US 1143542 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. HURD. PROCESS OF AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MOVING PICTURES.
APPLICATION FILED DEC. I9. I914.
Patented June 15, 1915.
2 SHEETS-SHEET I.
I I W "m E. HURD. PROCESS OF AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MOVING PICTURES. APPLICAILQN FILED 050.19, 1914.
1,143,542. Patented June 15, 1915.
2 SHEETS-SHEET 2.
I EARL HURD, OF KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.
rnocnss or ANDAPPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MOVING PICTURES.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented June 15, 1915.
Application filed December 19, 1914. Serial No. 878,091.
ture films from a series of cartoons or drawings photographed in sequence, and which give the effect of moving objects when projected in the usual manner upon a screen. In the drawings which are photographed to produce the successive poses, the objects, which are to be represented as in motion, are drawn in the positions which they are supposed to assume progressively through the series. It is evident that the artist may take certain liberties, drawing upon his imagination in making these drawings in depicting the positions and performances of the persons, animals, inanimate objects or the like, and thereby produce amusing and entertaining effects which are impossible -when the photographer must depend upon actual physical moving objects.
One of the objects of my invention is to enable such animated cartoons to be made with the minimumof efiort and expense and .to facilitate the rapid execution of any series of poses relating to or constituting a single scene. By my process I am enabled to use a single setting or background for an entire scene and to effect the illusion of lifelike movement in successive poses by drawing upon a series of. transparent sheets the moving objects arranged progressively according to the sequence of the events which it is desired to depict. I v.
My invention will be understood by reference to the accompanying" illustrative drawings in which Figure 1, is a front perspective view of an apparatus for carrying out my process; Fig. 2, is an end elevation of the same, showing the front hinged frame swung outwardly and showing also in dotted lines the entire cabinet swung back into horizontal position during the operation of changing the transparent leaf or sheet; Fig. 3. is a vertical section on the line 33 of Fig. 1; Fig. 4, is a perspective view of the apparatus shown in F 1, but with the frame carrying a transparent sheet of celluloid or-glass carry-ing the motionless portion of the moving object, in position to be clamped to the swinging glass door or frame; Fig. 5 isa front elevation of the celluloid plate and its frame; and Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view of a transparent sheet carrying the moving portion of the movable object.
In my process a single background is used for the entire series of pictures necessary to portray one scene. The background shows all of those portions of the scene that remain stationary and may conveniently be drawn, printed or painted on cardboard or other suitable sheet. I prefer to paint the figures of the background in strong blacks and whites upon a medium dark gray paper and when the transparent sheet carrying the movable objects is placed over this gray tone of the background, the objects on the transparent sheet appear to stand out in relief, giving what may be termed a poster' effect.
The cabinet or supporting case 1, has a hinged door frame 2, carrying a plate of glass 3, and also a frame 6, hinged at 8 to the base 5, of the cabinet and to which the background sheet 10, may be secured.
The transparent sheets of paper 12, upon which the moving or action features of the picture are drawn, may be made into book form and secured to the top member of the cabinet as indicated. When a series of pictures or cartoons are to be prepared, the entire book of transparent sheets is first turned back over the top of the cabinet. The background having beenv prepared and placed in position as indicated in Fig; 1, the bottom sheet of the book, which is now on top, is brought down in front of the background and clamped at the bottom by the clips 14, which are first depressed by means of a lever 15, connected thereto in any suitable manner. The figure which represents the desired movable object may then be drawnin outline by the artist in its proper relation to the background which shows distinctly throu h the sheet of paper. In Fig. 5, I have in icated the movable object as a woman in the act of spanking a child. Another sheet isthen brought over the first sheet in front of the background and held by the'clips 14; and upon this is traced those portions of the previously drawn figure which remain in the same position during the next pose and the remaining parts which are in action and have moved, are
sketched in or drawn in their desired positions. Thus, in the example illustrated in Fig. 4, only the right arm of the woman and the legs of the child are in action so that these parts only are to be drawn in a different position, the remaining stationary portions being traced.
