Starting in december 2015, I've been working on and off (when I have some free time that is) on a short animation. The main goal was to come up with a full environment design set in a close dystopian future, that would look like a distorted version of the Parisian suburbs I grew up in.
It was a good excuse for me to play with architectural features I like, but cannot use enough in the stuff we do day to day at the studio: mosaic murals, waffle ceilings, big fat concrete ramps, just to name a few. All related to brutalism and/or soviet era architecture.
I needed also a ground to play with some mechanical designs I made and had laying around for a while that wouldnt fit into any of the stuff I was doing commercially.
So here's a rough chronology of what I've been up to so far, and this will be (hopefully) updated in the next couple of months.
I wont go into the technical process as it's became quite complex over the years, the main softwares I use being layered with more and more specific plugins, and that's just not the point of this page.
I'll talk also later about the story (yes there is one).
So first here are some photographic references I used to setup the urban background, all part of a larger collection (click to enlarge).
I made then a serie of rough illustrations to find the correct balance between vintage, futuristic, gloomy and various feelings I had in mind for the set. It took also a lot of finetuning to find the correct scale beween all the elements that are part of the background composition, and the correct lighting setup (click to enlarge).
The environment is more or less done now as you can see in these general views.
I still have some unresolved issues, for example I havnt quite decided yet if I'll go with a bright background to contrast with the building structures (as seen in the following example), or if I'll keep everything dark to enhance the visibility of the main character (as seen in the rendered teaser next).
Im happy though with the composition of volumes around the plaza, its asymetry, and with the drawing of the main ramps that will host most of the actions later (click to enlarge).
Some of the mechanical designs I also made (click to enlarge).
I made a little teaser to see how the different scales (hero, mechs, buildings) would work together, and to start testing some poses for the main character before animating it more seriously, so far Im happy with the general mood.
And finally I also made a 360 test video (with music by Jérémie Thomas) to test out youtube VR video. If you can watch this video on a tablet or smartphone it's even better.
You can contact me with any questions you might have, please know that the studio page is available here : www.studiocyrillethomas.com