on the Palace grounds, like when He-Man is running towards the Attak-Trak, in "Prince Adam No More" and also the desert landscape from "Double Edged Sword" in the shot after Battlecat states, in reference to Orko, "Let's just say he's funny!" :)

Thanks for posting and reading! God Bless...

~KevyGuy :)
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Robert Lamb said...

These repeating backgrounds were known as bicycle pans or bike pans. They differed from the repeating pans of Hanna-Barbera which would have identical scenery in the first and last positions of the background. Since backgrounds were hand-painted the duplication was never exact. Also HB bgs repeated one field sooner because of the duplicate ends.

Filmation's bike pans used a background and overlay method to repeat pans with no seams and no end mismatch. The bg was longer, usually 5 fields. A field is what can be contained in a single screen. The bg layer had the base sky and ground colors with finished background rendering only in the center field (C position) that spread into the B & D positions. The overlay was wide enough to completely fill the screen so that when the pan reached the center of the overlay (OL) the entire background assembly of BG and OL could be repositioned so that the underlaying bg was ready to re-enter when the OL exited the frame.

This could be done infinitely without any seam showing unless the camera operater goofed.

This is hard to explain without the physical artwork to display. If James has any bike pans that might make an interesting entry.

Rob Lamb

Unknown said...

Thanks James for sharing this screencapture.

Also many thanks to Robert again for chiming in! I'm learning so much! Would love to read more animation technique-stuff on your site as well Rob.

Robert Lamb said...

I slip them in when I can. :) Most of the time I deal with story issues since I'm more of a story guy than an animator.

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