Monday, January 23, 2012

"Isolated" Animation - background concept art

I've been creating some concept art for the backgrounds of our animated film based on a poem expressing isolation. After we'd settled on a style for the character and it's surroundings - monochromatic and minimalistic - I couldn't help but think of the stylised platform game Limbo. In this game, a player controls a lonely and nameless boy as he searches an eerie forest and city for his lost sister. The game uses it's black and white colour scheme and lighting to effectively convey a "creepy" and isolated atmosphere, taking influence from film noir and German Expressionism.

The clean and simple style of Limbo is certainly a similar sort of look to what we're going for in our film, so I studied the backgrounds and concept art for inspiration.

I created some different drafts with varying levels of detail and contrast to get a general idea of what would fit best with the film.

I added in the main scene and character that were made by Alex and Ryan so I could compare the difference between the two. I debated whether or not I'd made the background too painterly and shaded, as it is very different to the clean and graphic style of the character and it's setting.

There was generally a positive reaction, and I was given feedback. It was decided to get rid of the hills and replace them with clouds so that the two "islands" are entirely divided and disconnected, the mist between them creating a sense of mystery and the unknown.

This was the final "test" image I ended up with. All the elements are on different layers so that the clouds can be animated. All that remains to do now is organise them on a much wider canvas size (like the image before this one) so that there is more freedom for movement so that each film shot, hopefully, has a different background.