Walt Disney Animation Studios has shared a look at some of the color keys from their latest short, Far From the Tree.

What’s Happening:

  • Walt Disney Animation Studios has taken to their official Instagram to share some art from their newest short, Far From the Tree, that debuted theatrically with Encanto and recently became available on Disney+.
  • The art showcased are color keys, done by Manu Arenas, a visual development artist at the studio. For Disney, Arenas has also worked on recent classics, including Moana, Zootopia, Big Hero 6, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and the film this new short preceded, Encanto.
  • The color keys showcased some of the dramatic locations in the new short, which tells the story of a parent and child raccoon as they explore a Pacific Northwest beach, with the little one more interested in exploration and the parent, naturally, focused on keeping the young one safe.
  • The featured art pieces are called “color keys.” Color Keys are essentially background paintings that lighting, layout, and other departments in the studio use for reference during the production. Using the keys, a look and feel to the overall color of the project can be established. While on the surface it may sound like a fancy name for a “background,” in traditional animation, a background might show more priority towards the character in focus so that they blend in with the surroundings, making the set feel natural. Color Keys, typically, focus more on the details, like how the light might bounce off the water in the scene, or the glistening moss on the rocks. Character placement, if any, is more of an afterthought.
  • Far From the Tree is now streaming on Disney+.

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