Ex­pand­ing a film uni­verse

Jolyon Mel­drum ap­plies his sto­ry­telling skills to the Planet of the Apes films, us­ing 2D and 3D to cre­ate an at­mo­spheric scene

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Issue 142 Christmas 2016 -

Jolyon Mel­drum adds his story to Planet of the Apes.

After see­ing the rich, vis­ual world in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I was in­spired to build on it and cre­ate my own nar­ra­tive arc, test­ing out new tech­niques to add to my pro­duc­tion pipe­line.

The handy thing about cre­at­ing your own brief is that you can un­shackle your­self from lim­i­ta­tions and re­ally fo­cus your imag­i­na­tion. Here, I wanted to show what the world might look like years after the simian virus rav­aged hu­man­ity. I was keen to cre­ate a char­ac­ter from scratch, so I had an ape scout sift­ing through the rem­nants of our world for am­mu­ni­tion and sup­plies. Hu­mans are long gone and na­ture is slowly re­claim­ing the world.

This nar­ra­tive en­ables me to ex­plore a few matte paint­ing tech­niques. These range from paint­ing light, fur and back­ground ele­ments with cus­tom brushes in Pho­to­shop, to pho­to­bash­ing the scout’s ac­ces­sories. Authen­tic­ity is key, so it’s im­por­tant to scope the de­tails of your imag­i­nary world. To en­hance the scene, I de­signed graf­fiti to give the viewer nar­ra­tive cues. I also used 3D (V-Ray) to ex­plore light­ing for the scene, which is a vi­tal skill for artists want­ing to work in the film and TV in­dus­tries.

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