Project Documentation: Critical Manga

Max Fleischer, as earlier mentioned, will be my subject for the Critical Manga project.

We were lectured about him earlier in term 1, though this included his brother Dave Fleischer at the time. My project will be about the life/worklife of just Max Fleischer.

I’ve set up a small plan so far in order to gather my resources needed to create a story that has the most important highlights in Max’s life and bunch that all up in 800-ish words. My plan of approach in this case was reading through several wiki pages and taking notes from these as a starter.


– Rotoscope

– Fleischer studios,
– Movies
– later career
-animated features
– Disney vs Fleischer

These are the thumbnail notes of my starting research, just to fan out the ‘less’ important things. Rotoscope I wanted to research first as I wasn’t fully aware of how it worked, the small picture on the side on the Wiki page didn’t really show much for me to understand.

US_patent_1242674_figure_3.png(fig 1. Patent drawing for Fleischer’s original rotoscope. The artist is drawing on a transparent easel, onto which the movie projector at the right is throwing an image of a single frame.)

After gathering information about the Rotoscope (ref. below.) I wanted to see when the rotoscope was no longer used. The technique is still being used though the device has now been replaced by computers, as have many things in life.

When searching for films that were created with this technique, and now also understanding what it does, I recalled video clips and even films that actually weren’t mentioned on the wiki pages I was on at that time, asking myself if they involved rotoscoping aswell.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit jumped to mind right away and this is one of the films that I really enjoyed watching as a child whilst wondering how they made it.

Bob Hoskins In 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'
Bob Hoskins is seduced by Jessica Rabbit in a scene from the film ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, 1988. (Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images)

It has also been used in music clips.  Now one that stands out for me is the music clip of..

(Source: Youtube.)

But in this day and age, the rotoscoping technique is also used in Video games.


Prince of Persia 1989 by Jordan Mechner.


Aside from that, also Television shows used the technique and commercials.

This all shows the immense impact this seemingly simple technique had on the industry and even lives on and is used to this day through new systems.

Rotoscoping then and now :

Rotoscoping is a process which involves tracing stages of movement from live-action film, to attain a realistic motion in animation or visual effects. Unlike the rotoscoping done in traditional cel animation (most recently evident in Twentieth Century Fox’s Anastasia), the roto work in Titanic served a related but different purpose. Traditional animation rotoscoping is used to heighten or accentuate movement by imbuing it with a more life-like quality. Usually this is accomplished by first filming scene elements in live-action form, that mimic the intended movement within the animated film to be produced. Once filmed, say a scene with a couple dancing, animators trace off each frame, often in silhouette, and then “apply” this to their animated characters. The effect makes the animation literally come to life. The danger, however, in using this technique, is that often scenes that are rotoed stand out from others that are developed “by hand.”

In the 2-D digital, or CG world, the idea of movement is still critically important. Compositing is the process by which separate film elements, like footage of a landscape and footage of a spaceship, are combined to form the final seamless image of the spaceship flying over the landscape. Rotoscoping has become an integral part of the compositing process. Though digital artists still need to worry about animating, they are now not so involved in character work as they are in a process called matting. In its simplest form a matte can be nothing more than a blocked part of a film frame; a protected area that is later filled with an element not in the originally shot footage or from whatever effects work will be done to the rest of the image. Mattes are an integral part of compositing. The exceptions are computer “click-and-fills,” where the computer can be simply told to fill in any area of a given color, or value, with a given element. For example, “Fill in all white areas with water.’ In digital rotoscoping, one is doing much more than a simple green or blue screen type effect, which in and of itself is actually nothing more than a basic compositing effect.

Digital rotoscoping uses 2-D information in order to create or support a 3-D effect. An animated matte is created and used to block, or protect, a specific film element so that a 3-D composite can be achieved using a 2-D technique. The effects teams involved in James Cameron’s Titanic, made incredible use of this technique to create some very subtle effects.


oreo-rocket-raccoon-guardians-of-the-galaxy(fig 2. 2014’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy’s inspiration Oreo the Raccoon who was rotoscoped to create Rocket the Raccoon.)@oreoandFriends, Twitter/Marvel, BI composite by Kirsten Acuna )

Rotoscope research/reference:









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