Oldsmobile 88 - Brushed for speed.

Hey! Look everyone! Another car ad! This one shows the happy motorists zipping through a smeary wonderland of speed. Was the car fast? It was probably competitive for the time, with around 300 horsepower. But the handling was also probably competitive for the time, meaning that should your motor journey require you to turn, you'd scratch the door handles on the pavement.

Americans have seemingly always preferred a smooth ride to good handling. Even European cars, when "tuned" for the American market, are almost always lifted a bit onto taller, squishier suspensions that make the car wallow like a pig around corners. Apparently all drivers in the U.S. are eighty years old.

Nice painting. The background reminds me of my old job. I used to be a background painter at an animation studio (Just for clarity: If the character drawings are the actors, the backgrounds are the scenery).

When a character was running along and the camera needed to travel with the character, the background had to move behind  the character, who remained in the center of the frame. Think of Fred Flintstone running through his endless living room, where the same couch keeps going by. This type of background is called a "pan", because the BG is wider than a sheet of animation paper, allowing it to be "panned" across the camera stand behind the character. A pan BG could be anywhere from two to six or so times the width of a normal drawing. The trick was that the left and right ends of the BG had to be identical, so that when the camera operator got to the end of the BG, he could start again at the opposite end, looping the pan as many time as was needed.

The end result was the Fred Flintstone effect, where the background slid by endlessly, even showing you the same doorway or couch over and over again. If you think about it, Fred must have been running in circles.

To avoid painting super-long backgrounds, which can be expensive, another approach is to just paint a "zip pan". A zip pan only needs to be maybe two or three times normal width, and is painted with smeary horizontal streaks, like we see in this ad. Again, it's a good idea to make both ends similar, but not necessarily identical. A zip pan is faster to paint, and as a result, cheaper. In order for the smeary look to work, a zip pan needs to go by really fast. Also, it's harder to recognize a specific brush stroke going by repeatedly, so you can avoid the Flintstone effect.

You see a LOT of zip pans in Anime. The japanese love zip pans. Sometimes, they're so cheaply done they're just two alternating frames of smeariness flickering away behind the character. Dragonball Z had more zip pans than trees in their backgrounds.

The characters' eyes look like they're made out of coal.

I reckon she knows where he keeps his carrot nose.


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