Here are some visual development designs I drew for FINDING NEMO back in 2000, when I was freelancing for the Pixar art department and RALPH EGGLESTON.
This was around the time that I began doing artwork in the computer, and in fact this first colour image was one of the first I’d ever finished in Photoshop. The character was drawn on paper, scanned in coloured in Photoshop (but the background is a bit of a cheat because it’s a composite of a couple of photographs I found in magazines).
While working on the visual development phase of the movie, I tried my hand at rough designs for dozens of characters, but these sharks were particularly fun. In late 2001, Pixar called me back in to work in the story department, and I storyboarded on the the sharks sequence (following the incredible work done by the amazing Jim Capobianco).
The fact that I’d already spend time researching and drawing sharks helped me when storyboarding that sequence, and I was very pleased with how it worked out. One of my contributions was the ending, where an underwater exploding submarine results in one tiny bubble breaking the surface of the sea, misinterpreted as a fart by a prudish pelican. An internet discussion about FINDING NEMO referred to this as the “thinking man’s fart gag”.
I followed all the internet chit-chat about FINDING NEMO with keen interest, both before and after the movie was released, when it finally broke a several-year streak where nothing that I worked on actually got made.