Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures
Posted by on September 30, 2011
Posted in: animation, construction, projects
animated build sequence for park avenue west

A "flipbook" style presentation showing construction phasing of the Park Avenue West tower in Downtown Portland. The project was put on hold in 2009, and has since been redesigned.
 

time-lapse video of anvil building construction sequence

Footage for this time-lapse film was captured over a six month period in 2009. The Anvil is a two-story wood framed commercial building in Portland.
 

fly-thru visualization of north williams ave safety proposals

This fly-thru animation sequence shows different perspectives (pedestrian, cyclist, and driver) of proposed street configurations for North Williams Avenue in Portland.

Animation has come a long way since the pioneering work of Eadweard Muybridge in the 1880s. Read the closing credits next time you watch a Pixar movie, and you'll appreciate the time and cost involved in creating a feature length animated film.

But behind all that Hollywood magic, animation is just a series of images presented in rapid succession to create the illusion of motion. At Fat Pencil Studio, we use some simple techniques to create dynamic presentations at a reasonable cost.
Flipbooks

Animation can be created using nothing more than pencil and paper, by drawing the same scene many times with minor differences on each sheet of paper. We use a digital version of this approach to help explain phasing plans for construction projects. The camera angle is fixed as the drawing changes over a series of slides.

Extending this approach into the real world, a camera installed in a fixed location can take pictures at regular intervals over a long period of time. This is called time-lapse photography, and it's a great way to visualize things that happen slowly, like plant growth, or building construction.
Fly-Thru

There is a limit to what can be shown from a single camera angle. Animating the transition between multiple "scenes" can help viewers understand the context of different perspectives. After creating an accurate 3d model for a project, we define a camera path for the virtual tour. Here are a few things we've illustrated using this approach:

  • sites of interest for a court case
  • perspectives of different roadway users
  • key elements of a construction site logistics plan

So far, we've looked at options for animating a fixed camera view and moving a camera through a static 3d model. Next month, we'll continue our focus on simple animation techniques with a look at moving objects inside a scene.

 
Would an animated presentation help explain your project? Contact us at 503-465-4533 if you'd like to discuss ideas.

About Fat Pencil

Fat Pencil Studio is a visual presentation company. Read more...