It turns out that a lot of hard work went through the making of your favorite Disney animated flick, even more than what you probably know! Learn what rotoscoping is and see a few examples of it after the cut.
Where animation is concerned, I admit that my knowledge is quite limited. I naively thought that the process consists solely of rough drafts/sketching, hand-illustrating, and what I’d call simply for the sake of having a label as the “general animating process.” Obviously, I missed a few vital things, one of them being rotoscoping.
Wikipedia defines rotoscoping as “an animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films.” Yep, back in the old days, animators went as far as shooting an entire live action sequence for their animated work. It apparently looked like this image below, which was the patent drawing for Max Fleischer’s original rotoscope (around 1915):
Other studios caught on with this technique and employed it with their own works. This included Disney, which made use of rotoscoping on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It was reportedly also employed in their subsequent films, although mainly for observing the movements of human and animal characters.
To give you an idea, below are some images from Ufunk, which juxtaposed the live images onto the final animated product!