tin soldier

27 05 2017

in summer 1994 I started to work at disney, after several years freelancing, with a seven-year contract. my first assignment was the style development and visual research on 5 projects – all at once! HERCULES, TIN SOLDIER and BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH ( both FANTASIA 2000 ), DINOSAUR ( first CG prod.) and FAMULAN. I don’t know what the reason was for that ‘overload’, it was a challenge. I started to work on the single projects one every week, using the weekend as kind of a mental break. but it didn’t really work that way, because the production schedule didn’t follow my schedule. the result though were dozens of color sketches and the complete color-script for HERCULES, until GERALD SCARFE took over in autumn 1994. TIN SOlDIER was first planned as traditional animation, they changed it then into a CG piece, horrible in my opinion. and BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH turned out a bad experience, because I could not work with the director. DINOSAUR was a lot of fun, because it was a new world, they invited specialists, who taught us about the look of dinosaurs and the environment of that time. and then of course FAMULAN, what became MULAN. based on my early designs BARRY COOK, the first director on the project, asked me beginning of december 1994, if I wanted to take the job as production designer.
below you see some of the designs I did for TIN SOLDIER. I had to restaure some of them, the color xerox quality in the nineties was bad.

© disney enterprises, inc

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style 9.6

1 10 2016

style-header2

faces-2-blog





style 9.5

28 07 2016

style-header2

artists have always been inspired by other artists. otherwise impressionism or cubism had never developed and been explored by so many different artists. in animation disney first used children book illustrators like tenggren and nielsen as inspiration for the style of the first feature films. UPA was smaller and could afford to experiment with new looks, using modern art like dufy and modigliany, but as well upcoming cartoon and caricature stars like steinberg, searle and kurtzman for inspiration. later john hubley went even further with his shorts and a complete abstract look influenced by picasso, shahn and prestopino. I could continue this until today, where modern filmmakers get excited by art they accidentally find on the internet. it is so much easier today to look for reference or inspiration, everybody has a vast collection of art from museums, books, auctions or collectors at home available on the world wide web.
I was always interested to find out how looks were developed in the past. it was like a guideline for my own work, to find ways for developing new styles. now I am trying to teach those secrets to new generations. difficult, because you have to first learn about all the existing art in the world, figurative and landscape or environmental art, get enough knowledge about films of the past – and, experience by analysis how the look of the most interesting films was developed. the real challenge starts when you try to develop your own style for a project. one piece is already tough, but then the problem is to create a whole series of environments in the same style.

human faces+art

faces in art 1





alex nino 12

25 07 2016

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

another one of ALEX NINO’S masterful pre-visualizations of the hun attack in disney’s MULAN

© disney enterprises / alex nino





Scheherazade

13 03 2014

scheherazade 5065 color 2





fun creations 4

11 02 2014

9wooden BG 216
10tiger AA 9122
8jojo E7712
7dino 227
6landscape pan A
5midnight 409 H
4opening dogs
3foliage test26
2interior A
1indian B626

© b i l d e r f a b r i k





you are right

27 09 2013

birds 6a
birds 12a
birds 21a

if you believe these designs were from another axed disney animated film – you are right. more about it in the next post…

© disney enterprises, inc