A psychological study on the function of Obake, shortly inserted figures between two different postures or positions of animation characters.
The Obake technique in animations has been developed by experienced technicians to realize smooth or spirited motion of characters. Psychologically, it can be investigated in relation to the apparent movement. While the shape of Obake may be immense as far as it is different from the shape of the moving character, we chose a straight or curved line as a representative of Obake in the present study. Fifty participants observed 20 kinds of computer-generated visual stimuli, rapidly transitions of three displays, the second of which was composed of the competing Obake and apparent movement elements. Using this method, we also compared the motion preference between two kinds of Obake. We found several facts such as: (1) Observers generally prefer Obake motions to apparent motions. (2) Obake motions are not necessarily preferred the shortest path, which is different from the apparent movement characteristics. These facts suggest that the function of Obake may closely depend on the meaning of the movement, and we considered that the Obake may be related to the line-motion illusion in the literature on the motion perception.