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Watch a Disney Animator Sketch Classic Characters in Thin Air

When Glen Keane dons a pair of virtual reality goggles, the rest is history.

by Nathaniel Ainley
Sep 11 2015, 3:20pm

Screencaps via

If you were born in the last 3 decades, chances are you have seen and loved at least one of the movies drawn by veteran animator Glen Keane. During his nearly 40 year long career at Disney, Keane introduced us to some of the most recognizable characters in animation. His paper and pencil are responsible for no less than the likes of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, and work on Tarzan and Treasure Island, which was, lest we forget, utterly fantastic. In a new short film from Future of StoryTelling, Keane steps out of his 2D world and into the realm of virtual reality, using new technologies to explore their utilitarian values for artmaking.

Step into the Page was filmed in anticipation of the upcoming Future of StoryTelling, the annual summit responsible for the multi-sensory multimedia exhibition, Sensory Stories. The film shows Keane sketching out life-sized versions of Ariel and the Beast in 3D space using an HTC Vive headset and the 3D painting app, Tilt Brush, according to engadget.com.

In the film, Keane says, “When I animate, there is a frustration that I have, wishing that the flatness of the paper would go away and that I could actually dive in.” Virtual reality thus pulls Keane from the confines of static two-dimensionality and enables him to step into and fully immersed himself in his drawings—or “wander freely through his imagination” as FoST puts it in the video’s description.  

Glen Keane – Step into the Page from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.

Glen Keane will be a speaking at the Future of Storytelling’s annual summit coming to New York City on October 7-8th. For more from The Future of StoryTelling, click here.

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2015
Animation
virtual reality
Creators
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step into the page