November 16, 2017
Master figure artist and teacher Karl Gnass is a featured speaker at the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank, CA on Sunday, November 19 at 1:30pm. His presentation is titled: "Active Anatomy for Animators – The Importance of Figure Drawing". He is also debuting the second edition of his original book "Spirit of the Pose" at a booksigning on Sunday at 3:00pm.
Karl Gnass is a master figure artist and one of the most sought-after teachers in Los Angeles, whose students include luminaries of the animation and CGI industries. Karl has been teaching drawing, painting, and storyboarding for over 25 years at Disney, Dreamworks, Sony ImageWorks, Nickelodeon, and Warner Bros Features Animation, among others.
He storyboarded at Disney Television Animation for such shows as DarkWing Duck,
Gargoyles, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Marsupilami, Bonkers and direct-to-video Aladdin Prince of Thieves. In film, he developed the character expressions and anatomical breakdowns for Stuart in Stuart Little, character breakdowns for Harry Potter and for Hollow Man.
At Glen Keane's request, he developed a class to help CGI animators working on 'Tangled' to understand the dynamics of movement. His latest project was working as an Anatomical Dynamics Consultant with Disney's animation team on the highly acclaimed feature movie "Moana".
Disney's renowned Bill Schwab, Art Director of Characters, said, "I asked him if he would come to the studio and look at our characters and look at our rigs where they were at the time, and actually do draw-overs, and so he did three sessions, one for Maui, one for Moana and one for Tala. We had the rigging team, the animation team, and the design team all in one room with Karl, and I’d say that was quite a jumpstart. He really felt good about what we had, but he really pushed us to go to the next level."
Gnass says that to the layperson, it may not be apparent how traditional figure drawing fits in with the animation field which is now highly computerized. Yet it's precisely because of technology's sophistication that Karl Gnass is frequently brought into Hollywood's major animation studios to provide his unique training to their animators.
Karl acknowledges that an enormous effort goes into animated feature films. The people involved are numerous and talented, including the stars, producers, directors, story writers, art animators, the production team, etc. Yet, he says, at the end of the day, if the animation doesn't feel authentic, the characters may not be as convincing as we would like them to be.
Gnass is often brought in to the process to inform the animation team on body mechanics and movement dynamics for the major characters in animation features.
Karl said, "It’s one thing to learn how to draw. It’s another to learn how to draw with intent—to infuse a sense of story and purpose into the figure." He helps his students to create figures with more compelling movements and gestures. Many of his students go on to work at the major animation studios, and often study with him for years, each time peeling away the layers toward a deeper understanding of their art as they progress in their skills.
Gnass recently returned from a European Working Tour of 6 countries, 11 cities and 10 events where he taught figure and life drawing workshops to some of the top animation schools and studios. The grand finale of Karl's tour was a speech to an audience of 600 at the world renowned Cinema Odeon Theater in Florence, Italy and a 2 week exhibition of 100 of his figure drawings at the famed Gipsoteca Museum.
Karl Gnass will be at the CTN Animation eXpo to give a talk at 1:30pm titled "Active Anatomy for Animators – The Importance of Figure Drawing"in the CTN Workshop room. He is holding a booksigning for his three books Spirit of the Pose, Spirit & Force and Head Shots on Sunday November 19 at 3:00pm. The CTN Expo takes place at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, CA located at 2500 N. Hollywood Way Burbank, CA 91505. More information on Karl and his Los Angeles classes and workshops can be found at http://www.GnassStudios.com.
Karl's workshop at Outplay Academy in Dundee, Scotland during his 2017 European Working Tour
Digital Arts Article
Note: Karl Gnass is available for live in-studio media interviews in Los Angeles and through phone and/or Skype worldwide.
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