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Insights / May 7, 2018

Bump The Lamp

Bump the Lamp

By Ryan Bridge

Recently a video on YouTube caught my eye and I learned a great little saying from it: “Bump the Lamp.” This saying comes from a scene in the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” and it basically describes how the creators went the extra mile to make the real-world and animation crossover feel perfect.

In a scene where we find Eddie and Roger handcuffed together, Roger bumps into the lamp above their heads. This movement from the lamp creates all sorts of shadow shifts and changes to the environment. Now it is important to note that this movie is from 1988 and CGI wasn’t available back then. The creators had to layer the animation slides over one another to create Roger’s shadow, so the animators had to make a large number of slides to create the effect and make Roger feel like he is part of the world around him. You can see a gif below of the shadows shifting over Roger.

This amount of detail and dedication made Disney adopt the term “Bump the Lamp.” The principle of the term is to give the extra effort to make your product shine and feel flawless. Did you happen to notice that when Roger puts his hands on the crate, it stops shaking as much? The little things matter. This week, look for situations where you can “Bump the Lamp” and make your work that much better.

The video that taught me about this term is below and highlights a lot of interesting items from the film. Give it a watch!