Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-five shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Disney Field Sizes

A quick note regarding Disney field sizes: I see so often that someone - e.g. a gallery - notes that a drawing was made on 12 Field Disney paper. This is not the correct way of indicating sizes, as at Disney, until 1984, the standard sizes were 5 Field and (from the mid-30s) 6 1/2 Field, corresponding to ACME sizes 10 1/2 and 14.44 Field, which are 10 1/2 and 14.44 inches wide respectively. Thus, the smaller, standard size used for all earlier drawings should be called a Disney 5 Field, but can be referred to as 10 1/2" (ACME) Field. The larger size is the Disney 6 1/2 Field, or 14.44" (ACME) Field.

Calling something a Disney 12 Field would be very wrong. It would indicate a drawing area that is 28.88 inches wide! For proper conversion, see the converter boxes in the right sidebar!
You can find more info on the sizes used in some of the technical manuals I posted (much) earlier and on my separate page on this.

Suffice to say here that the ACME sizes refer to the width of the drawing area, so a 10 Field is 10 inches wide. The hight is then determined by the aspect ratio chosen. The Disney sizes were not calculated this way. An imaginary Disney 1 Field is 0 (zero) inches wide. They seem to in some way have been determined by the camera stand itself, at a very early stage.

[Addition: the paper size is, of course, somewhat larger than the drawing area it is named for, leaving some space on all sides, and room for the peg holes in the bottom (or top).]

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Ingeborg Willy Scrapbook

Several blogs have already pointed the way to the book Working for Disney: 1936-1937, the Ingeborg Willy Scrapbook from The Cowan Collection, available through Blurb for $40 softcover or $48 hardcover. (Check out the PDF of sample pages following the link.)

Mine arrived yesterday, and I must say I am delighted, it was well worth the expense. The photos are wonderful, and most have been enlarged for better viewing. It also features lots and lots of drawings, and even a few Time Reports and Scene Instruction Sheets, the likes I have not seen before! The book itself is nice and tight, quite a surprise for a book that has been produced this way.

With Snow White on the cover, one can only hope that the Disney lawyers leave this alone, as it is presented at cost. Better make sure and get it before it is too late!

[05/03/08: The author let it be known that he pulled the book due to possible legal issues. He hopes to resolve these and have the book back for sale soon. In the mean time, here is the sample PDF!]

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Pluto Goes To The Dogs

Here is a short transcript of a meeting on Pluto Goes to the Dogs (tentative title). Of course, it never happened, but in a way it tells us more than many real transcripts can. Who wrote it and when? I do not know. Maybe it is late 50's. I know only that it was correct enough in its assessment of the different personalities that it was important enough for an officer in the company to keep it, as he recognized the players. It was from his estate that I got this little gem.

We meet Dick Kinney, Bill Berg, Al Bertino, Basil Davidovich, Woolie Reitherman and Harry Tytle and Walt and brother Ray Disney.
Somehow, it seems Walt is the only one who comes off as normal...
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hyperion's End

For those among us who have wondered what happened to the rest of the Hyperion Avenue buildings, here is an article from an internal studio publication dated December 1966. Being the last one during Walt's lifetime, it could actually be found on the desk in his working office after his passing. Early October that year, the lot was bulldozed to make way for the grocery store that later became the Gelson's. Somehow it is interesting, in a macabre sort of way, that the Hyperion lot and Walt himself seemingly shared a destiny...
The End...< Click on it!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Well, now we know...

Walt in Mousket-ears - who'd have thought... Also a picture of the "clever" gent who tricked him. Oh, well - not much to report today...
Walt in EarsThe Perpe-tographer...< Click on it...
Images from a rather inconsequential article in Remember magazine of April/May 1995.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One Hundred and Thirteen Dalmatians (II)

Here is the second and final installment of Bill Peet's script...
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Four days that made a difference...

My old mentor Børge Ring has written the account of our working on the Leica reel of Børge's Academy Award winning short film Anna & Bella in 1980, and sent it on to Michael Barrier, who kindly posted it on his weblog. It is basically the story of four of the best days in my life working in animation, as we excitedly worked specifically to streamline the story of the film. At the end of each day, I reshot the board with all changes - the fourth version is what is in the film.
Thank you, Børge for telling the story, and Michael, for posting it!

Michael is deep into Kansas City in 1922 - check it out!

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One Hundred and Thirteen Dalmatians (Part I)

Here is the first of two postings pertaining Bill Peet's undated script for Prod. 1786 - the preproduction number for One Hundred and One Dalmatians. It follows the final film quite closely, but once in a while you might find a little surprise...
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As to the image quality, this copy of the script was produced on some kind of heat-sensitive paper, and throughout its lifetime it seems to have gotten too warm. Since it is all I have, I'll have to make do with it, and so will you...

Please note that the title of this posting will be made clear in the second installment!

Today, remember to check out Mark Mayerson's analysis of seq.002 and Mike Sporn's walk cycle break-down!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Shadowgraph!  ...or: Walt the Inventor

Recently I acquired a few Disney lectures, and I would like to share one of them here that made some things fall into place for me. This is the supplement of a lecture given by Bob Martsch on 06/15/38. Though it is all interesting, look especially at page TWO, the part about the Shadowgraph!
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This was all new to me, or so I thought at first. Slowly it dawned on me: back in the late 70s, I had an opportunity to search out some patents, and I looked for the name Walt Disney. I received a document that left me puzzled, because it didn't make much sense to me. Now, with the above document in mind, it is all coming together! I looked it up on the internet, and yes, there it was again, the same thing! The only patent attributed solely to Walt Disney himself - it is the Shadowgraph!

For easy viewing, here is the patent document as JPGs:
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As a title, "Art of Animation" isn't really explaining a whole lot...
Hands up everyone who has heard of this contraption before!

Now to find some examples... Here are a few:
Three Blind MousketeersSnow White< Click on them!

Of course, there is practically no way of knowing if this was actually invented by Walt himself. On the other hand, it seems that the actual inventors have been allowed by Walt to claim their own inventions on other occasions (unless they had left the studio), as the inventions were assigned to Walt Disney Productions anyway.

Other interesting early Disney patents include the bouncing ball as means of sound synchronization (attributed to Roy O. Disney(!), a month before the premiere of Steamboat Willie), the universally used Click Track (attributed to studio engineer Bill Garity a few months after Ub Iwerks had left the studio), the Bar Sheet (by Walt, Wilfred Jaxon and Bill Garity), a beat generating machine by Garity, and the vertical Multiplane Camera by Garity, a very elaborate patent!

[Addition: in all my years in the animation business, I have never run across anyone using this device. Now, of course, the same effect could be created using a computer simulation. Using the painted drawings, one could map them in a CG program onto a shape. Has anyone done this? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised...]

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