There is not much to share with you this week so we thought you might like a first pass at the title scene… enjoy!
Last week we showed you a few of our concept sketches from Gran’s kitchen. This week we wanted to show you some concept art of the outside of her house – where Pete runs to get help. Although we have a lot of the village designed and made in 3D aleady, Gran’s house is going to be ever so slightly different – more welcoming and homely, with a few more ‘props’ needed.
It has been a while since we were at the sketching stage, but now that the assets and environments from the first half of the film are well under way, we decided to revisit the locations not seen until the end of the film – Granny’s kitchen and the outside of her house.
The village sign is a prop that we had been debating for some time… did we really need it? As the Beastie makes the journey from his cave to the village we needed to show a point at which he had reached the edge of the village, to show that danger to the children was imminent. Plus, as we still were not showing the Beastie’s body at this stage, we wanted to use his shadow to engulf the sign as he approached.
In the end, we decided that we wanted to keep this element, and the sign carried on going through some changes. We used the village name ‘Tuffles’ as a placeholder in the beginning, but we all hated it by this point, and decided that the village doesn’t need a name, so decided to drop it for the simple ‘Welcome’ message.
In this post we want to show you how not every idea that is pitched at the storyboard stage makes it into the final film – in this case it is the deleted snowball fight opening shot. Below are some shots and thumbnail sketches from this sequence:
The idea was to have a long sequence where we would introduce the children and show them having fun, before they got scared. Apart from the introductory nature, we also wanted to emphsise the big brother/young brother relationship between Clyde and Pete. By showing Clyde as the stronger, older brother, when Pete saves the day later on it would re-inforce the ‘young-brother-comes-good’ moment.
The wallpapers and colours have been decided on and we can now show our final style frames from the downstairs room of the children’s house. Don’t forget, the action takes place at night, so the night frame at the bottom is much closer to the atmosphere we will be creating.
The Fearsome Beastie’s cave is one of striking images from the book, and a scene that we were relishing getting stuck into in the film! But it wasn’t only the cave that excited us – the trees, woods and screnery that surround the cave (and that Beastie would have to traverse to reach the town) were environments we could really be creative with. These 2 images are concept designs of the trees and atmosphere, very much when we were still seeing things in 2D:
The last time we showed the house, it was much more blocky and square, and was a much simpler, white 3D model. Since then we have done further refining, colour tests and have fully textured everything. This is a bit of a summary post, as we don’t have a lot of visuals from the texturing process, but we hope you can see how the house progressed from half colour tests to final texture:
After the downstairs room had been modeled in 3D and basic colours had been decided on, there was still a lot of thought given to the details and how the colours would balance with patterns. Katie and Jon wanted the children’s house to feel cosy, loved, and lived in, and for this they chose warm reds and pinks, a lot of photos, and a slight worn texture to everything. We wanted to show you a few variations from the many experiments we did with wallpaper, colour and textures.
If you’ve been enjoying seeing the characters and environment come together, then this post may not be the most exciting of them all! As important as the large environments are, such as the houses, cave and interior sets, every small detail and prop must be designed, thought out and fit in with the world. Below are a selection of smaller, background props that make up the village scene.