How does an animated film go from an idea in someones head to approximately 90 minutes of entertainment? How does someone create virtually an entirely new world like in Disney’s PLANES? Well, the process begins with a storyboard artist, or a team of them to be exact. On a recent press trip for Disney I was able to speak with PLANES Story Artist Art Hernandez.
Art was such an entertaining host. His passion for his job (as seems to be the case for everyone I’ve ever met that works at Disney or Pixar) and art was evident.
The story board process is a lot of fun because we’re essentially the first ones out of the gate. We set the bar for everybody afterward. It’s off of our drawings that the animators will work, the layout artist will work, the coloring stylist, the lighting people – we’re the very first ones!
Before teaching us how to draw Dusty, we had a chance to ask a few questions as well as watch how a clip came together. Art shared with us that one of his most favorite characters to draw was El Chu (chupacabra)! He was mine too, and I’m pretty sure a lot of others as well.
He was so broad and there were so many expressions for him. He was a blast, a lot of fun.
We also learned that story board artists work in teams. During crunch time they may pull people from other projects to help out. But usually at it’s height the team consist of about 8 to 9 people all working together. It’s this team collaboration that creates both his favorite and most challenging aspects of his job.
Pitching is where the team is able to show the director or producer how it’s played out and it’s his favorite part. One of the most challenging aspects of a story artist job is to not step on the work of other artist. It takes constant communication. That way an audience doesn’t see or hear something twice. Once they’re done with their assigned sequences they sit together as a group and pitch those sequences to the director.
You want your sequence to hit all the right moments and hit all the right emotions, and feelings.
Finally we were able to sit down and create our own Dusty artwork with a mini art lesson from Mr. Hernandez! I think mine turned out pretty well, what do you think?