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





ugly duckling 1

2 04 2010

the april 7, 1939, released disney SILLY SYMPHONYTHE UGLY DUCKLING, directed by JACK CUTTING, was a remake of a 1931 black/white SILLY SYMPHONY. only eight years apart the second version is a masterpiece in animation and styling. it is the last of the silly symphonies, musical shorts without dialogue, that showed how much the artists in the studio improved during these few years. there were big changes in the production leading towards disney’s first animated feature film SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, especially the start of an effects department, responsible for all the visual effects like water-drops, rain, snow, water-ripples, fire, smoke and so on. they were done in the earlier years by the character animators themselves. the MULTIPLANE-camera was developed by UB IWERKS, that made backgrounds with much more depth possible. and the water-effects with reflections as well, as can be seen in THE UGLY DUCKLING. the background painters with their multi-layer watercolor technique were at the height of their craft, as were the animators in their field. everything looks so easy in this short, because it was a team of MASTERS, animation film-making at it’s best. but – WWII started and this incredible development slowed down, then nearly came to a stop.
as I mentioned in some earlier posts, there are not too many backgrounds left from that ‘golden era’. in this case, THE UGLY DUCKLING, I remember I saw only two in the disney-archives ARL. I started to recreate whatever is possible from this film. fortunately I found a very good quality print on a french DVD-release. but it is still a challenge and time consuming. it is not just stitching the different ‘mosaic’ pieces together, a lot has to be added, painted the same way the background was painted. following are the first in a series.


© disney enterprises, inc
… HAPPY EASTER …





waterfall

16 09 2008

coming back to the opening of disney’s BAMBI, – I accidentally found the layout for one small part of the multi-layered multiplane scene. it is the moment when the trees reveal the waterfall in the background. very interesting is to see layouts for these very complicated layer combinations. and it shows that nowbody knew 100% what would be seen in the final shot. that’s why the layout, and I am sure the glass-paintingas well, shows way more than what we see on film in combination with the other levels. I have some more examples to prove that and will post them soon. it must have been so exciting for all the artists involved to finally see the result on film.

© disney enterprises, inc





multiplane camera 1

14 09 2008

I talked so much about disney’s MULTIPLANE CAMERA, now I wanna show you some photos of the technical masterpiece. in case you have a chance to visit the old disney studio in burbank ask for the franck wells building. it is located right opposite the egyptian looking building where the 7 dwarfs hold the roof. in the entrance hall of the wells building there is a multiplane camera on display, as far as I remember they had 2 in the good old days.

© disney enterprises, inc





trees

13 09 2008

probably about 2 years ago I posted on my TREASURES-blog the whole reconstructed opening of disney’s BAMBI. but recently I worked on it again and noticed that the camera is trucking in way more than I had realized in my first version. this is a very tricky multiplane set, probably 7 or 8 layers are moving in different speeds to give you the feel of depth. that makes it very difficult to assemble frame grabs, especially when the camera additional to the side-move starts to truck in. I am still working on the whole masterpiece-scene, but for now I wanna show what I have finished so far. I wish I could have seen the glass-layers in original!
again, everything is painted in oil on glass. the in the camera visible field-size of the different layers probably varied between 15 field in the very background and 5 field in the closest foreground. you can imagine how difficult it is to plan a multiplane scene like this in its complexity. to figure out the right sizes of the split levels – because in the very early design stage the whole design is planned in one piece, one size. then the layout artist splits the design in different layers, has to draw them again because of the covered areas. after that the layers are reduced in size to fit the viewing angle of the camera lens. and the speed of every single layer has to be determined. imagine, a smaller field closer to the lens will move faster than a background level further away. that and the out of focus and size difference from layer to layer give you the feel of depth.

© disney enterprises, inc





leaves

12 09 2008

this is a reconstructed very long pan background from my favorite segment in disney’s FANTASIA – the nutcrackersuite. the way you see the BG here, it of course never existed. the very background painted a bit blurred was in this 3-level-multiplane scene much shorter. I stretched it to fit the length of the 2 foreground levels. these levels were moving much faster than the very background and had to be longer for that reason. except the blurred BG, the 2 foreground levels were painted in oil on glass, so the animation could take place inbetween. it is a complicated move tracking in and out as well as movement in different speeds. I always wanted to see it in one piece, I was fascinated by the blurry painted foliage and the beautiful colors, ranging from cool grey-greens to blueish violet and complimentary subdued small spots of yellow. fantasia was produced during the beginning years of the second world war. glass, that was used for the different multiplane levels was not available in bigger amounts, it would have been too expensive anyway. one level measured about 1.50 meters by 40 centimeters. the glass had to be re-used for the next scenes. so, after the shooting of each scene it was cleaned, the oil color scraped off. for that reason only a few glass-painted backgrounds survived from that time.

© disney enterprises, inc