Look Behind the Scenes at Disney’s Planes – Storyboards

Previously on GeekDad, I gave readers a peek behind the scenes at the computer animation department. Read the entire post here, but mainly what we covered is the process of taking sketches and turning them into a cartoon via computer software.

Now I want to share the where the real storytelling takes place in my opinion — the storyboards. This is where an artist, such as Arturo “Art” Hernandez, story artist for Planes, takes the script and notes from the writers and creates the first draft of what later becomes the actual animation.

Art Hernandez

Art Hernandez, Story Artist

These artists take all of the input from designers, producers, directors and writers, then make that jump from written words and ideas into an image that later is seen on screen; how cool is that? Most story artists come from cartoon drawing backgrounds, from the days before it was all done on computers. In fact, that was one of my first questions for Art: What do you prefer, the feel of charcoal and paper or stylus on glass? I was surprised when this veteran of animation stated that he preferred to use a computer. I always thought that artist were “pure” about their art forms…

Once he started the drawing demonstration, I could see why he preferred the computer; it is so much easier. Art used his PC with a stylus and I used a pencil and paper, then we drew “Dusty” from Planes. By the time I finished my sketch seen below, he had already finished his, made adjustments to it and inserted a background from stock footage. This all used to be done by hand, now it is done with PhotoShop. I know, you would think they would use Adobe Illustrator, right? Nope. Just Adobe PhotoShop, says it does everything they need it to…

GeekDad Tony draws Dusty from Planes

GeekDad Tony draws Dusty from Planes

Well, I can’t wait for this movie to come out August 9th and the more I have seen of what happens in the making of it, the more I can’t wait. Next week, we will go behind the scenes and into the vocal recording studio – so stay tuned!

Tony Sims

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