We had our third team meeting this last weekend, things are still happening. I skipped last week’s update because there wasn’t really anything cool to talk about, but again, work isn’t always that glamourous.
This is the team, meeting at my apartment. Exciting, right?
In addition to the storyboards, we are pushing this month to work on getting No Man’s Land relatively designed. For that purpose, I spent this morning laying out som quick pre-vis 3D renders in Vue. I LOVE Vue, you can get a full version for free, and all it does is watermark, which doesn’t matter at all for the stuff I use it for.
With a little setup, I can push out dozens of these renders a day, and they take the place of thumbnails for idea generation.
Another productive week, this time focusing on what we want the technology to look like. We know that the film will be vaguely “World War I” levels of technology, but with magic, so really, the sky is the limit. By saying WWI, we’re trying to give it a design language that will be familiar to viewers, but when you get down to details, that could be anything from horse-drawn wagons to tanks, or blimps to airplanes.
There’s an airship of some sort in the movie, and Robin and I spent some time this week trying to nail down exactly what that means. Initially, we were thinking some sort of dirigible, but now we are leaning to a more fantastic, huge bi-plane - less realistic to the era, but more fun to put into a cartoon with flying assassins and giant golems.
With the airship designed, the other technological elements become easier, as they will be variations or reactions to things that have already been decided on.
Man, I was hoping when I started these that I would have something amazing to say every week that would blow people away with my perspective and growth on the subject….
Not happening this week.
Work has continued. Sinan has been kicking ass with storyboarding out a rough pass, and the rest of us have been working on designs for environments, vehicles and characters….but nothing earth shattering this week. People are engaged and we are moving forward, so this is a case of no news is good news :)
Man, I can't really believe I haven't featured Wyeth yet, but according to my google search, I have not. He was a student of Howard Pyle, and created over 3000 paintings and illustrations in his lifetime. I remember him from my childhood for Treasure Island, King Arthur and Robin Hood.
Things are going really well! We had our second monthly team meeting yesterday, and laid out the next month’s objectives. Our goal is to get rough storyboards in place by March, and to start narrowing down character and vehicle designs. We’re going to be looking at 6 or so animations that we find inspirational, and making our characters in those styles. Hopefully that will give some baselines we can use to pick final canon of proportions and rendering styles.
When I first started thinking about becoming a painter, I watched today’s artist's Gnomon DVD, and it changed my life. It first made me realize this was possible, and then it quickly made me realize it was nowhere near as easy as he made it look :)
Last weekend I saw him speak at Schoolism Live in Austin, and it was a tremendously rewarding experience. If I ever get the chance to work with David on a project, it will definitely be one off my bucket list.
I didn’t get much done myself this week, although the rest of the team has been busy making designs for characters and vehicles, and creating storyboards. I’ve been in Austin, TX at Schoolism Live, listening to David Levy and Nathan Fowkes talk about designing worlds…and you can be damn sure I was taking notes for this project.
Figured I’d take this time to introduce the team as it stands right now.
For the success of the project, I really wanted to have someone like Robin to make sure I didn’t get tunnel vision. Robin recently finished art directing the video game “Citizens of Earth”, and he is a fantastic artist as well as one of my closest friends….he’s also not afraid to argue with me when he disagrees, which is critical to this sort of project.
Seth Rutledge is a visual developer and concept artist for the animation and video game industries, a photographer and a coffee snob living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Before he discovered illustration, he received a CSCI/Math degree from UNC-Charlotte, and has lived and worked all over the United States and Canada. He has run marathons, taught English in Japan, been CTO for a pharma marketing company and done fashion photography in NYC. Seth has two albums he wrote and played keyboards on, and he plays the theramin whenever he gets the chance. Seth spends so much time in coffee shops drawing that he is mentioned in online reviews. He would love a career drawing elves and goblins for a living.