Saturday, August 6, 2011

Going back in Time

Two years ago Charles Solomon interviewed me for an ART OF BEAUTY OF THE BEAST book, celebrating the movie's umpteenth anniversary. At the end of the interview he asked me if I had any roughs to show and oddly enough, I had just stumbled across a few which he asked me to scan and send. As fate would  have it, I then misplaced said sketches and never found them in time to make it into the book (sorry Charles!).
As I am going thru decades of drawings and sketchbooks at present, I just stumbled across them again. Too late for the book (which came out last fall I think) but here for your enjoyment.

 A "guide rough" for a key pose in the scene where Lumiere first calls to Maurice to notice them.

 Small sketches done on copier paper during story meetings.  I generally don't make detailed thumbnails because making tiny drawings out of scale and context never made much sense to me. I prefer to make working roughs right at the layout size that I can flip to preview (as in the top image). Still, I sometimes will practice a certain pose or attitude in advance of doing the scene.

 This pose above is quite far from the actual pose I wound up animating into (thank God).

 This one is close to something I did use, however.

This was a guide design for an actual ceramic wall clock a company called Schmidt made for merchandise. They initially wanted to put the working clock part in his stomach because the drawing they did followed the model sheets, which showed his nose too high to fit the clockworks properly. I asked them to give me an hour or so to tweak the model enough to fit the clock and still look like the character. Happily, producer Don Hahn allowed me to submit this drawing, which was used to a more sensible effect.
Here are my cleanups for the final. Of course, marketing insisted on a "happy face" option, which thankfully lost out to a more characteristic worried expression.

Just a doodle for fun, most likely. I really loved animating this character.

I always loved this bit where he comes down the stairs in a soldier's hat with a sword (and pistol in the movie). I did this sketch in the meeting where this idea was screened (I think Kevin Harkey did the story sketches, or Roger Allers). Tony Bancroft did the actual animation for the movie, and quite wondefully, I might add.

I found another tranche of similar artwork that I will scan and post at some point in the future. Frankly there is so much stuff turning up my scanner may have to apply for overtime...

The copyright for the "Cogsworth" character from BEAUTY & THE BEAST is property of the Disney Company.


rad sechrist said...

Wow, that's cool!

Eric Scales said...

You draw him so beautifully. I was in Jr. High when B&B came out, and I remember trying to draw all of the characters, and being totally frustrated with Cogsworth. He felt totally stiff and boring, all of those geometric forms and stuff- I thought it was a boring design. What I didn't get yet was that I just wasn't capable of drawing him the way it was intended- there's such beautiful flow to his whole form, without it ever looking like he's made out of anything but wood and brass, but I just wasn't to a place where I could capture that yet.

Mike said...

Funny and superappealing! Thanks for sharing, Will!

Sandro Cleuzo said...

These are great, Will. You were luck to have had such a rich character to animate on a great film.

Mike said...

One more question:

"I generally don't make detailed thumbnails because making tiny drawings out of scale and context never made much sense to me. I prefer to make working roughs right at the layout size that I can flip to preview."

I have the exact same problem. How did you run your work by the directors? I still have to show thumbnails to my profs!

Floyd Norman said...

Great stuff, Will. Actually, this film was the reason I returned to animation after an absence of ten years.

However, it got even better. Not only did I get to work with Kirk and Gary, but you were Head of Story on "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Man, those were great days.

Will Finn said...

thanks commenters!

Mike, regarding Thumbnails: Kirk Wise and Gary Tousdale gave us a lot of leeway. I would discuss the acting with them verbally at a handoff and then not show them again until there was a rough pose test. For my money, rough pose tests are where things start because you are working in the right scale and with the composition of the layout. Highly planned out thumbnails always seem like duplication of effort to me. If I make a great thinking drawing, I want it to be one I can build the final sketch upon.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Just what I was requesting for about a year ago Will! Thanks! They are beautiful!

Daryl T said...

Really great Will. Really Great.

Brittany Brode said...

Cogsworth is my favorite animated character ever. You draw him beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing! This brightened my day!

Jojo P. said...

The enchanted furniture, candlestick, clock and dishes added lots of fun characters.