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DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Charles » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:24 pm

Excuse the self aggrandizement but I couldn't help it.

I've been thinking about this for a long time, and decided to share it.

When creating, I see things in my mind's eye, I'll put that vision down, and then years later, it'll show up somewhere and surprise me. I'm sure it happens with everyone sooner or later.

With me, it seems to happen quite a bit. Especially when it comes to DreamWorks. And it's been brought to my attention by friends on several occasions, so they see it too.

Here's what I mean.

The character on the left is from Monsters vs Aliens. On the right, a class demonstration I created while teaching Visual Development in 1998 at my school, The Animation Academy.

MonstersVsAliens1.jpg
MonstersVsAliens1.jpg (46.64 KiB) Viewed 659 times

Here's another example from M vs A and a demo I did at Associates in Art in 1996.

MonstersVsAliens2.jpg
MonstersVsAliens2.jpg (44.57 KiB) Viewed 659 times

I'm getting a few more ready.
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Charles » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:42 am

I really got a sense of deja vu when I saw How to Train Your Dragon.

Development for Spyro the Dragon on the right.
how-to-train-your-dragon1b.jpg


Development for Jak and Daxter on the left. PS - that lip design was not my idea.
HowToTrainYourDragon4a.jpg


Development for Jak and Daxter on the left.
HowToTrainYourDragon3a.jpg
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Greg B » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:53 pm

You ain't the only one buddy! Believe me, you ain't the only one!
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby SNAKEBITE » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:08 pm

When I saw How to Train Your Dragon I felt like everything was influenced by you and Philip Felix.
You two both have signature style and I really saw it in the film especially.
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Charles » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Many times when I go to an animated movie there's something that I've seen before.

For example, check this out. Rango opened this weekend. I was developing the same thing 11 years before the movie. A chicken type of creature that you saddle up and ride.

Click on the image to see it full size.

RangoChicken1.jpg
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Charles » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:28 pm

More deja vu.

Kung Fu Panda on the left, Jak and Daxter on the right. PS - The lip was not my idea.

KungFuPandaSnake2.jpg
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Charles » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:46 pm

The occasion to resurrect this topic has arisen.

Let's take a look at one of the characters from the latest DreamWorks animated feature "The Croods".

Here's a poster image of Douglas...

CroodsDouglas1.jpg


Here's the same character in line art...

CroodsDoulglas2.jpg


Let's flip the line art horizontally...

CroodsDoulglas3.jpg


Now let's take a look at a gator dog type character I created as a class demonstration ten years ago in 2003 which was published in my school's schedule and also in my book Controlling Illusion and which is in the possession of one of their top visual development artists...

GatorDog.jpg


:o :shock: 8-) ;) :D
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby marius » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:21 pm

I can't speak for other artists... but I can speak for myself. I suspect that most likely your energy IS in there... I myself and very many other professionals I've seen reference the works of masters in our professional works ourselves. The individual's moral compass as well as pressures for the speed of production dictate how far.. I've seen artists range from COMPLETELY stealing, tracing, or only slightly modifying the source, to artists using it as inspiration. I personally have a limited amount of design answers in my weapons cache..as my focus has been more on the physics of animation and that reality, so I rely on master work to learn aesthetics, and possible sollutions (or weapons) to add to my arsenal. I don't copy, just try to absorb.In my personal works there are TONS of style influences... from burton to waterson to gagne, but the message and intent is ALWAYS mine, and I won't ever allow myself to trace... that seems to feel honest to me, hopefully it is...

As for these examples, I do see a lot of similarities in the feel of the works, and wouldn't be surprised if your work had a heavy influence on em... how much or how little, only the artist taking credit can know... That's my rational observational response.

the next bit is just for fun :)

My soul respons is all things belong to the one thing. You are further up the stream of conciousness than others... my guess is you "tapped" into the stream earlier on... but with the passing of time the source reaches others and they too tap in... i use this theory to explain how a man can beat a record, then the record can be beaten by others (like running a whatever minute mile.. i don't know the time, just know the example of the pattern)...

no clue really, but this definitely was interesting to see!
thanks for sharing sir! :)
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Greg B » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:46 pm

So Charles, what are you exactly saying here?

The big studios look at all media and gather up ideas. They can't watchdog every idea that comes across their boards, only trust the person delivering them is honest or not delusional.

When studios put together their ideas their not worried about stepping on your toes. They have lawyers for all that who are good at IP shenanigans. If there is some form of criminal infringement they'll fight tooth and nail to protect themselves or their investors will sue them. In other words, to lose is to lose utterly. That's why the small guy usually never wins unless the small guy is connected to the big guys somehow.

There's influence, convergence, or outright duplication with or without criminal intent. In some of your sketches you're reallllly stretching it but in others they look spot on. Was it intentional duplication? The burden of proof is on you. Normally the FBI has up to date files on such activities but they won't always contact you unless they've got a dog in that fight. Lots of people don't know that.
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby MikeMurphy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:37 pm

Great Job! keep up the good work!
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Re: DreamWorks and me - when great minds think alike

Postby Charles » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:19 am

Thanks Mike.

The last thing on my mind is to make a legal issue out of what could be a coincidence. I'm not angry about this, quite the contrary. I feel it's a very positive sign when you see similarities in one's work and thought processes at a level as high as DreamWorks.

For years I've been aware of the universal thought bank. If you've got an idea chances are someone else has it too or in time will think the same thing.

For the record folks, the latest entry pertaining to the gater dog Douglas comes from my book which I personally gave as a gift a few years ago to a long time friend and acquaintance at DreamWorks who happens to be one of two people in their visual development department who I know for certain own my book.

All the other images I've showcased here have been published for a long time online and in some cases in my school's schedule back in the day when we were printing them.
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