The idea comes from cinema, where the camera moves across the scene. Most commonly used for shots establishing scenes and characters, it’s a way of making a single image extend over a period of time.
Parallax is a special type of panning using different planes moving across the scene at different speeds to create the feel of depth. It’s like how when you look out the passenger side of the car window, you will notice objects in the foreground move faster than objects in the middle ground which move faster than objects in the background.
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