Scenario: Stargazing

Easter Week 01 (26th March 2016)

Pre-vis

Originally, one of the scenarios that we came up with was that William and Julie could be stargazing from their balcony on the flat, probably when they would be younger. I’ve blogged research for this earlier: Balcony Design Research.

Sorcha had suggested the possibility of starting the camera in birds-eye view, zoomed in on their faces so that you could see the reflection of the stars in their eyes. William and Julie would be on their backs, looking up at the sky and possibly lying on a mattress that they had pulled out onto the balcony for the occasion.

During one of our skype team meetings over Easter, the setting of the scenario changed: they could be stargazing from ruins on a high hill overlooking the city instead of their balcony. I did some pre-vis for what a parallax of this could look like in after effects.

Pre-vis camera 01

Pre-vis Camera 02

These were obviously done very quickly without any clean-up. I just wanted to get our idea in motion quickly for discussion and development. This was also the first week that I finally bought a subscription to the entire of creative cloud instead of just Photoshop by itself so it was like Christmas (at Easter) for me!:D No more relying on expired free trials for me.

Later in week 09:

I then developed some thumbnails to see if I could make a more interesting composition. I had started by doing my usual mix of blended values but then I thought back to Eytan Zana’s tutorial, blogged about in Eytan Zana Graphic Compositions, in which he builds compositions with hard edged shapes and textures. I found that I liked this way for simplifying the composition so as to see if it worked. I quite liked the thumbnail where they were sitting on a dolmen at an angle and surrounded by rock silhouetes so I went with this one. I think that starting traditionally in my sketchbook helped me gather my thoughts and momentum for theses thumbnails.

Sorcha suggested changing the silhouettes of William and Julie in the first image below which was a good call. We also discussed if the composition would be stronger without William pointing away from the focal point with his arm. I had tried to plan the flow so that it all came back to Julie and William but I did a quick trial of William’s arm down just to see the comparison. We decided that the arm pointing seemed to work okay.

When painting this, I tried to take influences from the different art styles that we had looked at so as to produce a more unique style for 10 Songs (temporary title of game). I was trying to emulate Pascal Campion and Jeremy Mann’s looser impressionistic styles for the foreground/background environment. Clearly I need to practice light catching and sub surface scattering on clouds. I purposefully left the lines on the characters so as to test if simple graphic characters with lines could work within a loosely painted environment. These could be developed further to have the line quality that we admired in Moebius’ and Josan’s (The Future is Now) work. I have blogged about examples of these artists’ works in Style Inspiration.

Once the planning of this pieces’ composition was complete, it only took me one day to research colour palettes and paint it. Looking at the amount of pain I had with the ‘office stress’ concept, I think that knowing when more initial planning and studies is needed for a piece before committing is important. Even so, a day for painting a concept might seem long in some situations so making this workflow more efficient is something to aim for. Making smaller circles.

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