The Design department is responsible for developing and implementing the look and style of each film. This is a ridiculously painstaking task since each of our films has its own particular look and the design of every character, set, and prop needs to be developed from scratch.
The Design team is led by the Art Director, works closely with the Director to oversee the look of that film, including a color palette that supports the action and emotional tone of every sequence of the film. Art Directors are a unique brand of meticulous and troubled soul. Yes, they're visionary, battle-hardened illustrators - but their real power comes from meticulous stubbornness.
Here are the kinds of things the Design team has to reckon with every day:
Some of the team is responsible for actually designing all characters in the film’s cast from concept drawings, character expressions and technical details. Many many beautiful drawings are killed along the way.
Would you believe that sculptors create both clay and early digital maquettes of the characters, key set pieces and even some of the important props? They start from the approved drawings and bring the concept art to life by testing the design work in three dimensions. The filmmakers and other departments learn a ton from these sculpts.
From vast landscapes to the smallest props, set designers develop concept sketches and comprehensive plan view and camera view drawings, which define every detail of our film’s environments.
Color Designers provide a concept for the film’s color and textural palette by creating concept paintings, color keys, and character paintings. These include everything from the overall color script for the film, to the lighting and color design for each sequence, as well as the color and texture design concepts for the characters and sets.
The Previs department takes the first crack at interpreting the two-dimensional storyboards and designs, converting them into rough three-dimensional sets and sequences - allowing the Director, Director of Photography and Art Director to visualize the film as early as possible and make changes on-the-fly.
The Previs artist is a highly talented and efficient jack-of-all-trades. Their daily duties involve modeling, rigging, character and camera placement and animation, materials, lighting and fx work. Their noble vigilance and forward-thinking create a ripple effect, allowing the production to pre-visualize potential problems. Most Previs artists are, however, not actually psychically enabled.