Friday, May 29, 2015

Hercules Pencil Tests


For the longest time I had written off my tape with Hercules pencil tests as lost. But that tape recently resurfaced, and looking at the footage now brings back a lot of memories. I was one of the last animators to finalize the character's design, everybody else had found a way to incorporate graphic elements, found in the work of British illustrator Gerald Scarfe, whose edgy drawing style served as the inspiration for the film's overall look. 
As Hercules' personality was developing I felt I needed to take it easy as far as heavy stylization. He was supposed to be shy around girls and frustrated at the lack of progress in trying to become a hero.
A little clumsy, but good natured and ambitious.
In the end Adult Hercules shows only a minor Scarfe influence, just enough to fit in with the rest of the cast of characters. 
While animating I recall trying to get to the core of his emotion, which presented a challenge during short scenes. I often thought that a bit more footage for certain scenes would help me to get the business across in a stronger way.
Actor Robert Gant acted out most scenes, and I enjoyed the process of doodling thumbnail sketches in front of a monitor. That way I could pick and chose poses I liked, and eliminate others that didn't work for me. Overall the live action reference was very helpful.
The reel includes first pass animation pose tests as well as final refined versions. There are a whole bunch of scenes I'd like to rework, others I am ok with.

Here is the link to an earlier post about Hercules' design evolution:

http://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2013/06/hercules.html

11 comments:

  1. These are pure gold! Thanks for keeping us inspired on a regular basis!

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  2. Oh gosh I'm really happy that these pencil tests weren't lost! Hercules has always been a huge inspiration for me, so watching this makes me incredibly happy!

    Thank you so much for sharing, this post made my day!

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  3. Great to see so much pencil test footage. Researching Searle I found a great resource in auctioneer Bonham's web archive- it may help some of your blog posts? http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21643/lot/4176/

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  4. I just can't get over these tests!!

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing tjis pencil test, have a good day.

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  6. Fantastic stuff, Andreas! I was wondering- when you have two characters touching like that, even if they're animated on seperate layers, are they then cleaned up onto one sheet? With both characters on a single sheet?

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    1. No, they are cleaned up on separate sheets, just like in the rough animation stage. Clean up just needs to be careful when the characters touch. It's not that difficult of a process.

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  7. Hello Mr. Deja, In your interview featured on the Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition. I noticed a Large Maleficent Doll. while you where describing how Maleficents lines flow up to her face. I am an owner of the same exact doll. Can you tell me where this doll came from? And how did you aquire it? Any information would be greatly appreciated. LOVE your Art !!!!!

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    1. That maleficent doll was just brought in as a conversation piece. I really don't know about its origin. Sorry.

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  8. Thanks for sharing these pencil tests! They are wonderful (the toes' choreography is amazing!!). Nik Ranieri wrote on his facebook page that you animated an early test scene of Hades. If you still have it, could you share it with us?

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  9. You are The Best Andreas!!!! Thank you for this Treasure!!!

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