In order to get a better idea of how Cel animations are created, we were asked to analyse 2 existing 2D animations and how they were made for inspiration and for information on methods of 2D animation. For my examples, I have chosen the 1994 Disney film, the Lion King, and comparing it with their 2002 animated release, Treasure planet.
- Storyboards: The directors ( Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff) began by planning their film out using storyboards describing each scene or significant frame of animation using rough sketches of the scene and the dialogue used in the scene written beneath the picture. They then displayed the storyboards to a meeting of artists and animators acting out each storyboarded scene to convey the sequence.
- Voice-acting: Different actors were then brought into the Disney studio to record the dialogue for their respective characters. Each actor had to fit the voice the directors wanted for each character, and after being shown the storyboards for the film, they would record their voices for their character using a microphone and a script in front of them. Often, the artist for a particular character would use the actor’s facial expressions as inspiration for the character’s design. For example, actor Jeremy Iron’s face was the implemented in the design of the face of his character, Scar.
- Art and design: In order to get inspiration for their drawings and paintings and to ensure that the background and natural elements were as faithful to the setting as possible, each artist working on the film travelled to the African Savannah and observed the wildlife and scenery, drawing elements like a sunset, different trees and the rocky terrain. They would then take these paintings and drawings and show them to the directors so they could get an idea of what was perfect for what the film needed and what aspects needed to be re-drawn.
- Sound and music: Composer Hans Zimmer created the music for the film by combining western instruments, such as trumpets and violins, with instruments found in Africa, such as Marimbas and African drums, in order to make the music fit well with the film and it’s setting.
- Animation: For each character, a separate animator observed the way the animal that their respective character was based on moved and emulated it in their drawings and computer animation. For example, for the lion characters a real-life lion was brought into the art studio so the animator for Mufasa, for instance, could gain an understanding of how his character moved and what a lion’s mannerisms are like.
- Storyboards similarly to the Lion King, creating this animation began with pitching previously established and drawn storyboards outlining each significant scene and the dialogue that accompanied the scene. Since the film was revolutionising Disney studios by combining 2D and 3D animation, each storyboard also included details of what each shot of the film would look like, describing the cinematography of each scene described in the storyboard panels
- Art and design: In order to combine 2D and 3D animation, art director Andy Gaskill invented the 70/30 rule for the film’s design, which means that each aspect of the aesthetics of the film would be 70% traditionally designed and 30% sci-fi influenced design. In order to achieve traditional design elements, artists would draw inspiration from the classic book Treasure Island’s illustrator, N.C.Wyeth, specifically, a painting titled “one more step, Mr. Hands”, used because of the painting’s warm colour palate and classic “storybook” feel to it. When creating the 3D sets and characters for the film, the animators used a piece of technology they called “deep canvas” initially used for a previous film Tarzan, which allowed them to create sets in a 360 digital space. They then animated these against characters drawn in a traditional 2D style to create a depth of field effect.
- Sound design: The 70/30 rule was also used for the audio of the film, with sound designers using old wind-up mechanisms to avoid making the sounds of the film too “slick or sci-fi”. For the film’s music, composer James Newton Howard utilised both orchestral, modern music and Celtic music provided by Scottish musician Alasdair Fraser.