Thats My Character

Everyone who has worked on a picture will feel that he made the personal contribution that caused the cartoon character to come alive on the screen. The story-man naturally will feel that the character is his, because, after all, it was the story work that determined what kind of an individual this figure would be; and the story sketch man smiles because he drew the new character, made the expressions, showed how he would look; and the director knows that it was he who pulled all these talents together and kept insisting that the Figure act a certain way; and all the time the actor who did the voice is saying, "Well, I know he's my character because he's me; I did him!" And the animator nods knowingly, because no one can deny that he set the final model and brought him to life, and the assistant knows that without his work the character would never have reached the screen. The person who selected the colors, those who painted the eels, even those who carefully checked to see if this character had all his buttons; the cameraman who shot the scenes; the sound mixer who gave the special sound to the voice—to all of them, he is their character! This is as it should be. Unless everyone feels this closeness to the end product, the dedication will not be there and the necessary care will not be taken to insure that the end result will be the finest anyone can do.

Disney Animation Background Drawings


Twenty-four frames of film arc projected every second, with several drawings on each frame.

There is the background drawing throughout, plus as many as four levels of drawings laid over it. For instance:

A. Mickey's legs and feet (which do not move).

B. Mickey's head and body (which do move).

D. Pluto's tail (which wags intermittently).

Probable average of 4 drawings per frame times 24 frames per second = 96 drawings.

96 drawings a second times 60 = 5760 drawings a minute.

The picture is 80 minutes long.

There are 460,800 total drawings for film.

But those are just the finished drawings (which will be put onto eels and painted, for another 460,800!).

It began with the inspirational sketch man. He undoubtedly did 1000 drawings, counting sketches, doodles, research, and final.

Next, the story sketch men. Each man does at least 20 drawings a day, KM) a week, 5000 a year, 15,000 during the three years it takes to make the picture. Five men would easily do 75,000 drawings on each feature film.

The layout man does about half that many; three layout men: 22,500 drawings.

The animator makes at least five drawings for every one he keeps, but he does only about a fourth of the actual drawings in the scene. That would be 115,200 times 5 = 576,000 drawings from all the animators combined.

The inbetweeners do the 345.6(H) left in the scenes, once in ruff, once in corrections, and again in final: perhaps 1,036,800.

The clean-up men rediaw all the animators' drawings, keeping only about one of every three that they draw. 115.200 times 3 = 345,600. '

Draw ings by all personnel of gags, caricatures, maps of how to get to someone's house, explanations and suggestions for new staging would easily total 2000 drawings.

This makes the following grand total:

Inspirational sketch

1 .(XX)

Story sketch



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