Art Direction

So far we’ve been so focused on story that our art hasn’t been tailored into a single style yet. I tried putting some slides together to get a better idea of what elements make a style.

Google Slides – Rendering and Shape Styles

For materials and rendering, realistic materials and fur can look stunning but it’s not what we want for our short. Instead we like when there is still a feeling of illustration in the materials and backgrounds such as in Avocado Man (2017) and Caldera (2012). We also like the quality of light in these.


For shape design, we like shapes that lie somewhere in the middle of hyper realistic and pure abstraction. We like the simplified units for fur and feathers in Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) and the simplified shapes used for backgrounds in Mikael Gustafsson’s renders.


Mike made good points with regards to our ideas for making fur on our creatures.

  • will it be distracting?
  • what does it look like when it moves?
  • is it achievable within the time that we have?

The art direction in Samurai Jack is inspirational.

“No green grass and no blue skies. Everything has to be special, everything has to have a point of view….If you saw a background from it, a frame, it can only be Samurai Jack.”

As much as realistic materials on cartoony shapes is beautiful, it’s art direction like this really makes me want to aim for something more unique. Tartakovsky’s Hotel Tranylvania (2012) didn’t impress me half as much (just talking about art direction) so I’m wondering how we can bring this level of artistry to 3D.


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