Special Effects

Pinocchio is swimming madly to escape the powerful charge of Monstro the whale. He is surrounded by frh. all dashing for their lives. He finally breaks to the surface and apparent freedom, but the monstrous foci rises from the depths, and his huge jaws close with a heavy sound on all who had tried to elude him. It is a exciting moment—the audience should feel the tension. the suspense, the desperation of the characters trying to escape.

The animation of Pinocchio is good and does exact]) what is needed for those scenes. The fish are «<1! animated and the effects of bubbles and streaks ani speedlines all give the impression of great effort and' speed. But something more is needed. It does not have that rich look of a first-class illustration. Is there am way to get a watery effect here? After all, Pinocchio 6

Watery Effects

way down there and ought to look different. And what about Monstro? How can we make him look huge? Of course we need the other characters to be much smaller to give the proper scale, but how about some shading on the whale? One continuous tone over his entire bulk will never give the illusion of volume. What will take it out of the thin, flat world of the line drawing, and get it into the depth and dimensions of the shaded drawing and the painting?

To get the watery effect, a panel of glass was ground with the same type of ripple found in low-grade window glass. When this panel was placed over the 'eels under the camera and pulled slowly through the scene, the images beneath it writhed and wiggled just as objects do when reflected in a lake or especially when seen under water.

For the tiny figures in long shots (figures too small to be drawn accurately or painted), washoff relief eels could be used since this permitted normal-size characters to be reduced to very small size, or blown up large, as well as repositioned or even made into multiple prints.

To get the shading on Monstro. someone devised a 4"frosted" eel treated to create a tooth on the surface that would take pencil, pastel, chalk or crayon, with smear or smudge or careful shading. Once the drawing was completed in full color—it was really more of a textured painting—a special procedure cleared the eel to its normal transparency with the artist's original work ready to go under the camera. Now artists could work in the colors they wanted and the shading they needed to explore new dimensions in visual effects.

The men who solved these problems were the skilled craftsmen of diverse backgrounds who had been thrown together in the catchall department. Special Effects. Walt always had been skeptical of theory and philosophy, preferring to have practical artisans around him who could get right down to work with their hands. For some reason, he had a distrust of engineers as men who designed primarily for themselves without regard for the intended use of the product and he refused to have anyone on the staff with the title, "Engineer."

There were only three categories for a technician: camera, sound, or special effects. Bill McFadden had a degree in aeronautical engineering, which had nothing to do with either camera or sound, so obviously he effects animator

George Rowley— Pinocchio.

Small flames generally have a mild, undulating pattern, hack and forth, combined with a slight up and down action.

Large flames have an elaborate pattern of dancing shapes, curls, parts breaking off and carried up. combined with violent activity within the shapes.

The magnitude of the forest fire in Banibi was conveyed best by moving a distortion glass over a dramatic painting. A separate glass was used for reflections in the water.

on glasses e a watery nd of the Bambi. At nly a light sunset re-/.

)plets dis-a heavier . (The rip-minted in eels, with -)

tails that so believed by us-to "Wow vings and dd texture e a rough side that or crayon d texture. ■cleared'' C//v under fects ani• vler Boyd awing of

Sketches Monstro The WhaleFirmement Seperated The Waters

had to be in special effects, along with the mode! makers, theatrical craftsmen, painters, machinists, carpenters. and the other individuals trained in the profession that was never mentioned: engineering. The men in this conglomerate never knew what they would be doing next or how it might relate either to their training or the last job they had just completed. They might be asked to find a way to photograph an amoeba. or build a whole new camera, or a piece of furniture, design a building, or string beads on black threes to represent stars in the firmament. Few people at the studio knew who these men were or what they did. be. everyone saw that amazing scenes were appearing on the screen. As one employee said, "You can't believe how many people it takes to do something like this."

Bill Garity, an expert on camera lenses, was nominal head of the department, but Walt worked with each man on an individual basis, asking questions more than assigning jobs. As one of them said. "The two questions Walt asked most were, 'Can you do it?'and 'What can you do here?'" They were called into sweatboxes and story meetings and often just satarounj listening, getting the feel of what Walt was after. Then

Disney Animation Background Drawings

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Disney Animation Background DrawingsDisney Animation Background Drawings

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