Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shere Khan crouches

This post took a while to put together. As you know, creating pencil tests is time consuming, but when the result looks like this…who cares?!!

Before I get started, I had a great time at the Annies yesterday. It was good to talk to people I hadn't seen in a while. Thought the presentation was hysterical, congratulations to my fellow nominees and the winners.

Back to the tiger. Before I shot these copies I noticed that one image was missing, so I drew one inbetween to complete the scene. First of all, that took me forever. When you look at two tiger keys on your drawing desk, just try and figure out the subtle change in the stripes. Insane.
Whoever inbetweened Shere Khan (Dave Michener did some of it) deserves a medal! 
Of Course Milt Kahl wouldn't tolerate the slightest inbetweening mistake.
Just look at how all those stripes define the subtle movement of skin over the body.

I have always loved this introduction to Shere Khan. His controlled, withheld power and strength are breathtaking. And the draughtsmanship is  -as usual-  awe inspiring as well as intimidating.
The movement of the tiger's shoulders in the second scene is sort of a cycle. Milt animated that move once, then timed it a couple of different ways, slow and a bit faster. That's the only time I have seen him do this. Careful trace backs of the parts of the body that don't move give the scene so much life. If you'd use a partial hold for that, it wouldn't look this great.

Without any further ado, here is some of the most amazing animation ever drawn!














39 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post.
    The stripes *o* As much as the actual animation of the tiger is great, I love just looking at the stripes on the body and how they wrap around the form sooo well..... especially the moment when he finally crouches and you see his back-end wiggle so subtley...

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  2. Wow Andreas! Thank you for taking the time to put this together for us to see.

    I can't help myself from watching this over and over again.

    Are these pencil drawings ones that you own yourself? What a treasure.

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    1. These are xerox copies, and it is a challenge to register them.
      But as I said, it's worth it.

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    2. Thank you Master...thank you so much!!!! You are a Inspiration to me...hugs, from your brazilian fan..Jaison!!!

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  3. I can't condone that re-used deer footage he's stalking.

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    1. Why not? Disney reuses footage all the time, or they used to before CAPS, to save time, money, and effort. In this case, it was a minor character in a scene where the main character had to be animated perfectly. The time they didn't spend designing a deer character for Jungle Book in this particular scene, they put into animating Shere Khan. I can overlook the fact that 30 seconds of film are lifted from Bambi's mother grazing in her last few minutes of life. Here, at least she gets away--- and Shere Khan's animation is all the richer for the extra time.

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    2. They actually used Bambi's mother even after CAPS. We can see Bambi and his mother in the opening scene of "Beauty and the Beast" (they can be seen in "The Rescuers" too("Someone's Waiting to Love You"sequence), along with a mother bird and her little ones from "Little April Shower"). Walt Disney's mother, Flora Call, died in a big fire in the last 30s, I can't separate this tragic event from Bambi's mother death. It is significant that the very same character comes back in the last film supervised by Walt, managing to save herself this time. This is a fact that has always intrigued me.

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    3. *I forgot "The Sword in the Stone", another deer saved from certain death(Kay's arc in that case)...

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  4. Brilliant stuff, thanks for sharing Andreas! I find that there's a lot of Shere Khan in Milt's designs of other characters, even when they are human. I can see it most in the eyes and hands. Was Milt a big cat person like yourself? Do you have a pet cat for that matter? Or do they just not compare with the big fellahs? :P

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    1. I think Milt favored and became an expert on any animal he was working on. He animated great dogs, deer, horses (Mary Poppins),
      apes, snakes, vultures....you name it.
      I used to have cats, for now it's a dog who is amazing.

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  5. Wow, what a beautifully animated scene! The stripes really take this character/animation to the next level. Thanks for taking the time to put this one together. It DEFINITELY is worth it:)

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  6. Now that's amazing! (It's a pity that O'Malley wasn't striped)

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  7. I remember seeing this when I was six, and being blown away by how "real" it was. That little wiggle the character does when he is getting ready to pounce reminded me of my house cat. This set me on my, "how did they do that?" quest that continues to this day.

    Andreas, can you post a shot of your inbetween, or maybe do a post about how you approached it?

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    1. Bill, that kind of stuff is explained in books like "The animator's Survival Kit" and Eric's "Character Animation Crash Course" which everybody should own.
      Also, I don't normally do my own in-betweens, this was an exception.

