Now for the first time in this book, you can take a peek into the mind of this amazing designer and my good friend Hans Bacher. Enjoy. Don Hahn Producer . Hans Bacher: Dream Worlds - Production Design in Animation (Selected). Posted by: Nagy Péter. Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare. Read online Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation, Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation Hans Bacher pdf, by Hans Bacher Dream.
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Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation by Hans Bacher. Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format. Book cover "Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation" by Hans Bacher. What can you learn from production design for animation?. Hans Bacher has been a major influence on the design of Disney films for nearly 20 years. His work appears in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Lion King.
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Hans Bacher sat at a drafting table deep inside, bathed in cigarette smoke and Magic Marker fumes strong enough to kill a lesser man. He was working to flesh out the bones of a film called Who Framed Robert Rabbit.
Hans was always the kind of artist I wanted to get in early in pre-production. You could build an entire film on the shoulders of his inspiring visual development work.
He is also opinionated. You really really want his opinion. We were scouting locations for Beauty and the Beast, driving fast, stopping for beer, taking pictures, and learning how to curse in German. His work on Beauty and the Beast set an unforgettable epic style for the film.
His attention to detail and research is both expansive and surgically focused. He has helped set the style for so many memorable animated films from The Lion King to his exquisite production design on Mulan. For years he has shared his encyclopedic knowledge of animation and filmmaking with his students and collaborators behind the doors of the universities and film studios that were lucky enough to get him. Now for the first time in this book, you can take a peek into the mind of this amazing designer and my good friend Hans Bacher.
They are all connected throughout a story with several actors: human or animals, cartoony, realistic or very stylized and, with lots of emotions, action and fantastic worlds. You are part of a creation process in which a dream world comes alive. It is scary and fascinating at the same time. So many artists create one piece of art that you alone would never be able to do.
What does it mean — Production Design? Of course, the Production Designer does not do all that independently. The vision of the director gives him or her a direction of where to go, and they are limited to a budget and a timeframe. Not to forget, the final look of the movie depends on the ability of a good design team of layout artists and background painters, who have to translate all the ideas.
A feature film is the team effort of up to sixty artists in that department. If the production designer and the art director fail to keep the quality standards up, it could end in disaster. Usually a lot of major problems have to be solved. The movie has to look expensive, but should not be expensive to produce. During the production of Mulan, the executives asked me constantly if we could add a bit more detail in the backgrounds.
Well, they did not use them in Lady and the Tramp and it did not look cheap! The preproduction time on a new movie in the very beginning is the best time. With complete artistic freedom, the assigned team creates the craziest and most fantastic ideas in beautiful sketches and paintings. Later, after production starts, fun is limited. Work has to happen within clear, defined borders.
There are deadlines and the footage numbers become more important. This is not a fast process. Sometimes it takes five or more years from the first ideas to the finished product.
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If necessary, he or she develops a visual style for the film, depending on the story, the target group and the budget. They translate the written script into visuals, including backgroundand character-styling, color and design language.
In the early stages of a new film, the Production Designer is part of the Visual Development team. This group explores all visual possibilities. They do research and try to come up with as many interesting ideas as possible, while working with complete artistic freedom. Usually at this time, the director is not yet involved. As soon as a director has been assigned, the look of the movie is narrowed down.
Some good directors have a vision about the look of the film and may be able to verbalize it. Now the work of the visual development team is sorted out and a clear direction is defined. During this period of time, a production designer will be assigned to the project if he was not already part of the team. The production designer now develops the final look of the movie in close connection with the director. Some presentation pieces showing the key moments of the story have to be done. They will reflect the look of the movie and backgrounds in combination with character designs.
The preproduction team has to approve them before they are presented to the head of the production company for a final decision. That is especially important when outside investors are involved. If no major disaster happens, the production is green lit. That means that the new project is announced to the outside world.
Now, it is necessary to analyze the style and to create a Style Guide. A style guide is a booklet of approximately 60 pages in which the basic rules of the styles are explained for the different departments: Layout, Background, Animation, Effects, Clean-up and Color.
That is another very important step in the production process because so many different artists are involved.
11 Things I Learned from Dream Worlds
They have to learn everything about the new look and get used to it. For about the next eighteen months, they will have to live in that new world.
There is usually a training period of some weeks to allow the different artists to practice and create some test pieces. Sometimes new techniques have to be developed, especially for combinations of 2-D and 3-D. All of that is discussed in a smaller group of department heads together with the production designer, the art director and the director.
During that time, sources for possible problems should be eliminated and the work pipeline refined. During the same time, the production designer develops a precise color concept for the first sequence to go into production. Here it shows how important it is to create a Color Script for the whole movie at a very early stage, after the basic story is approved, because usually the first sequence in production is not sequence l; it can be from the middle of the movie.
Now that the train cannot be stopped anymore, the hungry crew has to be fed with everything they need. More sequences are approved one after another. It will be necessary to redesign certain changed locations. Props are always needed, little details such as the style for certain effects have to be developed. It all has to fit the look. And, of course, after the finished animation the production designer is part of the Sweat Box group to approve rough and final animation, as well as the color combinations.
Toward the end of the production, he is involved in the designs for publicity, the title logo, the posters, and the merchandise. Note the Framing Effect and how all the background elements lead toward the characters. In addition, the action in every frame is clearly readable. Look at the first scene where Cinderella enters the castle and seems to be lost within the huge architecture.
