november mood

30 11 2008

forest-cool





middle east 1990

29 11 2008

the first irak war, or GULF WAR, lasted from august 2, 1990 to february 28, 1991. around the time when the war began, disney started the production of ALADDIN. believe me, it was not connected. the preproduction ( of the film ) had begun way earlier. of course everybody was worried that the conflict might mean an end for the project.
following are some of my designs of the cave sequence, the tigerhead, the collapsing underworld, lava eruptions and melting treasures. a lot of fun…

0aladdin-a4

1aladdin-a16

2aladdin-a11

3aladdin-a15

4aladdin-a12

5aladdin-a14

6aladdin-a17

© disney enterprises, inc





snow 2

28 11 2008

in 1992 I started to work on amblimation’s BALTO. the amblimation studio, steven spielberg’s animation studio, was located in acton, not the nicest area of london. several animated features had been done there before, like FIEVEL GOES WEST and WE’RE BACK. BALTO was spielberg’s next choice and it was the studio’s last film. most of the crew moved late in 1994 to L.A. to become a part of DREAMWORKS. here I have a final modelsheet of balto, based on some test-animation jeff varab, the lead animator on the character, had done. and some color suggestions jeff and I developed even earlier.

balto10049

balto3199

© AMBLIMATION/UNIVERSAL PICTURES





interpretation

28 11 2008

the biggest difference between traditional animation and most of the CG movies of today is, that at least the good 2-D films tried to show an interpretaion of reality, whereas CG tries to copy it. most of what I have seen so far is hopeless overloaded with detail, superrealistic textures, foilage even visible on trees miles away. when you have a look through this blog you will find a lot of examples from traditional animated films, where you can feel the atmosphere and don’t get a headache from detail-overkill. TYRUS WONG, the production designer of disney’s BAMBI, did not paint every single leave in the forest – he made you feel they were there. an approach like that is in my oppinion much better for the imagination of the audience. it gives us a chance to see what we like to see. anyway – maybe these days will come back at one time in the future…
below is an example where I just used a few ‘monotype’ brushes, as you can see them as well, to give you the idea of rocks in snowy mountains.

color-test-hu

monot





dull

27 11 2008

an interesting exercise is to create images with colors they are not too exciting. like in this case just different ‘muddy’ shades of brown / grey. what makes it even more challenging is not to include exciting shapes at all. what I did in the following roughs – it’s basically craquelure with a bit of a texture from my brushes and a nicely contrasting sun.

desert-colors

cold-desert

cold-desert-2





mixed

25 11 2008

this mixed basket of stylistically very different designs is about ten years old, most of the projects were shelved, oh well… below them I will explain what it was. I just came back from a lecture trip to a southern province of the philippines. it was like always when I leave the metropolis a very pleasant experience, I met the nicest people and want to say hello to all the animation students and professors of ATENEO-DE-NAGA, – till soon.

1poster-88bb

2pict00432

3bear2890

4mai-lin

5pict0082

6pict0077

7dscn3074

8pict0063

9pict0xxd051

10pict0151

‘fun’ poster for disney’s shelved FRAIDY CAT, logo design for disney’s shelved WILD LIFE, disney’s BROTHER BEAR, personal, disney’s LILO+STITCH, magda from disney’s shelved WILD LIFE, again WILD LIFE, I AM another shelved disney short, double page design of my version of the MULAN children book, disney’s mulan prod.design roughs

© disney enterprises, inc





layout

16 11 2008

back to disney’s BAMBI. I recommend to read FRANCK THOMAS’ and OLLIE JOHNSTON’S book BAMBI, THE STORY AND THE FILM. in my oppinion this film is a true masterpiece and the book gives you a lot of information about the creative process, written by two of the master-animators who created some of the most memorable animated moments. here I want to concentrate on what is behind the animation, the ‘stage’. following are the artists as shown in the credits of the film -
ART DIRECTION
THOMAS H.CODRICK, ROBERT C.CORMACK, AL ZINNEN, McLAREN STEWART, LLOYD HARTING, DAVID HILBERMAN, JOHN HUBLEY, DICK KELSEY
BACKGROUNDS
MERLE T.COX, TYRUS WONG, W.RICHARD ANTHONY, ART RILEY, STAN SPOHN, ROBERT McINTOSH, RAY HUFFINE, TRAVIS JOHNSON, ED LEVITT, JOE STAHLEY
the credits show no layout artists -
in BAMBI the art directors did a combined job, they were responsible for a certain part of the film, like JOHN HUBLEY for the whole fire sequence at the end, they created the layouts and supervised the painted execution of the backgrounds. interesting is TYRUS WONG’ story as told in the book. he was the real stylist of the movie, but didn’t get a credit for it.
the layout below is my most favorite of all layouts I have seen so far. I show the corresponding recreated BG from that diagonal pan as well. because of the dark colors and the rain-effects on top the color version can not represent the simplicity and silent beauty of the pencil drawing. judge yourself.

