Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gaston Pencil Tests



Since "Beauty & the Beast" is going to hit theaters again this weekend, this time in 3D, I thought it might be interesting to show you a few pencil tests of my character Gaston.
He was challenging as far as animation assignments are concerned, because 
Jeffrey Katzenberg insisted that this villain needed to be handsome. He was right, of course, because the overall theme of the film was:  Don't judge a book by its cover. So, Gaston had to be good looking, but we find out he is not only full of himself, he is  also a murderer.
There were scenes where I used live action reference, in other shots I acted out the motion myself.
This character was a "toughie"  because he had to be handled with realism.
I sure wished I could do certain scenes over again, but for all its worth, here is a selection of Gaston rough pencil animation.
Image quality is not the best because the source material comes from very old tapes.

By the way, if you do plan on seeing "Beauty & the Beast" in a theater, be sure to stay for the end credits. You will see some of the animators rough drawings transformed into three dimensions. Very cool.



36 comments:

  1. This is mind blowing, Andreas... Thanks very much for letting us have a look in the 'vault'

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  2. Amazing!! So many beautiful drawings..I LOVE Gaston. Thanks for sharing:) It's not fair I won't be able to see it on 3d!! it's only in US right? I'm sure 3d on this film will be amazing..
    By the way, can you show us some pencil tests of Hercules? I know you like more the bad guys but I personally love this charecter.. He's so handsome:)

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  3. Stunning, absolutely inspiring work!

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  4. Was it a conscious decision to make the "lead" characters more realistic looking on this film and have the secondary ones be more cartoony? Just something I always wondered.

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  5. Beautiful. I always thought it would have been so much fun to animated Gaston. He is so full of himself. I love when he and Lefou start dancing together. Thanks for posting.

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  6. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH! Gaston is one of my favorite villains (maybe second to Scar? :D) This is awesome! I'm so happy you put these up! I've always loved how chiseled, overly-muscular, and realistic he is; very few characters are drawn like this, I think. I didn't see The Lion King in 3D, but since B&TB is one of my fave movies, maybe I can persuade my parents haha. MORE OF YOUR PENCIL TESTS PLEASE! I just LOVE looking at your work!

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  7. I always thought this was a great performance. Looking at it again I really think you deserved an award for it. Bravo.

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  8. I particularly love where Gaston inspects Belle's book. He's so apelike! It very much feels like a precursor to the animation seen in Tarzan.

    What's your opinion of 3D added to 2D drawn films Andreas? Do you like it? I can't make up my mind about it personally. I'll be very interested to see its addition to the rough animation though.

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  9. Did Eric Goldberg animated LeFou?

    The drawing style looks really familiar.

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    Replies
    1. Matthew,
      Chris Wahl animated Lefou.
      The Lefou you see here in the pencil tests I did. It's easier to do both characters when they touch.

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    2. Excellent work, Andreas. Thanks for sharing it.

      Brian

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  10. YES! This is what I've been waiting for! So few drawings I've been able to find of Gaston online. Thank you.

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  11. Amazing work, Andreas!! I love how even when proposing Gaston can't get his mind off himself and totally checks himself out in the mirror!! Great character moments!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful hard work! -Casey

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  12. Fanatstic work....love the dancing roughs! nice to see the acting/movement in its "crude" stages....... neat to see :)

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  13. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Best blog ever!

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  14. Great work Andreas. Memorable scenes. Gaston is a character that you love to hate. I really loathe him, he is a real HAM too. Thanks for including the super roughs, priceless.

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  15. I don't know what else I can add to all the comments above ("Beautiful", "Superb" , "Memorable", "Amazing", "Great Performance") except to vigorously agree and just say it's wonderful to see these scenes in pencil test form again after all these years. I can hardly wait to see what's going to be posted next ...

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  16. Thank you for keeping 2D animation alive by posting your amazing work Andreas. I've always wanted to see the whole film in rough pencil test form inside a dark theater. That'd be cool.

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  17. So for a complex scene where two characters are dancing with one another the animator would draw the scene first with a ruff under structure as you shown here. Then they would draw on all the details? such as secondary actions like hair and clothing?

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  18. I'm going to join the chorus of "amazing work" and say... amazing work!

    Since I recently saw The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad for the first time in years, I've been wondering--did you get any inspiration for Gaston from Brom Bones?

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  19. Hi Andreas!!
    (first of all, excuse my poor english)
    I'm a second-year student of animation in Spain. I'm in this kind of moment that you're surrounded by a lot of new things to discover, when you have finally find your passion and your goal in life. It's curious, of course I'm sure that is a neccesary moment in every artist life.
    Because of this, I've been looking for a lot of blogs, interviews, books and all that stuff and I have to say that I'm a great fan of your job. It a great favor to share your knowledges with the rest of people. And I think that become a Disney animator when you borned in another country, specially when you arrived, has a lot of merit. I've been listening to your interview podcast at Animation podcast a couple of days ago and I enjoyed a lot. It evident that you have a very great passion for your job.

    Well, I hope someday we'll know each other in Disney studios when I'd work here! hahahaha You know, dream is for free. Anyway I think that if you don't aim high, you wont arrive never.

