My old student portfolio for Visual Development (Character Design) based on “Wicked” - PART 1 -
Because I often receive questions about portfolios, I thought, well, maybe it would be helpful for some to share my own personal experience accompanied by some visuals. Namely, my own portfolio I submitted to transition from the Animation department to the Visual Development department of Disney Feature Animation.
Now one thing that I will mention here as a disclaimer, and something that will probably be reiterated through out this post is that this is only my personal experience, and there is definitely not any sort of “formula” to make a portfolio for the Disney’s Vis dev. Portfolios that look nothing like this, share no common element, is just as likely to get you into the vis dev department. The acceptance is made by a committee of people, and not just one person’s personal taste or criteria.
Way back in the summer of 2007, I was an artistic intern at Disney. (Mainly 2D character animation, but also some story and vis-dev on the side.)
I was having lunch with one of our mentors at that time, Claire Keane, in which she gave us some advice on structuring a visual development portfolio.
One of her suggestions that stuck to me was to take one story, and dedicate the entire portfolio to it, as if you were developing that into a feature film.
This idea sounded good to me, because it made sense. It’s a semi-simulation of the kind of things you would be doing as a professional artist at Disney anyway, (which gives the reviewers a much better, reliable idea of how you would perform as a contributor) but it also gives the spectator a slightly more immersive viewing experience, as they are taken through one continuous story, with characters they understand, rather than having to adjust to brand new content with the turn of each page.
The many times I have reviewed portfolios, I have also found it a slight handicap to have to ask the artist, “Now, what is this thing from?” 4 or 5 times in one portfolio.
So in 2008, while I was working on Princess and the Frog, (still as a full time student at Calarts), I started on this visual development portfolio. I chose my story to be Wicked, the musical, which I am sure many of you are familiar with.
When I look back at this portfolio, obviously I see so many flaws in terms of draftsmanship, design choices, character choices, taste etc, and I want to fix them all. But again, the purpose of this post isn’t to show who I am as an artist right now, but to dig up my past and say “Well this is how it happened for me in the past.”
Here is part 1 of the portfolio. I know for some it may be frustrating to have this divided into 2, but the nature of tumblr posts seem to want things kept short. So I’ll try and post part 2 of the portfolio as soon as possible. I want to say within the next day or two, but there’s just never knowing with when I’ll get another free moment.
I think what is probably most important to show in your portfolio is a strong draftsmanship, a good taste in design choices, and a special intuition for characterization.(I’m speaking for my own criteria when I review portfolios, and I don’t claim to represent anyone else’s.)
As you can see I also tried to pay attention to the presentation of the portfolio, which is why I tried to design the layout of it with the theme of “drawer of a Shiz student”.
I’ll probably try to address some of those things that I mentioned in future posts perhaps.
I hope this old student portfolio of mine gave you a better idea on who to shape your own. One thing I would recommend is to not copy exactly the method I used to form a portfolio, but see it more as a solution that will hopefully help you come up with your own solution on how to structure a portfolio.
Next up is Part 2, with some development designs of Fiyero, the Wizard, the Flying monkeys etc
I don’t think I have enough electronic devices strapped to my belt quite yet.
I am going to add another. o_o
what if that rebuilding rabbit thing was for bunny to change genders and make rabbit a girl
they only had enough money for spare parts and they had to change rabbit’s gender
that would be so freaking cool
Spine: “Sorry, all we had was this chest…
SpineRaptor meets Michael Reed! 8D
Seriously though, I love being able to entertain and please people so when I watch footage like this and see their positive reactions it’s really something I cherish. ;u;
Thank you to everyone and the band for the love and support! <33
I have to say, I miss the Jon.
I know it’s somehow taboo to say it now, but it’s true.
That doesn’t mean I dislike what SPG are doing now - of course not! It’s fantastic, and I can’t wait until MkIII is out. Hatchworth is fantastic, even if I still haven’t been able to attempt drawing his artwork…
but at the same time, I’m a little sad that the Jon’s gone. I just really like what he brought to the band, and i like playing around with his artwork the most - it’s the only one I’ll ever feel confident drawing, and it can be as surreal as I like because The Jon is surreal by nature.
I’m sad that I only found SPG after he left, because now all I have to know of him is what’s left over from when he was a part of the band. I’ll never be able to see him perform.
But at the same time, you know, I’m sat here quietly overjoyed at the thought that one day I might be able to see SPG as it is now, you know?
I don’t know. I love what the band is doing now, and I love what it did then.
It’s kind of like losing your old doctor and finding the new one, you know? Eleven wasn’t ten, and Ten wasn’t Nine, but I love them all. does that make sense? I just love them in different ways for different things. But I’m still sad that we’re never going to have another Nine episode.
Just like I’m sad that I’ll never see anything of Jon other than whatever’s left over on youtube from balboas park or San Diego Zoo. It’s the way it is, but it still makes me sad sometimes.
Dear Sir or Madame, I don’t know how you did it, but you put into words on a post exactly how I feel, and exactly what I try to tell people when I say The Jon is my favourite, even thought I got here after him. I love Hatchworth, but I also love The Jon.
Seriously, I appreciate this post.
Thank you for putting this into words that sound a lot better than my own. Thank you!
Really listen to what Ralph is saying, now replace it with what the 2D animation medium is going through on a theatrical level and you’ll see how it really hits home.
Like Ralph, 2D has become this typecast element of production, it is in the hindsight (when done for CGI preps) and is often overlooked in mass compared to other animated theatrical releases. Like Ralph, it has a lot to offer when allowed the chance to be versatile and exploited by talented people with good stories and sensibilities about them.
It’s sad to see 2D as such a rare medium in today’s animation, at least from a theatrical sense, but there will always be an audience for it. Hopefully, studios will come to understand that as well as acknowledge that 2D animation is just another visual tool for telling a story, and that it is no better or worse than any other.
I just can’t stop watching this. Both because of how amazingly gorgeous the animation is, and because doodlecrackstar’s comments are so accurate, it hurts. ;A;
I’ll never stop animating in 2D. ;u;
Finally posted video footage of the SpineRaptor in action! 8D
Got to meet David aw yee
Enjoy~ UwU <3