I had an incredible experience traveling through Brazil over the summer, and beyond the beaches and jungles and city life I went to a few museums. While in Rio I went to an exhibition at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil on animation organised by Dreamworks Studios. The exhibition showcased a lot of behind the scenes development sketches, models, illustrations and more from all the films Dreamworks has produced.
There were the line tests from films being played on projectors that emphasised the expressiveness of the animation. There were character design sketches on the wall, many of which were diverse and hilarious iterations of now familiar characters. There were the live action videos that compared film footage from the same shots. There were finely cast models of the characters and sets from the film. This is something that is more prevalent with 3D animation. They had videos of directors pitching shots in the story room which was very fun to see as the directors made noise and gestures acting out the scene. There were also the beautifully rendered backgrounds and set props. There was text explaining inspirations for various films, for example how Mark Rothko’s work inspired the look of the film Madagascar (2005). There were interactive elements like an animation workshop with rows of Cintiqs or a screen that allowed you to change character expressions or do colour grading.
The exhibition was great for getting people interested in animation and reminded me of the quality of work I hope to create some day. A tour through the 150 years of the art of giving movement to drawings and objects, making real the unimaginable.