Episode 2 – Art direction (Dev Diary: A Giant Mistake)
For the second part of this developer’s diary on our virtual reality experience A Giant Mistake, we’ll talk about art, with our talented art director, Daniel Balage. Here’s his take on the project:
“The idea seemed downright appealing, with that giant and that “little one”. VR felt quite challenging, especially since the schedule was quite tight: the experience had to be ready for the Annecy Animation Festival. The design of the giant, done with Alec Veniel, is in the spirit of Miyazaki’s animated movies.
We had a brainstorming with the whole team. We decided the type of environments we wanted to have, and I listened to the input of the team before getting to the point of production. I have been the catalyst of this whole process, and it was quite precise: the moments where the script would go forward, the giant would spin towards the player, where there would be words, were all set. After all, the story is straightforward and quite linear.
The main technical difficulty was creating a 360-degrees storyboard. This could have been a problem; you are limited in terms of cinematography, and you may not exactly design the view the audience has. Since the viewer has full control over the view and you still need to maintain their attention, you need to rely on tricks and design the storyboard differently.
Directing the viewer’s gaze is done with the use of specific lighting, sound. You can design points of interest in the distance, or even less appealing views if you don’t want the viewer’s gaze to dwell on certain parts of the background. For example, we made the horizon a bit brighter than the rest of the sky to make the viewer focus there. Generally, we use all these means at the same time to ensure the audience experiences what they should. No one should be staring at some leaves rustling in the wind when something more important happens.”
A Giant Mistake is 100 % produced by the studio. Learn more about it here.