To further simplify the production of the pictures and reduce the amount of work entailed, I may draw, paint or otherwise place those portions of the movable object which remain stationary during several poses, upon a sheet of transparent celluloid or other transparent, medium. It is convenient to mount this transparent celluloid sheet 16, in a frame 17, and detachably secure it in the door frame 2, as byjmcans of pins 18, entering the holes 19, at the inner end and sockets 21 in the other end into which the catches 22 may be turned by means of the thumb knobs 23. l/Vith the aid of this device it is only necessary to sketch or draw upon the successive sheets of transparent paper the action portions, in the present illustration, the womans right arm and hand, and the legs of the child, as l have indicated on the sheet 12 which has been turned upward to show the parts in action by themselves. It will be apparent that when sheet 12 is drawn down in front of the background and the glass door 2, with the attached celluloid sheet 16, is closed against the background, the arm and legs on, the sheet 12 will take the proper position with relation to the stationary portions on the celluloid sheet and the latter will aline with the desired part of the back ground so that the whole will constitute a complete picture having the desired pose. lhe next succeeding pose will be formed in the same manner, but replacing the sheet of transparent paper with the following sheet and drawing thereon the arm and legs in the position desired to be shown at the next instant. Inasmuch as the background can be seen through a number of sheets,- the sheets may be left in position, if de-. sired, until a number have been sketched,
the preceding sheets serving as a guide for,
the rear of the background and the latter may then be swung back into normal posi tion, resting against the stop pin 7, It is sometimes convenient to hinge the cabinet at 8, to its support so that it may be laid plained, this transparent sheet 16' is used when there is some portion of the movable object which remains stationary during several poses and upon which is drawn thisstationary portion, so that it is only necessary to draw the actual moving parts upon the transparent sheets 12, which change position at each pose; lhus suppose that a boy is to make certain movements with the upper part of his body while the lower part remains in one position; then the lower part will'be drawn upon the celluloid sheet 16, as illustrated in Fig. 5,'while the upper part will be drawn upon the sheets 12, as shown in Fig. 6, the position upon each succeeding sheet being changed in, a manner to give the effect of the action when projected upon the screen by the moving picture machine. It will ,be evident that by employing this sheet 16, carrying the stationary portion of the movable object, muchlabor is saved and theprocess of preparing the cartoons for the PlIOtOgluPllGI is greatly facilitated.
If the movable object has some portion which does not change in form or configuration during the successive poses, and yet does change its relative position v uponthe b:- skground, then I may draw the unchanging portion of the movable object upon .a transparent paper or other medium and shift its position with respect to the background at each pose. Thus suppose it is desired to'represent a boy running across the picture. His hands, arms and legsv would change in posture at each pose but the rest of his body would occupy the "same -11;
outline or shape in each pose although shifted in position relatively upon the background. Inthis case I would draw the trunk and head of his body upon a separate transparent sheet, independent of the transparent leaves 12, and mov e said separate sheet to the proper new position at each pose- I would then place a fresh transparent leaf or sheet 12, over the background and covering said separate sheet, tracing the body trunkand head'and drawing the armsand legs in the'neWp0s1t1on 3o1ned thereto. If desired, instead of. tracing the body, trunk andhead z'. e. the unchanging portion of thezmovable object, each time upon the new sheet, I may leave that part blank and place the said separate sheet into the proper position to register with the arms and legs, retaining it in position by means of the clips 1 1, and the frame of the door 2, While that pose is being photographed. I prefer, however, to trace said portion each time upon the sheetlQ, at the same time that the action portions are drawn thereon.
Having described the construction and operation of the separate parts of an apparatus which may be used in carrying out my invention, I will now set forth the steps of the process.
The background for any scene is first prepared, preferably employing a paper sheet 10, of a medium dark graycolor and which may be cardboard, or other non-transparent material, and painting the objects thereon in strong blacks and whites. The book of very transparent sheets or leaves 12, having been laid back over the top of the cabinet, the background is tacked or otherwise secured to the hinged support 6. A sheet of the transparent paper is brought down in front of the background and, held by the clipsla while the artist sketches, preferably in outline only, the movable objects in their proper relation to the background which shows distinctly through the transparent paper. This may be repeated with the proper chan e in pose of the objects until a number of the transparent sheets are in.
front of the background, because I prefer to use paper which is very transparent and permits the background to be seen throughter a certain number of sheets or leaves have been sketched, they are loosened and lifted while the background'is swung forward and all but one jor two of the last sheets are placed in the rear of the background, said last sheet or sheets being again placed in front of the background as it is brought back into normal position to serve as a guide for the artist in drawing or sketching the next pose upon the following sheet or leaf which is then brought down from the book 12 and placed under the clips. As previously stated, the cabinet may be turned back into horizontal position when the leaves are being turned, if desired. If a movable object or a portion thereof remains in a stationary position during a number of poses,.
I prefer to draw it upon a transparent celluloid' sheet 16, in its proper relation to the background to thereby avoid the necessity for drawing or tracing this stationary part of the movable object or objects and merely sketching the action portions or those which change positions at each pose. If
there are certain portions of the movable figures or objects which while occupying different positions inv successive poses, yet
ers the tracingwhich may then be traced upon the new sheet or leaf, leaving only the action parts to be sketched in or added free-hand, thereby facilitating the repetition of the figures.
I have used, in practice, sheets of such transparency that a plurality may be super posed in succession over the background without materially dimming the clearness thereof, so that the picture or scene which is photographed, may be made up ofthe background and one transparent sheet or a plurality of transparent sheet-s superposed thereon, each having thereon a part or element of the picture. I- believe I. am the first to employ a transparent sheet or a pin rality of transparent sheets in conjunction with a background which is photographed therethrough upon the negative film.
After the moving or action parts have been sketched for all of the poses or positions necessary to portray'the entire movement of-the scene, the movable parts having been merely sketched in outline bv the'artist, the figures or objects are then filled in or painted on the reverse side of each of the leaves or sheets in opaque colors, with white, black and gray shades to give the required opacity.