You find her immediately; all the perspective lines lead you there. In most of the other shots, you can find the same concept — big foreground elements frame the action; the characters are on a theatre stage in a pool of light.
The whole movie feels like a romantic theatre piece, like a Puccini Opera stage. Compare the simplicity of the designs to recent productions. Even with very few characters, they are able to tell a funny and very entertaining story. Joe Grant told me they did the whole movie in nine months! No wonder, after all the experience of the preceding masterpieces. On the right, I have collected some more stunning compositions. There is no need to talk about the incredible style — Mary Blair.
What else can I say? Sketching from real life is very useful. For a character designer it is important to watch people and their behavior; a production designer additionally studies the environment, architecture, styles and colors.
TV offers a lot of these real-life images in hundreds of channels.
I do sketches while watching TV. However, you are so limited because you are not fast enough and there is so much more going on. During the early nineties, the quality of the video-printers improved a lot. I spent hours taping all different interesting programs to go through them afterward and print thousands of moments for reference.
In previous years, you were limited to creating your image archives by collecting magazines or doing your own reference photography. It was a very time-consuming job. Cutting out and sorting, took a lot of space and lots of boxes. With the video prints all that improved. Well, over the years I have collected several thousand images in video prints. Very useful for all different assignments, but even more useful to get inspired. Just looking through the dozens of books with video prints gave me so many ideas.
It is even easier now, and cheaper. With available software, you create archives in your computer — no need for expensive prints. Moreover, it is then very easy to find what you are looking for with archiving software programs, not to mention that the picture quality is much better.
Even without a background, just dealing with one character, you have a lot of choices about where to place the action. Does the story ask for a closer look at the face?
Or do you need to be further away? On what side of the screen would it work? Closer to the edge, or more in the golden section?
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Do I choose an up-shot or a down-shot? A centerposition usually looks boring, but would it work in this case? What do I want to say? It gets a lot more interesting and challenging with two or more characters. What is the interaction? Do I need to show them up close, or does space between them characterize their relationship?
Who is the dominant character? A size difference will make that clearer. When you add background to your character-composition more choices come up. You can separate them by dark in front of light, or light in front of dark placement. So far we have not even added detail to our background, detail that has to be treated the same way as the action.
I want to explain some examples of this visualization in the next chapters. After a while, you find out about the rules and understand why a film has been done a certain way visually and rhythmically to enable you to forget you are watching a movie. If the music was an integral part of a film, you may not remember afterward that there was any music throughout the movie. Music helps to create emotions. To do the same with the visual part you have to understand a few things.
I am sure you can see the difference between just ordinary movies and the good ones.
It has nothing to do with taste. Following is a list of my personal top choices. But, there are some very good color movies out there as well. The problem with color is that it has to be designed as well. It should be visually engaging and interesting storywise. I usually sketch every single scene in small rough thumbnails, as if I was drawing the storyboard for the movie. These boards are just the other way around as they illustrate a finished film.
In case there is a moving camera or the actors are moving, you need to do several key drawings to indicate the most important steps.
Depending on the length of the sequence, you may come up with several hundred sketches. Prepared pages with small storyboard frames helps a lot. The oldest film format is just Today, we have Wide-screen — The correct image ratio is very important; otherwise, you get different composition results. The next step is preparing the floor plans for the different environments in your sequence.
This step is very important. Try to analyze and draw the details of the scenes such as in an architectural sketch, the main light sources with arrows, the position of the characters and their movements, and so forth.
Then indicate the positions and movement of the camera. You may need several pages with the same floor plan in case there are some complex moves. Wide-angle lenses are used to establish a sequence or to cover some major character movement.
Close-ups are done with the camera close to the actor or with telephoto lenses. You will see the difference; a telephoto lens keeps even distant objects or characters closer together with an out-offocus effect. A closer wide-angle has a deeper depth of field with a bigger size difference.
I will explain that in more detail in another chapter. Always note: Why did they use that lens here with that size and how did they cut from one shot to the next? How did they connect the characters following the dialogue and the story? Camera-angles: How was the camera positioned? At eyelevel? Or is it an up-shot, or a cut to a down-shot? And why?
In a horror-movie, you will find a lot of scary up-shots together with some effective use of light. Always indicate in your floor plan where the light source is. You will notice that light and shadow in a row of shots is very important for your orientation.
It is useful as well to study how projected shadows onto characters or objects are used to create depth and additional texture. Hitchcock apparently had the scenic designers paint shadows of furniture detail on the wall once in a while if they could not achieve that same effect with original light and shadow.
Antonioni is a master of that. Together with a very carefully choreographed move of his characters, he creates a voyeuristic effect; the audience is always in the center of the interaction between up to five actors.
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No notes for slide. Book details Author: Hans Bacher Pages: Focal Press Language: English ISBNFor stand-alone game environment non-playable map you can use top down layouts to help define a fly-through camera to show off the environment; space and location of objects, focal points and where you will spend time detailing based on what you are going to show. It was not one of my favorites as there was too much talking, but there were some great characters like Hades.
There is no better inspiration and reference collection than actually visiting places similar to the one you are to create. There are also dedicated chapters to films where Hans Bacher talks specifically on how production design was done. Sketching from real life is very useful.
Use BSP brushes and simple geometric shapes to define boundaries of buildings, walls and environment sections. When used correctly, texture creates a tone.
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