Friday, November 8, 2019

Gold!

Today by accident I came across a lecture given by animator Chuck Harvey at California State University in 2017. Chuck talked about his own work at Disney and other studios.
I was beyond thrilled when he showed and discussed several Milt Kahl thumbnails for Madame Medusa. Copies of this kind of exploratory sketches for certain sequences for The Rescuers by Milt are all over the place, I posted some myself.
Yet I had never before seen thumbnails for the Holy Grail, the make up removal section.
A frame grabbed these images from the video, no HD here, but it is still a thrill to be able to study them. 






Chuck was already an accomplished animator when I started at Disney. He had worked on The Small One, Pete's Dragon and The Rescuers.

You can find his lecture here:


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Big Cat Staging

This story sketch showing how Shere Khan extends his claws in front of Mowgli is by Vance Gerry.
Its gets a little tricky when a four legged big cat needs to act human like with its front paws.
The pose tends to look unnatural and even off balance when the acting is shown as a full body shot.
Milt Kahl knew this. So whenever Shere Khan rubbed his paw against his chest or clapped in applause, he chose a medium close up in his animation. 
The animal character becomes human for a few moments, and it looks more believable in this type of fielding. 
This is a general rule and there are exceptions. Earlier when Shere Khan first approaches Kaa, he pulls the snake's tail down to the sound of a door bell. It's a funny gag, and the tiger is shown in a full body long shot.







I became aware of this staging issue when animating certain scenes with Scar.
Here he is talking to Simba about a "Father/Son......Thing".
I animated his left paw rotating as if Scar is looking for a certain word: "Thing".
On that word he flicks his paw, to show a sense of banality and slight disgust.
I love working this kind of stuff out.
This scene wouldn't have looked right if we had chosen to show his full body.