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

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7 responses

18 11 2008
Nancy Beiman

I once told Frank Thomas that my ambition was to work on a film as lovely, and as lovingly made, as BAMBI. It is a masterpiece.
Thank you for publishing this artwork. I think that Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston’s book on BAMBI is one of their best, a must for every animation library.

19 11 2008
Ignacio Ochoa

This pencil drawing is really amazing.
The tonal plan is a basic element to made a good ilutration and sadly many illustrators don´t use it.
Some question about proccess.
How they did to do the color background respecting the pencil drawing?
How was the process? How they traced it?

19 11 2008
Karen Keller

If I may step in with an answer to the above question, the background artists would use transfer paper (something like carbon paper) and a metal stylus to trace off the contours onto the background board (although some Bambi bg’s were oil on canvas). It’s always rewarding when the background department follows the spirit of the layout. I feel a deeper appreciation for Bambi after working on visual development for Bambi 2. The poetic simplicity of the layouts is indeed awe inspiring.

from hans
thank you, karen, for explaining. and BAMBI 2 looks pretty good to me! I guess the real
problems in translating these very subtle layouts into similar paintings is to repeat the
soft details you cannot even trace. there is so much hinted in very soft nearly out of
focus areas. so it needed BG artists they were on the same level and could in a way
push the layout even further. in most cases that worked. there are, though, some BG’s
they are not well done at all. I wanted to show them at a later time as well. maybe
some trainee got a chance to try his best… anyway, I remember, one of the hiring
exercises for BG artists at disney was, to have them copy one of the older BGs, lets
say from JUNGLE BOOK. I saw what came back and you could easyly judge who would
be a good BG candidate. it is tough to copy, and it is even tougher to translate a
beautiful pencil-‘painting’.

19 11 2008
Ignacio Ochoa

Thanks Karen and Hans. Both were very clear with its answers.

19 11 2008
Michael Sporn

My respect for work of this calibre can only be awe. This film represents one of the true highs for animated film to date. Such a true blend of art direction and animation, both so beautifully rendered. And both are in service to the story. It’s a wonderful film. Thanks for all the attention to it.

24 11 2008
Graham Ross

Hey. Big fan of the blog, as I’ve probably stated before…

A guy just posted some results of a program that compiles the color palete from movies into a pie chart format. It’s really fascinating and I figured you’d like ti take a look at it:

http://blog.styleserver.de/2008/11/20/pie-by-alan-woo/

24 11 2008
Noel

nice artwork…. simple yet dramatic and attractive. I am not too familiar with the terms and materials used in this drawing… (^_^)

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