Thursday, Feb 17, 2011
by Ned Wazowski
Perfect Role Model
When a lot of artists are working on the same character in an animated feature or short, it’s important to make sure the character looks the same in every scene. Enter the model sheet.
Model sheets, also known as character sheets, are reference guides used to standardize the appearance, pose, and gesture of a character to keep it consistent throughout the production or over a series of shorts or episodes. Usually, several model sheets are needed for a character: one might show a rotation or turnaround to show the character from all angles, another would show a close up of the face and head for expressions, and others might include action poses, gestures and body language, or costumes for specific episodes.
As they were created for internal use only, they are not so widely available for collectors. We were excited last year to get our hands on an original model sheet for Spaceman Jax that was drawn by Philip La Carta, character designer at p.u.d. film. We met La Carta this winter when he agreed to sign the reproduction copies of the print (available here).
We shared cake, and hilarious stories of the animation
industry in the 1960s (we ate, he talked).
In one of the many behind-the-scenes tidbits he gave us, he explained
the large stamp of the number 1 on the sheet indicates that it was the first
model sheet (he thinks there were six model sheets done originally for Spaceman
Jax, and that they added several more to reflect costume or other changes throughout
the series). And the B.P. who okay-ed the model sheet is Bill Pendergast. You should hear La Carta's impersonation of him...
In Greek Mythology, ambrosia is the nectar of the goods, conferring immortality upon whoever drinks...