Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hakjoon Kang

Hakjoon Kang
I’m constantly surprised and delighted at the growing number of artists, of many diverse genres and approaches to visual arts, who are chronicling some aspect of their work on blogs.

As a result we get to see an insider’s look at many creative endeavors that would have been “behind the scenes” before.

As a case in point, Hakjoon Kang is a background artist for television animation. What he often posts to his blog, be4be4, is not just concepts of what the story backgrounds might look like, but the actual drawings that are used in the final animation. Plus, you frequently get to see both his ink drawings and the finished background as colored by the background color crew.

Kang has worked on animated series like Teen Titans, The Batman, Men in Black, Max Steel, Extreme Ghostbusters, and the sadly ill-fated adaptation of Geoff Darrow’s The Big Guy and Rusty the Robot.

In addition to “background” in the sense of a place, Kang also gets to create some cool futuristic machinery and architecture. His backgrounds are drawn with imagination and precision. They are sometimes straightforward and almost realistic and at other times highly stylized, depending on what is appropriate to the story.

There are some interesting tidbits on the blog. On this page, he posts a scanned document that provides a short primer for the process of creating an episode of an animated TV series. (A “half hour” episode, which would actually consist of a little over 20 minutes of actual animation, can take 8-12 months to produce from start to finish.) There is also a fun short clip from a Teen Titans episode in which the characters are trapped in a fantasy gaming environment and the secret chant that can defeat the bad guy is “Hakjoon Kang!, Hakjoon Kang!…”). These are the kind of fun details that you can only get from an an insider.

Kang’s blogroll also provides a list of links to many others in the animation arts who are blogging their working process and posting their artwork.

Link via ArtDojo

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