bambi-0108

bambi-recreated111

© disney enterprises, inc





fischerkoesen

14 11 2008

these color-corrected screengrabs are from the
1942 WEATHER-BEATEN MELODY and the 1943
THE SNOWMAN short films, both produced during
the wartime in germany by HANS FISCHERKOESEN and his studio.
considering the circumstances and the very limited
resources I think these films are masterpieces.
in the late seventies I met fischerkoesen’s son. he
was still running his father’s animation studio near
bonn right next to the river rhine, where some of the
best animated commercials were produced in the
fifties and sixties. he remembered the difficult war time
when they produced the 3-dimensional settings for
DIE VERWITTERTE MELODIE ( weather-beaten melody )
in an animation studio in prague with mostly tchech.
animators. 
if you are interested you can see the shorts on 
YOU TUBE and there are several articles about this
german animation pioneer as well on the internet.

verwmelodie-a

snowman-a

© fischerkoesen





greece

11 11 2008

july 1994 I started my 9 years at the disney studio, first in glendale – later that year we all moved into the new built studio in burbank on riverside, the building with the sorcerer’s apprentice hat in front. they wanted me to do designs on 5 different projects, at the same time. HERCULES was the first, andy gaskil was the assigned art director and already working on the visuals. then two pieces for the planned FANTASIA 2000 compilation – LITTLE TIN SOLDIER and BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH -, and two very interesting new projects, MULAN – at that time titled FAMULAN, and DINOSAUR, the first disney cg-movie. it was a very interesting 5 months until I was asked to do the production design on MULAN in dec.1994. kind of challenging, not to mix all these very different styles up. here are some of the HERCULES sketches…

herc-comp-11
herccomp-5
herc-comp-21

© disney enterprises, inc





colorful

7 11 2008

well, looking at the extremely depressing financial crisis around the globe, and – hours away from a ( at least for me ) historical weekend, I thought, maybe a bit of color wouldn’t be too bad, actually a lot of c o l o r . maybe I mentioned it before, my dream was – to become a stage designer for the theatre. for operas, musicals, ballet and serious theatre – like goethe, shakespierre, sartre and whatever. that started before I even began my studies. but – I changed my mind, for all different reasons. and over the years, finally, I became a stage designer – kind of, for the animation stage. but the dream ist still there…
that’s why, once in a while, just dreaming, I do some ‘stage’ designs. following I’m gonna post the more colorful ones.

stage-7732

stage-8836

stage-8822

stage-666er3

stage-882





excited

7 11 2008

in my last post I wrote about inspiration and excitement. when I look at artwork like the following three simple pencilsketches for disney’s BAMBI, I get excited. the first time I saw artwork like that I was so depressed, because I was pretty sure I would never reach that artistic level. that still happens once in a while to me today, maybe it is normal. but at the same time it is the start of a process, to develop the right amount of energy to go through all the painful steps of a learning period. and the more excitement you develop the less painful it will be, it will be fun. the tiniest successful results will catapult you forward with lightspeed. and the more you learn the wider your eyes are open to appreciate what the world of art is offering you.
the pencil sketches following are called ‘tonals’. they were supposed to show the background painter the dark and light values in the scene. tonals had to be done extra because dark areas would have made it impossible to give the painter precise linear information. the sizes of these tonals varied, I have seen stampsize sketches, sometimes even framed with black cardboard. over the years from BALTO to MULAN I have seen a wide variety of tonals. but none of them came close to the ones that were created for BAMBI so many years ago.

bambi070

bambi066

bambi072

© disney enterprises, inc





inspired

6 11 2008

on my lecture trips over here in asia I have a chance to meet and talk to a lot of students. what you wanna know of course is, what inspires them, who are their favorite artists. maybe there is someone
they admire and want to do something similar in their future. what is kind of depressing that I very rare get a clear answer. only very few have a raw model they wanna follow. even worse, only a few are even informed about successful artists in the animation field. the most I hear is – we love anime. well… I don’t know what is going wrong, do I meet the wrong people? I would expect with all the information you can get through the internet there is a bit more enthusiasm.
following I have collected some designs of the artists who inspired me when I was a student. ‘giants’ like EYVIND EARLE, KEN ANDERSON, WALT PEREGOY, JOHN HUBLEY, a lot of artists from ZAGREB FILM STUDIO, JIRI TRNKA, TERRY GILLIAM + MONTHY PYTHON, comic strip legends like ANDREE FRANQUIN, MORT DRUCKER, ALBERT UDERZO and HUGO PRATT, – and a german comic series MECKY.

