Jasmine's pond of dreams

Jasmine's pond of dreams

Monday, January 14, 2013

Disney's Hercules Descent to Hades Storyboards

These are storyboards from Disney's Hercules, the descent to Hades sequence. These were completed using watercolor on watercolor paper and charcoal on story pads around 6x9 inches. I loved working with charcoal because you could get such moody effects. The downside was that the mood got all over me and my clothes. It was also hard to correct mistakes or add fine details when using charcoal. It might be cool to start in charcoal, scan it and then work digitally over it.

Below you'll see some full size panels and a complete 4x8 presentation board.


Here are some of the full size samples. As usual for the process, I created several versions of this sequence fine tuning and refining the story. Unfortunately, as beautiful as it was, most of it was passage work and needed to be condensed. Travelogues do not work well in narrative films.

Directors, John Musker and Ron Clements chose James Woods to play Hercules. Before that they auditioned Jack Nicholson for the part. He came in looked at the storyboards and pulled out a lighter to act out the part. It was eerie.

Before the age of digital art, we used to present our storyboards on 4x8 foot cork boards. The story panels were pinned to the boards. I have no idea how many fingers were pierced making all of those animated film. This was yet another version of the sequence.


  1. Amazing work!
    That's what I like to see in the process of making of animation.
    The material used on paper feels good to the eye. I like the texture and it gives more quality to the work.
    I keep using the same material for my sketches and the visual development of my graphic novels. Specially color sketches.

  2. Thank you, Kriyani. I think all of the tools of art are like magic, both traditional and digital. I remember when I was a teenager, after breaking up with a girlfriend, my mother took me to an art store to cheer me up. It worked.