masterpieces

10 05 2013

so far I guess I have recreated more than one hundred backgrounds from disney’s BAMBI. you probably know that only a few originals from the film are left because most of the scenes where shot in levels with the MULTIPLANE-camera, had to be painted in oil on glass, and after the shots were successful some poor guy had to scrape off the master-paintings from the glass. glass was rare during WWII and had to be reused. the recreated BG’s below were seen the last time in original around 1941/42. the first one is about one third of the full length of the opening pan of the film, shot in 8 levels to create the feel of depth.

bambi comp 3 A
BAmbi 9027
BAmbi 22054
bambi CCC62
BAmbi 11164
bambi A008a

© disney enterprises, inc





shades of green

17 06 2012

after a long time some more recreated backgrounds from disney’s masterpiece BAMBI. all of them were painted in oil, most of them on glass for the use in the multiplane camera.






© disney enterprises, inc





comparison 6

26 08 2010

whenever I look at the layouts and backgrounds from disney’s BAMBI I am not sure what I admire more – the graphite ‘painted’ black/white layouts on vellum paper or the final oil-painted BG’s on glass or cardboard.


LISA KEENE, who is a BG-artist and art director in the DISNEY-feature animation studio in burbank, send me a very interesting note about the BAMBI BG-painting technique, and I want to share it with everybody. she writes -

I just thought I would tell you what I know about these BAMBI BG’s, I thought you may be interested. the first time I saw the glass plates, I think it was around 1983 and they were housed in a corrugated steal building where the ABC-building is now in the far west corner where the grass is. a dark drafty building where the low level light showed the dust partials in the air. it really left an impression on me because BAMBI is my all time favorite Disney film and I was shocked that they were treated so casually. I was surprised they weren’t all broken. I can’t remember what else was in the building but there was lots of other stuff.
many of the BGs that were not multiplanes were of varying mediums. of course the paint on the glass was oil but many were painted with watercolor or thinly with oil. it seemed that what ever the artist was more comfortable using it was just fine. we had to use these BG’s to copy from and learn the technique so I was surprised that they weren’t all the same.
I suspect that often the glass plates were covered with a neutral color, grey, so that when the glass moved over another plate nothing showed through a thinly painted level. we still did that when we painted on cel and oddly enough still do when we are on the computer. also if the paint is thin on the sides of an area whenever that overlay level passed over the one below and the below level was dark the edges on the one above would appear to ghost when the camera lights would hit it, so it needed to be backed carefully. you see some of that especially in the opening shot.
transferring the layout with a metal stylus was used with graphite paper turned downward and the layout used on top using the stylus so not to ruin the layout. If no graphite paper could be had we often made our own.
Anyway I’m sure you know all of this but I though if you hadn’t seen the old building where the glass plates were you might enjoy the story.

thank you so much for that insight, LISA.

© disney enterprises, inc





comparison 5

14 08 2010

some more layouts and the recreated corresponding backgrounds from disney’s BAMBI and 101 DALMATIANS.







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comparison 4

31 07 2010

roughs and final look from disney’s BAMBI -

© disney enterprises, inc
the left part of the combination is from the 1942 published book THE ART OF WALT DISNEY, by ROBERT D.FEILD, mc.millan company N.Y.





meadow

14 06 2010

the recreated backgrounds below are from disney’s 1942 masterpiece BAMBI. they were painted in oil, most of them on glass fro use in the multiplane camera.





© disney enterprises, inc





comparison 2

27 04 2010

in case of disney’s BAMBI preproduction work started in 1936, the film was finally released august 1942. that is six years. I worked on MULAN for five years, so I know what it means to be connected to just one film for such a long time. you prepare thousands of sketches, the style has to be developed, what means, the look constantly changes in the first years. the story changes as well, sometimes so drastically that you don’t even recognize the very first ideas. I went through that in WILD LIFE and FRAIDY CAT. it happened in BAMBI’S case as well. but for different reasons. it was a time when the disney studio prepared for the very first animated feature film – SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. nobody knew if it would work, if the audience would accept a hand-drawn film of that length. if the story and the characters were believable enough, if the artists were good enough to do it. training started in the studio, the artists went to school. you can see how much they improved when you look at the shorts they produced during that time. masterpieces! but BAMBI was a challenge. a world had to be created that was believable. a world that could not be cartoony, in big parts the film was too serious for that. but they realized very early that it could not be too realistic as well. it is very interesting when you look at the first designs of the forest-world, especially GUSTAF TENGGREN’S designs. they look beautiful, like his PINOCCHIO-illustrations. in PINOCCHIO it was ok to draw all the details of a european little village, in BAMBI it didn’t work. the thousands of leaves made the background look so busy that the characters got lost. well, as you might know, TYRUS WONG changed that with the chinese-style influenced designs he came up with. beautiful soft watercolor and pastel sketches, where you could feel the forest without every single leaf painted. in the following pages you can compare the early value sketches and layouts with the final look in the film. sometimes the little soft pencil thumbnails look even more convincing than the elaborate oil-painted background.




© disney enterprises, inc








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