Painterly Rendering for Animation

Barbara J. Meier
Walt Disney Feature Animation

We present a technique for rendering animations in a painterly style. The difficulty in using existing still frame methods for animation is getting the paint to "stick" to surfaces rather than randomly change with each frame, while still retaining a hand-crafted look. We extend the still frame method to animation by solving two major specific problems of previous techniques. First our method eliminates the "shower door" effect in which an animation appears as if it were being viewed through textured glass because brush strokes stick to the viewplane not to the animating surfaces. Second, our technique provides for frame-to-frame coherence in animations so that the resulting frames do not randomly change every frame. To maintain coherence, we model surfaces as 3D particle sets which are rendered as 2D paint brush strokes in screen space much like an artist lays down brush strokes on a canvas. We use geometric and lighting properties of the surfaces to control the appearance of brush strokes. This powerful combination of using 3D particles, surface lighting information, and rendering 2D brush strokes in screen space gives us the painterly style we desire and forces the brush strokes to stick to animating surfaces. By varying lighting and choosing brush stroke parameters we can create many varied painterly styles. We illustrate the method with images and animated sequences and present specific technical and creative suggestions for achieving different looks.

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