Disney PLANES Story Artist Drawing Demonstration Experience
Interview with Art Hernandez, Disney PLANES Story Artist
During our day at Disneytoon Studios, we met with Art Hernandez, who is a Disney PLANES Story Artist. You’ve already read my Disney PLANES animation workshop experience, now take a peek at my PLANES Story Artist Demonstration Experience.
Art began his association with Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1996 as an in-betweener on “Fantasia/2000,” and has been a character designer and story artist for Disneytoon Studios since 2004.
In 2004, Hernandez came to Disneytoon Studios to provide character design (and assist acclaimed animator Andreas Deja) on the home entertainment release of “Bambi 2.” Around this time, he became interested in story and worked in that capacity on “Brother Bear 2” (for which he also did character design) and the first four “Tinker Bell” direct-to-DVD features. For his latest assigment on Disney’s PLANES, Hernandez studied a vast array of aerial footage from classic films to documentaries. He became a virtual aviation expert and learned to incorporate the actual mechanics of planes into the personalities and actions for the film’s colorful plane characters. In addition to his current role as head of story at Disneytoon Studios, he is also in the process of directing a new short.
The story artists starting working on Disney PLANES 2 1/2 years ago. Art Hernandez is one of 8 – 9 story artists that bring the story to life. The script is broken into sequences and then broken between story artists. Art says that it is a collaborative process, but this is the first part of the story process.
When asked how the process is different now with technology changing, he stated that even up to six years ago everything (the sequence) was still drawn on paper. He said that everything is digital now, but he is still actually drawing. The story artist needs to make sure that the story feels right and that the character carries the same feeling from panel to panel or scene to scene.
At the end of the film, the story artists can end up with thousands of drawings and 40,000 – 50,000 individual panels. It really takes a lot to make an animated film!
So much that I didn’t realize actually happened behind the scenes. Oh! We also asked who his favorite character to draw was and I’m happy to say it was my favorite character, El Chupacabra. Wait until you see the movie, I think you’ll agree with me.
Showing off my talent
Art was nice enough to walk us through how to create Dusty from the PLANES movie. It really is a lot harder than it looks, even if Art can create these characters with his eyes closed. We each had a our very own, large clipboard with drawing paper and at the end of our time with Art he had us follow his instructions and draw Dusty for ourselves. Take a peek at my lovely picture below.
Here’s my attempt to draw Dusty, thanks to Art walking us through the steps. Although, I think my four-year-old may be able to do better than I did. 😉
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Disney PLANES comes to theaters August 9th.