3d Projection Concept Art

Recently I did some concept art for an ‘urban fantasy’ that was in the beginning stages of development and in need of some brainstorming.
 
One of the concerns was budget (practically nonexistent). The filmmakers wanted to achieve a reasonable scale to the production without the accompanying costs. Part of my job was developing a look to the film that considered both the aspirations of the director and the practical constraints of the shoot (i.e. time, safety, crew size, logistics, permissions, money).
 
One of the key visuals of the film would involve a transition — or more aptly, a transformation — between a gritty urban reality and an ethereal fairyland. The idea was that during the transformation, objects and architecture in the real world would morph into a corresponding fantasy-world element… 
 
Something like this:
 
 
For the project, I prepared three concept panels — with a few variations of each — visualizing three key locations.
 
The first was a dockyard scene:
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That sketch became the basis for a couple full-color concept paintings:
 
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Another shot. Interior. Seedy DTES Vancouver hotel room:
 
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And in colour:
 
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Of the three, the most important shot was this alleyway, which would serve to test visual possibilities for the transition from the real world to the fantasy one.
 
First, the real-world alley, painted in Photoshop:
 
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And then the fantasy world:
 
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Or this:
 
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Or … maybe like this?
 
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Set-dressing a real alleyway like this would be out of the question, so the question arose about whether it would be feasible to augment the practical alley set with virtual fantasy elements. Painted or computer-generated set extensions are possible on a budget, but like any visual effect, they are time and labour-intensive. I tried to explore different depths of fantasy, from a few forested backdrops and some ground-cover, to an entirely enveloped world.
 
For the sake of demonstration, I chose one of these and, using the same projection-mapping technique I spoke about here and here, I made a quick 3d mockup of the set(s) and animated a short camera move to show how the two worlds fit together.
 
This is the part where you scroll back up to the top of the post to watch the video again….
 
Neat, huh?

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