To prepare thenegative film, the series of poses are successively photographed with a proper moving picture camera. The ground being in position as indicated in Fig. .1, and the leaves of the book having been all turned back over the top of the cabinet, the first transparent sheet having thereon the movable figures or objects in the first pose, is
brought down over the background and fastened by the .clipsM and by the frame of glass door 3, and the first picture is exposed. The effect of the extremely transparent pa per is imperceptible over the background,
and themovable figures on said transparent paper sheet unite with the background to .form a complete picture, the opaque parts of'the figures hiding those parts of the back ground covered thereby. For example, the
figure of the Woman inFig. 4t, hides that tilted forward. The next leaf or sheet'of the book 12 is then brought over in front of the background and fastened in the man-'- ner previously described, thereby placing the second pose of the moving picture in during a series of poses, this is attached to the frame of the door at the proper time to be thereby brought into alinement with the background and overlying transparent sheet, cooperating therewith to form the complete picture of the pose.
l have shoWn the transparent sheets as leaves of a book, but it is evident that said transparent medium may constitute a continuous roll carried by a reel from which the successive sections may be drawn over the background in carrying out the steps of the process constituting my invention.
The advantage of using a single background from the entire series of pictures constituting the poses of a scene will be appreciated, especially by those who are familiar with prior methods inwhich a separate background is used for each pose or picture, even though the main portions thereof may be produced by a duplicating printing process, and moreover a considerable expense is entailed thereby. In my process the work of the artist may be confined to the sketching of those portions of the movable objects which change position with each pose. The work of tracing the unchanging portions of the movable objects, as well as that of painting .in the body of the objects Within the contour sketched by the artist with opaque colors, may be done by an assistant since it does not require the originality, skill, or ability of the artist. The
placing of objects or, portions of objects that remain stationary during a number of poses, upon a separate transparent medium, such as a sheet of transparent celluloid, which may be placed successively in alinement with the background and the successive sheets carrying the action or changing portions, saves much labor and expense and facilitates the production of the pictures.
While T have described in detail the apparatus illustrated in the accompanying drawings and the particular manner of operation, it is to be understood that many changes may be made therein and that the process disclosed herein is not confined thereto. Thus the leaves may be grouped and maintained in the required fixed relation to the background as they are successively brought in "front of the background by be-.
ing in the form of a continuousrolhinstead of being in the form of leaves of a book,
and other changes within the purview of my invention will suggest themselves to those familiar with apparatus relating to this art.
ll'claim-- 1. The process of producing moving pictures, which includes the producing on a sheet of suitable material a background containing the parts of a scene which remain stationary during the entire series of pictures embodying the scene, producing on separate sheets of transparent material the movable objects in the successive positions or poses, and photographing said pictures in succession on a cinematograph film, each picture of the series being formed by a separate sheet of said transparent material placed in front of said background sheet, and the background which is visible through said transparent material.
:2. The process of producing moving pictures, which includes the producing on a sheet of suitable material a background containing the parts 01E a scene which remain stationary during the entire series of pictures embodying the scene, producing on separate sheets of transparent material those portions of the movable objects which occupy difierent positions in successive pictures, producing upon an independent transparent medium those portions of the movable objects which remain stationary during a number of successive pictures, and
superposing said medium in the same po-' 'sition upon the background simultaneously with the successive sheets of transparent material, the parts on the latter uniting with those on said medium to form with the visible background the complete pictures in each position or pose.
3. The process of producing moving pictures, which includes the producing on a sheet of suitable material the background of a scene, producing upon separate sheets of transparent material the movable objects in successive positions, arranging said sheets in a group fixed in definite relation to the background and separately placing the sheets succes'siifelyin front of the fixed background, whereby they will be held in the same position with respect thereto.
4:. The process of producing moving pictures, which includes the producing upon a transparent medium that portion of the movable object which remains in the same position during successive pictures or poses,
producing upon separate sheets of transparent material the remainingportions of the movable object in successive positions, and superposing said transparent medium successively upon said sheets so that the corresponding parts shall be in registry to form the complete object.
5. The step inthe methodof producing moving pictures, which includes producing upon a transparent medium to be used in conjunction with a background only those parts of the movable objects of the picture which remain in unchanged position during a series of successive positions or poses.
6. An article of manufacture for the production of moving pictures, comprising a series of transparent leaves or sheets secured at one edge in book form and having thereon the representations of those portions of the movable objects which change in successive pictures or poses.
7. An article of manufacture for the production of moving pictures, comprising a transparent sheet or plate having sufficient rigidity to maintain its shape in all positions, and having thereon the representations of those portions of the movable objects which remain in the same position in successive pictures or poses.
8. The process of producing moving pictures, which includes the producing upon a suitable material a background comprising the parts of the picture which remain stationary during successive poses of the movable parts of the picture, producing upon sheets of transparent material the movable objects which appear in the successive positions or poses, superposing said transparent sheets successively upon said background to bring the movable parts into the desired relation therewith, and photographing said pictures in succession on a cinematograph film, each picture of the series being formed by the parts appearing on a plurality of said transparent sheet in conjunction with the background, the latter showing clearly through the transparent sheets superposed thereon.
In testimony whereof I afiix' my signature in presence of two witnesses.
WALTER G. CARsWELL, HELEN C. MGDONNELL.