The real answer as to why animation stands need to be so tall is the distance to the camera is different for the corners then for the middle of the flat surface being filmed. The further the camera is from the art, the less a difference there is. Digital cameras are able to correct for this difference and keep things in focus but they still have trouble correcting for the color differences due to light intensity differences. One way to solve that problem is to make the corners of the art brighter then the middle. The problem with that is to keep the gradually changing brightness to match the camera distance. I figure a concave fresnel lens can be calculated and produced (with a laser cutter maybe) to adjust for both the angle of the lights and for the actual distance differences from the lens. If this is done with both lights, errors will be half as obvious. I will still use all the height I can get because of the distortion caused by wide angle lenses but I may be able to avoid poking a giant hole through the ceiling (a small one for a tiny digital camera and the column might still happen but between the joists).