Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tyrus Wong's work for Bambi

I'd like to experiment with a slightly impressionistic approach to the backgrounds, I've been really inspired by Tyrus Wong's work for Bambi. Production designer Hans Bacher has written a post giving a brief history of how Wong's work came to be used.

'Tyrus had done poetic interpretations of the forest world. he did not show you all the leaves and trees, he made you feel them. when you look at his hundreds of beautifully soft painted scenes you smell the moisture in the deep forest.'

Bacher cites a similarity to the French Barbizon school painters, a group from the later part of the nineteenth century who were amongst those who introduced the idea of impressionism. It is possible to see the similarities: the impression of softly diffused light, loose brushwork and only certain sections painted with definition.


It's interesting to see how Tyrus' concept work was adapted by the layout artists:

Only the areas around where the action is is there a sense of definition, and it's very carefully applied.

'In BAMBI you are surrounded by nature, just hints of trees and foilage most of the time, towards the action center a bit more definition, but very much controlled. sometimes only a few blades of grass in front of an out-of-focus color-wash are enough to tell you where you are. and in a whole that forest looks more interesting and has more variety than most films in a city-jungle environment.'

I'm looking for a slightly more experimental way to present a forest, as it seems like literally every single magical/fairytale/fantasy-type film has at least one part set in some woods somewhere. It's such a cliche, yet forests can really be beautiful and enchanting, and I want to find a way to design it in my animation so that it feels a little fresher and more original. (Hopefully.)

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