Smears in animation are quick drawings that show a character in motion. They are used to make the movement look smoother and faster.
Smears are an essential technique in animation, used to create an illusion of fast movement and add more energy and dynamism to action scenes. Smears help to show rapid movements that would be too fast to perceive in real life.
In hand-drawn animation, smears are created by stretching and distorting the shape of a character or object. Sometimest the animator draws multiple limbs or features to suggest motion blur. These exaggerated shapes are only visible for a few frames, but they create the illusion of a lot of extra frames being added. Hand-drawn animators use smear frames to emphasize the speed and intensity of a character’s movement. For instance, during a fight scene, smears can help depict the swift movements of the characters.
Stop-motion animators also use smears to add more energy and dynamism to their animation. Although stop-motion is known for its smooth and realistic movements, adding smears can make the animation more visually appealing. Stop-motion animators often use smear frames for fast camera movements or when objects move past the camera quickly.
In 3D animation, smears are created using software tools that allow animators to stretch and distort objects or characters’ shape. Animators often use these tools to create motion blur effects in fast-moving scenes. 3D animators commonly use smear frames for fast-moving car chases, fight scenes, or when characters move quickly through space.
Smears are not only effective in creating dynamic and exciting action scenes but also in expressing emotions. For example, a smear frame can be used to show the rapid change in facial expression when a character goes from happy to angry.