Th next logical step is multi-plane animation of the silhouettes to give some depth. The work of German film director Lotte Reiniger still has a powerful impact on people when they see it for the first time and represents some of the best silhouette animation you will ever see.
|"The Adventures of Prince Ahmed" by L. Reiniger|
|The game 'Limbo'.|
To create their own rigs students have often built their own multi-plane rigs with panes of glass and wood, etc. The film by Nancy Lee-Overton below is a great example.
|'Into the Trees' by Nancy Lee Overton.|
These rigs can be time consuming to build and notoriously difficult to light due to the reflection and shadows created by the rig itself.
|A multi-plane rig.|
|A horizontal rig made by the Fleischer Studio.|
So I have found a way of doing this quickly in Maya by utilising the Alpha channel to give the impression of intricate cut-out puppets from very basic geometry.
|Rigged silhouette machine.|
Flat polygon planes are used to build the shape.
|The true geometry!|
The Alpha channel on the texture makes the white areas invisible...
|The model without texture.|
|The parts sheet used to texture the machine.|
|Side view of construction.|