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
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.