Friday, September 18, 2015

Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation || pp. 100-147

Dream Worlds:  Production Design for Animation

SUMMARY of pp. 100-147

This section covered more details on being a production designer as well as some key principals for design, composition, and color.  Examples were shown from film Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, and Brother Bear.


Mulan Art

-  EXAMPLE:  Mulan - Hans Bacher's surpurb designs ended up earning him the title production designer on the film.  The research for the Style Guide, took many paths:  The Development Crew (Visual Development Team) had problems, they used the look of Chinese watercolor but added too much detail.  He used a Chinese comic book that was a great reference for unique designs on trees, mountains, villages, characters, animals, and props.  The designs were very flat and lacked perspective, a stylistic choice.  They decided on no detail at all.  Other reference material included auction catalogues from Southeby's and Christie's, painters like Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (no detail, just mood), Franz Richard Unterberger, Eugene Galien-Laloue (precise architecture), and Giovanni Boldini (rough expressive style).  Of course inspiration stemmed from Chinese calligraphy, philosophies like Yin & Yang, balance, and stylization for every design.  They aimed at a more classic disney style referencing the Disney archives for backgrounds from Bambi and Pinocchio.  Additionally they invited guest artists from around the world and Ric Sluiter to help with the mediums of watercolor, oil, and gouache.

-  Rythem - Create environment compositions using studies (keep them simple), they should lead the eye to the center of the interest with secondary action, elements in the background; smooth, straight, or different direction lines; variety in shapes, value, and color.  "Rhythm creates the visual language of your movie" (p.122).

-  Stylistic Variety - Varies from individual style of independent films to group style of bigger productions where, 

A film is not the showpiece

of a single artist; it is

the combined effort

of many artists.

- Hans Bacher (p. 72)

One artist usually designs the overall look of the film and others follow.  Pages 130 & 31 list a variety of animated films/shorts in various styles, and artists that inspired them.  In regards to style, "hopefully[, in the future,] art will remain more important than technique" (p. 132).

Lilo and Stitch Art

-  EXAMPLE:  Lilo and Stitch - Hans Bacher was hired for a short time for location designs and a few interesting compositions.  He went to Kauai to do some research, photographing stock, and sharing the task with Ric Sluiter, who painted.  The art was filled with the charm from a first time visit.  Watercolor backgrounds were used for the final production.

-  Value: the lights and darks of any color.  Simplify working with light, dark, and three midtown values.  One example of arranging values in a composition is to use a foreground, one or two middle grounds, and a background.  The final choice of value placement depends on the story moment/situation.

-  Color - it should be used to create different moods (which may vary depending on cultural background).  Some color language is universal, for example: cool colors are calming, while hot colors are aggressive.  In film, color corresponds with specific story events.  There is an "emotion/action curve" that corresponds with a "color mood curve."  Various sections are designated by "color-chapters" and "color-transitions;" while generally smooth transitions, contrasting colors can signify dramatic story changes.  The rules of color for backgrounds also apply to character colors; compare colors for villains with heroes, comic book characters, and old vs. young people.  Studying films will give a better understanding of color.

Brother Bear Art

-  EXAMPLE:  Brother Bear - The German Alps (referenced in Balto) were snowy, contrasted with Alaska's variety of terrain.  The goal was "moody" ideas.  Various talented artists and animators were brought on board to develop the look of the film.

. . . . . . .

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