a lot more edelmann

2 03 2012

from the eighties some more illustrations created by one of my favorites, an amazing illustrator, designer, typography and layout artist as well as animation production designer – HEINZ EDELMANN.

© heinz edelmann / WDR / manager magazin

comparison 7

1 01 2012

here we go – another year. hopefully a good one, – I doubt it – too many dark clouds on the horizon! anyway, I want to start the BLOG-year with some beautiful artwork, already over fifty years old but for me better than most of the film-design artwork I see today. the disney animated feature film 101 DALMATIANS was released january 25, 1961, the first of the disney films that had a very different style. the animation was xeroxed and showed for the first time most of the original drawings of the animators. the corresponding backgrounds matched the loose lines of the animation perfect, the background details in line were xeroxed as well and the cels placed over the slightly offset gouache colored backgrounds. stylistically a masterpiece. following are a few layout drawings with the recreated backgrounds.

© disney enterprises, inc

through the clouds

29 07 2011

since I saw disney’s PETER PAN for the first time I was fascinated by one extremely long scene – the flight over london and through the clouds. I was convinced that it was a very complicated multiplane arrangement. the combination of character-animation and camera-moves was never explained in any publication about the film. the whole scene is very well planned with the characters moving from far away to extreme close-ups, they turn around their axes and – to make it even more confusing, the camera moves tilted in and out of the background, towards the end apparently with several cloud-layers, below and on top of the characters. stunning!

well, I found an early layout sketch that showed me the basic planning. then I did what I have done so far with over 600 backgrounds, – patch the single screencaptured puzzle pieces of the whole scene together. in this case I have to admit, it was the most complicated ‘reconstruction’ I ever did. the characters were all over the place, covering a lot of detail in the BG, the camera was constantly moving in and out and tilting… it took a while! but it was worth it – now I can see the genius-work in the planning, what an incredible idea!

and – it is not multiplane. patching it all together I noticed that. and – when you look at the scene you understand why multiplane was no option anyway, with all the moving shadows of the flying characters on top of the clouds and all that on focus. impossible in a multi-layered scene. the simple solution – the clouds were airbrushed on different cels and then moved in different speeds. only in the last seconds of the scene, where the camera moves in close to the star, one cloud-level is multiplane. the difference in that case was, the camera was trucking in and a 3-D effect was only possible with an extra cloud-layer.

you can see below the final re-created BG as well as the whole piece with added camera-fields to indicate the camera moves + corresponding screencaptures. and – the whole extremely long BG in 4 pieces in higher resolution.

© disney enterprises, inc

NOTE on july 31, 2011 –
please be so kind and read the comments about this post below. I have to correct myself – it is a multiplane-scene. the precise movement of every single level in the multiplane camera had to be planned in advance anyway. the shadows were just connected to each of the cloudlevels where they had to appear. the animation was done according to the layout of each cloudlevel and was laid as a cel-overlay on top of each them. a little bit complicated in the planning stage, but the same department had managed more complicated assignments, like the truck through about 12 levels with animation in pinocchio ( the daybreak sequence ). sorry for all the confusion, for me the scene is a masterpiece anyway and I guess that the recreation and discussion about this lost jewel helps to understand the inventive filmmaking of the past.

masterdrawings 1

18 07 2011

three stylistically very different disney animated feature films and three layout-drawings created by masters. THE BLACK CAULDRON is not necessarily one of my favorite films, but it had some interesting preproduction artwork and some amazing layouts, like the first one below from around 1983, drawn by MIKE HODGSON. the next pan, drawn by the head of layout himself – DON GRIFFITH -, is from 101 DALMATIANS, around 1960. I wrote before about the RONALD SEARLE influenced style that KEN ANDERSEN had developed. and the last stunning pencil-‘painting’ was created by TOM CODRICK for BAMBI, around 1941/42. it is the 2.level of a multiplane set-up with another foreground and a BG-level below.

© disney enterprises, inc


8 12 2010

I always wanted to somehow recreate the final background after I had seen the reproduced layout in ROBERT D.FEILD’S 1940 published book THE ART OF WALT DISNEY. it took me a while and was quite complicated, but now you can see it below – the mentioned page from the book and the recreated extreme long pan-background from disney’s november 1940 released FANTASIA ( DANCE OF THE HOURS ).

© disney enterprises, inc


7 12 2010

a few posts ago I showed a MAC GEORGE layout from the shelved disney production WILD LIFE. here is some more, first MAC GEORGE’S designs of the sewer underworld. he started with broad shapes roughly sketched with pencil, then refining these ideas more and more with felt pen in dozens of new sheets of big size paper. the sketches he didn’t like were discarded everywhere in his small room. most of the time it was impossible to enter the room because of all the trashed paper everywhere. well, out of that chaos came some incredible artwork. sometimes I gave him sketches I had done like the studio-equipment, he went over it dozens of time until he was happy and finally they belonged to the stylistic WILD LIFE world. there are three more of my sketches, the zoo, central-square with the villain magda’s headquarter and two pieces of framed kitty-artwork in her apartment.

© disney enterprises, inc


2 12 2010

MAC GEORGE, one of the best layout artists I worked with, created this stunning panorama layout of KITTY’S loft apartment in disney’s shelved production WILD LIFE.

© disney enterprises, inc


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