After breaking up the film into aspects I could pursue, I was keen to get started on the concept focusing around the Rubik Cube-like objects that form the space ship.
My thoughts were seeded from the notion of, thousands of squares coming together to make something.
Below is the process I went through to get to a final 2 designs.
I Begun by looking at an image of the actual cubes used in the film and drawing a 2D version out. The idea is to create hundreds of these, a variety of colours, to create the face of the Joel Courtney.
I created a small squared grid over an image of Joel- the squares were the above image. But there were loads of issues with this technique:
- Too Many squares to colour; 22 squares inside one big square.
- To see the detail in each square, they had to be quite large- this made it hard to get have the colours flow.
- Smaller squares meant that you could get more detail but because of the squares within squares, within squares, within squares, there were too many lines- resulting in a blob with no colour. The colours were merging with black outlines, causing a draining of colours.
To solve this I had to scrap the idea of the actual movie cube.
A better technique was in the shadow of pixels. I literally made a grid over the face of Joel.
Next I chose a selection of colours from different areas of Joel (hair, skin, lips, eyes, clothes) and put them into a grid at the side. The plan is to make a selection of squares and scan over to the colour swatch I’ve made. I want to use as much detail as possible so that the image still looks real and, in a sense, high definition- I say this because, if alien squares were making this they would be really crisp and detailed.
I want it to have this detail but use no more than the 24 colours I have chosen, so that it looks prosthetic at the same time.
Colouring the squares was a tediously dull process but I soon picked up a pace and begun to see how it might look when I am finished.
After 2 days of on-and-off attention, I finished pixelating Joel’s face, removed the empty squares, added a cutting effect around the base of his body and, from this effect, worked the words “Super 8” into the design:
First of all I went for a 1979-style wallpaper [“TilesOrnate0145” by Jonas De Ro @ CGtextures.com] and I’m undecided to whether it works well or not, it seems too busy. I’ve always had the mindset “if you’re unsure on something in design, there’s obviously something that’s not working.”
So for the next design, I simplified the background, making it far less chaotic. I also drew up some 3D cubes and placed them behind Joel, I copied them several times and placed them behind with lowered opacity to create an onion skin effect/motion.
I like this design because the cubes add a little more clarity to why he is made of squares and it looks neat.
The success of one simplification lead me down the road of more and more. The last two designs are more basic than the last.
The first has the cubes removed- I just wanted to see how it would work on it’s own. I think it looks as good, definitely no better. The only concern is the clarity of why he is made of squares, but am I required to spoon feed the concept??
Lastly I just removed all colour and gradient from the background. I can’t place my finger on why I like this one so much, but there is something about it that is really slick.
In conclusion of this process and the design it resulted in, I think that because of a busy image the background should act as a neutral bedding for it. It’s far easier on the eyes and there’s no distractions from the idea behind it.
I’m happy with how the first design didn’t work (or at least that I noticed it had flaws) because this was such a slow process, had I got to the end and then realised that all the squares made for an ultimately rubbish image I think I would have just chucked this idea away.