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  8. this scene is the first thing I remember when it comes to the Jungle Book!!! Thank you for post Andreas!!!

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  9. I love Shere Kahn! Such a powerful design. Especially his jaw.

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  10. Its the his back left leg thats almost throbbing with anticipation and the subtly of the stripes on his forearm, moving ever so slightly. So controlled and considered. Amazing!

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  11. Gosh, that is just spectacular! All Disney cats seem to be :D Those stripes and subtle movements... Just WOW! And I'm seeing Tigger in him even more now.
    I second Bill White's comment up there about your inbetween :D

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  12. You're a INSPIRATION to me Andreas....thank you for existing in our lifes!!!

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  13. This is astounding!! Its technical brilliance aside, I can't stop looking at his eyes!

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  14. Incredible..Andreas, love the shoulder shuffle. With a drawing no less, I am baffled. Shere Kahn's calm and menacing demeanor.

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  15. It will be perfect if have the keys of all the drawings. it will be challenging try to do the inbeetweens :)

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    1. You guys could print out more poses from the footage.

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  16. Amazing stuff. Thank you so much for posting this. Every time I watch this scene I admire the way milt handle the weight of the tiger.
    Is there any chance you’ll post more drawings from this scene?

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  18. Andreas,
    your work is absolutely gorgeous. Your characters are very expressive and interesting. Scar is one of my favorite villians and the Lion King is one of my favorite cartoon.
    I'm an 18 years old art student and i would like become character designer / animator later for animation. I'm studying animals at zoo, studying nudes and persons at parks and draw from imagination.

    According to you what are the best exercices ? The most important to know in character design, what are required skills and the working type in portfolio to present to hope to be hired at an animation school and have you books and reference artists to recommend to me ?

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    1. To be able to draw really well is a great start. Sounds like you are on your way. Your application portfolio should show that you are able to draw in different styles, not just one.
      I found studying good children's book illustration very inspiring
      and useful.

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    2. Thanks very much for the answer, I'll work hard
      for it. Just a last question : which is the most
      important to present in portfolio, rough drawings or finished work ?

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    3. You should have both in your portfolio.

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  19. Andreas, I'm from Brazil and it's a real joy for me to discover this blog, filled with absolutely marvelous art. I became a great fan of yours by watching you and other Disney animators in DVDs, and I just saw Beauty and the Beast today at the cinema (Gaston dancing with Lefou is totally awsome) and wanted so much to say THANK YOU! Thank you all Disney artists for such great YEARS of passioned drawings. Hope some day I can visit the Disney studios and see personally some original drawings that never left my head for the past twenty years at least (I'm almost 25 at this moment). Greetings, pal!

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  20. Wow, that is just absolutely incredible... Oh man. I watch something like that and I don't even know what to do with myself. (Practice, I guess!)

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  21. It so happens that I just recently started studying four-legged walk cycles using Shere Khan and Scar as references. Your posts are always inspiring, Andreas. I come away from your blog feeling refreshed and also challenged.

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  22. I have, quite literally, played this pencil test over 50 times.

    I am in awe of Milt Kahl. His supreme draftsmanship, impeccable timing, the WEIGHT, and the "held back" power that you have mentioned before - it's masterful. My jaw hits the floor every time I see it.

    Thank you for sharing this! Because I will keep on referring back to it. There's so much I can gleam from this short clip - so much technical expertise and knowledge! But above all, it's so life like, it's mind boggling.

    I can see why you hold Milt Kahl in such high regard.

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  23. Awesome! This pencil test is a treasure -- thank you, Andreas, for putting this together. I'd love to compile the frames into a repeating gif that I could stare at for hours...and hours and hours!

    I'm guessing Kahl got that shoulder wiggle from observing house cats. I doubt close-up footage existed of a tiger stalking its prey, but my cat does that wiggle whenever it's time to kill a new toy.

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  24. By the way, Andreas, since I've talked about Beauty and the Beast, could you clarify something for me? I know you didn't animate Lumière, but was he inspired by the looks of French star Jean-Paul Belmondo? I find the face of one just like the face of the other...

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    1. Nik Ranierei did not base the look of Lumiere on Belmondo.
      Just a coincidence.

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  25. Thank you for taking the time to put this together, Andreas. It's a real treat to see where the magic came from.

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