How Animator Richard Williams Simulated Fluid Camera Movement Using One Drawing Per Frame

Pink Panther

In a very illustrative video essay, Andrew Saladino of The Royal Ocean Film Society takes a look at legendary animator Richard Williams and his incredible ability to simulate fluid, three-dimensional camera movements just by decreasing the ratio to one drawing per frame. Most animation at the time was usually created with a 1:2 ratio, 1:4 ration or even a 1:6 ratio, but in using his 1:1 ratio, Williams was able to give his characters smooth and dynamic movement, particularly across a checkerboard floors.

In a world where live-action and animation are growing closer and closer to one another, Richard Williams was and still is one of the last remaining members of the old guard who wanted to push animation in the exact opposite direction, to do what no other medium can, and that’s perhaps most evident in the masterful way in which his films move.

Richard Williams Checkerboards

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.