Animal Logic, Warner Bros Animation (2022)
This wonderful film was a marathon for me. Over 3 years at Animal Logic Vancouver, I was part of 2 departments, working on design and artviz in the Art Department, then transitioning into shot production in DMP, spanning the entire schedule of the production. I learned a lot while working end-to-end on this high-end animated feature. Throw in a pandemic and the quick shift to remote work, and this was a very memorable show.
*Update coming soon with Art Dept work. For the moment, all images are final shots from the film.*
The biggest challenge was figuring out the scale and layout of the city of Metropolis. Whether we were up in the sky with the Justice League, or down low with our furry heroes, it needed to feel grand, vertical, aspirational, and endless. Interpreting Ryan Carlson’s beautiful concept sketches, with asymmetry and characterization part of the design language, meant that no two sides of a building were similar, and clusters of buildings didn’t follow a usual city grid.
This was especially true with Lex Tower and Daily Square, my main 3D design assignments. Making sure Lex Tower’s distinctive silhouette dominated an already vertical city skyline, while incorporating a multi-use rooftop, a suspended park, and a rocket (spoiler alert), meant the overall scale of the building was massive: 1.8km high! In another part of the city, Daily Square’s asymmetrical roadmap with the variety of building styles, raised-rail, and hand-built, crafted signage integrated throughout, made it a very complicated layout. I love the end result. It feels lived in with a sense of history, with interesting views at every angle.
DMP: Coming Full Circle
Once the Art Department was starting to wind down, I transitioned over to DMP. I had some experience in DMP in the past, but nothing at the level of this film. I was really excited for the new challenge, and it really gave me a second wind on the project after a year and a half in Art. This boost of energy was needed, as this was Spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had begun, and we had just made the sudden transition to working from home. Adjusting to a new team and a new reality, I was tasked largely with Metropolis city extensions, building off my work in Art and bringing it full circle from design to finished shots.
The other big set of shots I worked on where the wide shots of Krypton as baby Kal-L’s spaceship leaves the crumbling planet. These shots had a 3D base, but were largely created in DMP.
I’m very proud of how the city looks in the film. After years of design iterations by the Art and Assets teams, I feel strongly that we matched the energy, look, and classic feel of our early concept paintings. It shows influence from golden era DC comics and classic art deco, while being something entirely unique within the DC universe.