Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Environment Concept Art

There are three main settings that need to be designed for the film.
  • Watho's cottage/hut/laboratory, externally & internally 
  • Nycteris' chamber
  • The forest - this will have a number of prominent settings within it, including where Watho finds the chest, where Photogen collapses, and the entrance/exit to Nycteris' chamber.
I'd like the overall look to be simplified but stylised with characteristic silhouettes and shapes and a more painterly/impressionistic approach. This was largely inspired by a combination of Eyvind Earle's amazing work for Sleeping Beauty and Tyrus Wong's for Bambi.

I don't want a 'generic forest' at all, I want to push the design and colouring style so that it is exaggerated but still retains a sense of fairytale-like wonder and mysticism. I also want to really work on the composition of the backgrounds using the knowledge I picked up while researching production design and layout in my CoP3 module - I'm very interested in how the backgrounds can tell a narrative in itself, direct the viewer's eye and be as important to telling the story as the characters. 






My first test on designing the backgrounds was for the first sequence where Watho is walking through the woods where she finds the scroll. I used a number of techniques I have picked up on my various attempts to get better at painting environments, such as having the colours and shapes become less saturated and more hazy the further from the 'camera' they are. The composition could definitely be improved, and this is something I plan to research more while developing the final artwork, however I was pleased with the painterly effect I managed to get, with sections of more detailed rendering that gives a sense of the overall scene without having to go into a lot of detail.

In these paintings I experimented with different colour balances as I wanted to express a more supernatural and mystical feel, so I added more purple and brighter green tones. I pushed a lot of the colours to make it more vibrant and fantastical, and the purply red-lit tones give the impression of sunset, which adds a sightly more foreboding and mysterious atmosphere. I will tweak it more when adding in Watho, however, adding light so that there is a focus for the audience's eye; At the moment, especially as the colours are so vivid, it's likely that the background may detract from the character and narrative.

Colour choice/palette is definitely a work-in-progress at the minute, as I'd like to experiment with a slightly more muted Arthur Rackham-y approach too, although I have a feeling ultimately I'll go for the more vivid approach as it's a little more out of my comfort zone.






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