    Good luck, I'll keep taking a look at your blog usually!^^
    Amaya

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  20. Gaston: "NO ONE ANIMATES GASTON LIKE ANDREAS DEJA"

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  21. Is still Los Angeles full of Gastons in 2012? Jokes aside I admit I always had a crush for Gaston for several reasons. First the realism of the character (when he strokes an arrow at the Beast and he's wet you can see all the muscles, and feel their tensions. Secondly, he marks a turning point in the representation of a sexy men in Disney animation. Thirdly he's the only hairy guy from Disney Studios. Of course Tytla's Chernabog shared his amount of sexiness, but that representation of a male body was inspired by classic sacred art where the angels are painted as a slender boys and demons as muscular men. I know you took inpirations from Kahl's Brom Bones, but Gaston is way sexier. He maybe changed the way to represent heroes too from that moment on: Aladdin, Li Shang, Tarzan, Kuzco/Pacha, Milo, Kenai and David Kawena (I always adored the differences between Glen Keane's, Ruben Aquino's and yours way to depict a male body) are shirtless (often sturdy) guys. Things were changed and Disney was as open minded as never before. Once again I'm interested in Howard Ashman's opinions about the character, was he interested in this version or was he more oriented on the dandier, Louis XIV/Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont style, first version of the character?

    Technically speaking I adore the perspective of every scene (just look at the way he lifts Lefou during "Gaston" and compare it to Phillip lifting Hubert in Sleeping Beauty, there's love for Disney tradition, yet you took advantages fron the third dimension, the camera angles are simply amazing). As Tremaine he's a non-magical evil character fighting magical heroes, yet the realism of his animation is his strength. Every single muscle of his face tell us it's no laughing matter.

    If you would have the opportunity to animate this again, can you tell us which scenes you would pick for this treatment?

    One last question (I hope I'm not too bold in asking that, but I wondered about this for years): do you think your private life influenced you in animating Gaston the way you did?

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  22. Hi Andreas,

    Bit of a random question here, but I'm curious about who was behind this one sequence you see in the working version of Beauty and the Beast that was shown at the New York Film Festival (The version that is also included on the latest DVD release).

    The moment, shown as storyboards, where Gaston throws LeFou into the snowdrift in front of Belle's house and orders him to stay there had a very distinct style to it that differs greatly from the other storyboards in the working print. Is there a story behind who the artist was and why his depiction of the scene was chosen? Was it simply because he was able to capture the scene the best? Did the artist storyboard any other scenes in the finished film?

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  23. It hadn't struck me before just how much Gaston reminds me of Jafar and Scar. It's not so much that the movement is super similar though. The shots with the downward casting glances, where the acting seems more shrewd really come across with that range of familiar qualities. Neat to see!

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  24. Just saw it a few hours ago. The film was just as wonderful as ever. The 3D did nothing for me. It looks nice in some establishing shots but as soon as there is any quick action my eyes had a hard time keeping up. I loved seeing the sketches at the end that was a nice touch.

    A big disappointment was seeing Walt's name taken off the logo. It just isn't right seeing the castle with just Disney under it. I couldn't believe they actually went through with it. It doesn't make sense why Iger would get back the rights to Oswald as a sign that he cared about Disney History then do this. What's next change "It all started with a mouse" to "It all started with a dollar."

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  25. Just saw it! And I'm so happy I did! The 3D did wonders for that already beautiful countryside scenery, the woods, the majestic castle, the "Be Our Guest" and ballroom scenes...~sigh~ The beginning was exactly like a stained glass window storybook, and that transformation... I loved how "in your face" Gaston was (He's even more full of himself on the big screen! Love it!) And I noticed so many little things I didn't before – the way Belle's sitting sideways on her chair reading before Gaston proposes and how Cogsworth adjusts his pendulum like a tie after Be Our Guest :D Speaking of little things to notice, I wonder who came up with the skulls in Gaston's eyes as he falls to his death. I always keep my eyes open for than. Well, I'm about to fall apart in tears of joy soon, so excuse me while I go beg my childhood to come back... So thank you Andreas for playing such a great part in one of my favorite Disney movies! It means so much to me :D

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  26. Hello Andrea, I am a big fan of yours and I love your blog. You mentioned there are some scenes you wish you could do over with Gaston . . . are there any you can mention in particular? Thanks.
    RetepM82

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  28. I agree with K.Lang I fill the same way I went last night. I was down at Disney World for the week end and I could see the Beauty & the Beast castle over the fence and it was real cool. I will be going back but I want to see it in 2D again also.
    Seeing the film in the theaters again was a big thing to me. I know Disney is going to re-release some more in 3D but I would love to see the classics back in the theater even if they aren't in 3D. Seeing them the way they were meant to be larger than life.

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  29. Love Andreas! I love you and I love your wonderful art.
    his characters are part of my life!
    kisses from her admirer from Rio de Janeiro/Brazil
    ;)

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  30. Hi Andreas, I have just a quick question on the development of Gaston. Did you find the inspiration for his name from Gaston III, the Count of Foix, general bad guy and author of Livre de Chasse (Book of the Hunt)?

    My college professor is convinced that he was in mind during the character development of Gaston, and personally it's left me wondering too!

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  31. Thanks so much for sharing this! :) Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite Disney movie (as you can probably tell from my username). When I was younger, of course, I wasn't a big fan of Gaston, but now that I'm older, I've grown to love and appreciate the animation and artwork of ALL of the characters. ;) I love the detail you bring to your work.

    I just got back from seeing Beauty and the Beast in the theater yesterday. I didn't see it in 3-D, just digital cinema. It was so fun to just be able to revel in the beauty of the animation. It also took me back to when I first saw it in theaters as a 10-year-old. The magic is still there! :)

    I'm so thrilled that I stumbled across this blog! :)

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