Monday, January 16, 2012

Marks Notes - 4 - James Baxter - The Lion King - RAFIKI scene

Thought I would start the year with a post involving my friend James Baxter and one of his scenes from ' The Lion King '. As many know, James's character was Rafiki.

The one thing that always stands out to me about James's work is the timing. I know he plans out his scenes as we all do, but there is a point where he must stop with the planning and just animate straight ahead. Not worried about any charts or technical spacing, but just feeling the weight of whatever he is moving and going straight ahead. Giving the character and any motion a very natural feeling.

I was suprised with some of his hand shapes with this Rafiki scene. He drew some shapes I did not expect to see as he has the character's hand snap around. When you play the scene below, you can't see any distortion, but you can ' feel ' the fluid point that Rafiki gives Simba.
Beautiful stuff. I put together a sheet that highlights the different drawings of the hand
as it goes through the motion. Hope you enjoy.

video
copyright WALT DISNEY PICTURES



Notice how James has used a nice smooth arc in perspective as he points with the finger. The finger volume is drawn larger as it moves towards the camera { drwgs 9, 10 and 11 }. The volume is drawn smaller as the finger arcs away from the camera in perspective { drwg 12 } to then come back in size as it settles down towards us { drwgs 13 and 14 }. This smooth curved action, with the perspective, adds to the feeling of the hand moving towards us and away from us in space.


Below are James's drawings in order :

























6 comments:

Bobby Pontillas said...

Beautiful stuff indeed!

mark pudleiner said...

Hey Bobby :-)
Hope Disney is treating you well.
Make sure you visit the ARL.
- m

Bobby Pontillas said...

Hey Mark! I'm having a blast at Disney so far. It's very inspiring to be here. I haven't visited the ARL as of yet, but hope to soon!

I re-blogged this post hope you don't mind, if you have any more of this kind of stuff I'd love to see it!!!

mark pudleiner said...

Bobby - by all means, re-blog :-)

Go to the ARL and check out some of your favorite scenes. You get to touch some history. Beautiful stuff.

keep in touch and say hi to any 'old guys' still there that might know me :-)
All the best
-mark

Anonymous said...

This is the stuff animation blogs are missing! Beautiful drawings with insight on animation process/mechanics. Keep em coming .. do you have any of your work from your Disney heroines Mark?

Natalie

mark pudleiner said...

Thanks Natalie.
I do have some of my 'girl' stuff.
I'll post when I am able.
Glad you enjoy the Blog :-)
- mark