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Bringing the Disney Planes Characters to Life with Art Hernandez

We attended a all expenses covered media event for Disney Planes as a guest of Disney.

Bringing the Disney Planes Characters to Life with Art Hernandez

“We are working out the whole movie like a comic book” -Art Hernandez

Imagine getting a script handed to you and getting an opportunity to be the person to bring the characters in the script to life through art. That is the role that Art Hernandez had as a storyboard artist in the upcoming Disney film “Planes.”

The story artist is responsible for creating the visual template for the movie. It is the process where the film changes mediums from words to drawings – visually bringing it to life. Each story artist is responsible for their own chapter in the film, and there are usually 8-9 story artists per film.

“It is a massive process of evolution.” -Art Hernandez

Anywhere from 40-50,000 panels, will be drawn during this process of making the film. The story artists will show the movie five different times during the process, and changes will be made according to the notes of the director, partners and John Lasseter. “As much as we fall in love with our sequence, we have to be willing to part with it,” said Hernandez.

“We don’t finish our movies, we release them” -John Lasseter

“At each step of the process, we hope to raise the bar so that at the end of the 3-4 year process we have what we hope is a very good movie,” said Hernandez.

The storyboard process has changed a lot over the past couple of years. Until about six years ago, the entire process was done on paper. “We would pin up the sequence of papers and walk the director through the sequence doing voices. We would have to photocopy the background and then cut and paste the character over and over again. It was a long tedious process,” said Hernandez. The process is still hand-drawn, but it is now all done on a computer screen. “It is a much better process because it is far more cinematic,” said Hernandez. The story artists can now arrange all the panels from their sequence on the computer before pitching the sequence to the director.

Once the story artist is done with their sequence, they will walk the director through the scene doing all the voice and performances. “Our hope is that by the time I am done pitching my sequence that the director will be happy with what he has seen,” said Hernandez.

Once the film is done with the story artist, it will be handed over to the animators.

Disney Planes will be in theaters on August 9th.

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One Comment

  1. I love how he said they try to raise the bar as high as they can. It definitely shows! This was so fun to experience!

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