Thought I would start the year with a post involving my friend James Baxter and one of his scenes from ' The Lion King '. As many know, James's character was Rafiki.
The one thing that always stands out to me about James's work is the timing. I know he plans out his scenes as we all do, but there is a point where he must stop with the planning and just animate straight ahead. Not worried about any charts or technical spacing, but just feeling the weight of whatever he is moving and going straight ahead. Giving the character and any motion a very natural feeling.
I was suprised with some of his hand shapes with this Rafiki scene. He drew some shapes I did not expect to see as he has the character's hand snap around. When you play the scene below, you can't see any distortion, but you can ' feel ' the fluid point that Rafiki gives Simba.
Beautiful stuff. I put together a sheet that highlights the different drawings of the hand
as it goes through the motion. Hope you enjoy.
copyright WALT DISNEY PICTURES
Below are James's drawings in order :