1eyvearle-fav

2ken-jungl

3peregoy53

4pict09511

5-zagreb

6-zagreb3

7-zagreb

8trnka

9gilliam

10franquin

11drucker

12uderzo

13pratt

14mecky

© disney enterprises, inc, HUBLEY, ZAGREB FILM, JIRI TRNKA, TERRY GILLIAM, ANDREE FRANQUIN, MORT DRUCKER, ALBERT UDERZO, HUGO PRATT, SPRINGER-HOER ZU





rain

4 11 2008

another multi-level
pan up through
layers of foliage.
all the leaves in
the foreground
finally open the
view up into the
clouds and the
starting rain.
an amazing
recreated pan from disney’s
BAMBI again. below you see the layout drawing for the starting position of this shot. when you see these pencil drawings you don’t know what is more beautiful – the final painting or this incredible masterful drawing.

bambi-comp-64

bambi-0131

© disney enterprises, inc





reflection

4 11 2008

THREE CABALLEROS, disney – febr.1945. in this scene the camera pans down in a curve, following two pidgeons flying around the palmtree
and finally settling down on the curved wall, mirroring in the water.
the only reason I removed the birds was to show
the full BG, not because I don’t like the animation.
again, the composition of the different screen-grabs
was difficult, because of the different speeds of the
foreground and backgrounds in the distance, and -
because additionally the camera is tracking in towards
the end, I had to resize everything.
this beautiful scene would have never looked like this in the originals, 
because all the different levels had to be painted on glass, for the use 
in the multiplane-camera. foreground smaller and closer to the camera,
the distant backgrounds bigger and further away. the mirroring image 
in the water was painted on a completely extra level even further down. 
the area of the water was left open in the tree- and wall-BG.
inbetween that level and the mirrored waterpainting was a distorted 
glass-level, a glass specially produced by a german glass factory in the 
late thirties. it looked like a glass with lots of bubbles in all different
sizes. by moving this glass sideways the water-illusion was achieved. when I visited the multiplane-camera department in 1979 there was only one glass left, it was about 30 cm by 120 cm. all the others were
broken. it looked like a very delicate optical piece.
today it is way simpler with all the effects you can
get in photoshop!

3-caballeros-comp-e1





crime

3 11 2008

one of my favorite ITALIAN artists is
GIANLUIGI TOCCAFONDO. following are screen captures from
his 1993 short film IL CRIMINALE (Le Criminel).
in case you are interested in a filmography and
some more information about this amazing artist
go here -
http://ottawa.awn.com/OIAF05/prog_toccafondo.php
as far as I know there is unfortunately nothing
available on DVD. maybe in italy???





blaze

3 11 2008

at the end of disney’s BAMBI a huge fire destroys the forest and bambi can only escape the disaster, after he gets shot, with the help of his father. the colorchange is drastic – earlier the basic colors where the colors of the forest, depending on the seasons. a lot of greens and during the winter sequence all shades of blues with blacks and white. between the fresh summer colors and the cold wintermood there is only a very short autumn sequence with reddish leaves falling. the end of the film is reserved for that dramatic color. red, with a lot of dark shapes of burning trees, and yellow sparks of fire. the race of the two deer through the burning forest is chaotic, very fast pans, zigzag moves, dramatic camera-angles, and bright sparks and flames everywhere. I always wanted to see some of these backgrounds in full length. to recreate them took a while, it is quite complicated with constantly changing background colors, wherever the fire breaks through. the whole sequence is a masterpiece in planning, it is so complex with the moving camera in different levels, the light changes and all the effects on top additional to the character animation. here are 2 of the finished pans…

© disney enterprises, inc





more treasures

1 11 2008

there is apparently a big interest in the wildlife illustration of MANFRED SCHATZ. I choose the title ‘treasure’ because in german language ‘treasure’ is -’schatz’. in case you want to know about the books I have about his work – here is the information
The Moving Art of Manfred Schatz (Masters of the Wild), Hardcover, ISBN 0872018172, Publisher: Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas, 1991
Wildbahn Impressionen- Manfred Schatz ,Hardcover, Publisher: Np: Bjoern-Verlag, 1980, Germany, 1980
for the few who don’t know where to find rare books, go to this address for example -

http://www.bookfinder.com/

here are two more of his beautiful paintings…








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