From the beginning of the project, we knew that we wanted our scene to take place in a dusty attic- stuffed to the gills with old clutter, boxes and furniture.
The idea was that a little boy had grown up in the house, and all of his old toys were packed away with the Christmas decorations and other pieces that might hint to his personality. Later on in the modelling process, I came up with the idea that the boy needed a hobby; something that would really define him. This gives the room itself a personality, and invites the audience to learn more. We plan to have a defining opening shot, where we get a real sense of space and time in the attic, as well as an insight into it’s owners. We decided that he would have an interest in space, so as you look around our final room design, you can see various toys and objects that hint to this…A telescope, A table of Astronomy books, toy rockets, a solar system mobile, as well as crayon drawings of aliens and spaceships on the toy box (young graffiti artist).
In terms of time, we wanted our scene to take place at night. This gives it that ‘blanketed’ feel, where the toys are partying in secret, away from the preying eyes of humans. It also creates a peace that can be interrupted up the disco lights and music. The dust in our room will feel stagnant until the music starts, and it begins to flow and bounce again…Just like the memories of the little boy.
Lighting wise, our room will be flooded by moonlight from a skylight, which casts a spotlight upon the toy box, illuminating it and drawing the audiences eye to the right place. There will also be light from below, coming from the closing trap door. This will be blocked out, plunging the attic into darkness. The box itself will have its multicoloured disco lights, which reflect off various glass/reflective objects in the room. We did initially have a lightbulb that turned off as well…however given render time, we have decided to leave that out.
At this stage, we were so keen to get into modelling that we looked more to research for an aesthetic instead of creating much concept art…However this is something I would like to do as a summer project.
The Little Prince
Both Clare and I had watched ‘The Little Prince‘ and took great inspiration from it’s beautiful scene in the aviators house. The light and atmosphere in the room really make you feel what it must be like to be there…dusty and warm. The camera angles are stunning, and often come from through or behind other objects, really adding to the cluttered and haphazard feeling. They often frame the scene with objects in shadow, to give the feeling of a small, confined space full of treasure.
Unfortunately, with such a short time frame to get the story across, we couldn’t be as adventurous with artsy camera angles as we would have liked…Again, an activity for a rainy day over summer! I would love for our attic to be just as cluttered as this room, just with slightly more muted colours (for night time).
Later in the process, Clare and I worked on creating moonlight for our scene, to give the effect of shafts of light pouring into the room. It was an extremely long and tedious process to work with all of the light settings without having been taught much on this topic. Most of the tutorials online were quite old and didn’t quite have the look we were going for…so it was a matter of a lot of trial and error! This also included working with fog densities and atmosphere in the room, which was another learning curve!
Another film we took a lot of inspiration from was Pixar’s UP. It’s melancholic colour palette in the scene we were looking at was far more in line with our own, and the scenes had a lovely exaggerated style to them. Many of the objects (like Ellie’s chair) are exaggerated in order to reflect the owner. Ellie and Carl’s chairs look like chair versions of them! We loved that each item in their room had a specific story behind it.
The Box Trolls
I’m just going to put it out there… I haven’t actually seen ‘The Box Trolls’. However I remembered the ad from years ago, and had always loved the style of Laika productions. It instantly came to mind when I started thinking about the colour and style of our animation. After seeing the beautiful textures and painted sets of ‘The Box Trolls’ the whole team had decided that we wanted to give the scene a ‘handcrafted’ kind of feel…with lots of rich textures and colours.