Wednesday, September 28, 2005



I always find it very helpfull when designing a character to spend some thoughts concerning which social class the character belongs to . A good cast has characters from all three classes to play against each other with their different approaches to life. ( Look at the Lord Of The Rings for example with it's workingclass Hobbits, the intellectual wizards and aristrocratic elfes ).
The same thing is true for Treasure Island: workingclass pirates, the middleclass Hawkens-family and the the captain and the upperclass Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livsey. Things like that are very interesting when you look for example at the ways the different members of these classes kill. The Pirates do it "hands on", the upper class in more sophisticated ways.
Anyway , Silver clearly is the most sophisticated amongst the pirates, he doesn't act his class. A potential aristrocrat amongst workingclass pirates.

The directors mentionend John Wayne as a reference, which I found very helpfull at the time. Below you see an illustration from Master Wyeth, whose illustrations served as a reference for the whole movie.

Silver, being a pirate, disguised as an inn-keeper, half alien, half pirate, was a bit too much to design in one go, something was always right, other things were always wrong, so I decided to design one thing at a time. I neglected the cyborg-part in the drawings you see here, to concentrate at the warm and fatherlike , yet evil pirate. Pure evil hidden in normality, profanity. Being German,I didn't have to dig very deep for reference for that, when I was a kid, you always had to be prepared more often than not , to discover that the elderly gentlemen next door was an ex-nazi.

Before I could really finish the design, Glen Keane took over and did his wonderful job.


Azhar Hussein said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Smook said...

Thanks for sharing your thought process when it comes to character design, Harald! Wonderful sketches!

El Snoozo said...

I like how you mentioned that they had suggested to use John Wayne as a model for the character...I sometimes do that when I have no where to start, or when I talk to my animation lead, he will suggest..."Oh think of him like Burt Reynolds." and sometimes it's not even the physical characteristics that help, but the way that actor may handle himself that really gives you that attitude.

Incredible drawings..Great to see

josh carrollhach said...

Great sketches, Harald. Silver was by far my favorite character in the movie, a perfect blend of menace and likability. I also applauded the acting, especially in the scene where he's demonstrating his cyborg arm by cutting shrimp. Excellent animation and character design.

UM said...

Hallo Harald, bist Du immer noch in Munich?

limbolo said...

I think that's Jack Palance....2nd up.

neo mike said...

I find this interesting, I like Scroop's sketches a lot too. Scroop was my favorite character and as soon as I get a scanner, I shall put my sketches on the web.

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