Monday, 22 November 2010

Tree and Treehouse Development

I went away after we talked about the tree shapes and designs to try to figure out some more ideas which may be a lot more practical for us. The thing that I have to keep in mind is that the tree and the treehouse are only going to be seen in the opening shot for approximately 5 seconds, so I need to make sure that I dont focus too much time on this one design as I need to start conceptualizing the interior of the treehouse as well so I can start modelling it all as soon as possible. Below are some more coloured sketches which show more detail in terms of the tree and and the possible exterior design of the treehouse itself.
I wanted to give the tree a really curvey and organic look to help emphasise the natural element in the film, I felt this would be important because the whole animation excluding the short establishing shot takes place inside the treehouse which is filled primarily with sharp straight edges everywhere because of the woodplanks and most of the props; so for the first 5 seconds I want to push the organic feeling of the tree to it's absolute max to help make sure that it doesn't look like a boring straight standing tree with no life or character to it. The actual treehouse in this image has quite a refined ornate design which gives it a more girly look to the design to show that it isn't just a rough, boys-only treehouse, but almost like a friendly home/playhouse for the girl to spend her time in. Also note how the tree trunk is broken through the treehouse, this is a feature that we have all agreed that we want to include in the design, this is so that the feature of the tree is present throughout the whole animation rather than being in it for just a few seconds and then forgotten.

You can also see the shape of the treehouse is very warped and curved, this is an idea that we discussed so that the architecture almost matches the extreme exaggeration of the tree, however the curves of the treehouse in these images are a little too much and as a group it was decided that it should be toned down a little bit so that it's not too "in your face".

Access to the treehouse is important, there has to be a way for the character to enter the location, even if we don't see her actually do it, the reason for this is to add credibility and accuracy to the scene. I've tried a rope ladder in these images but I later suggested earlier today that a sturdy wooden ladder might be more appropriate and show a better sense of safety for the girl Summer as she is only a little girl and should be in a safe environment; this means that a railing of some sort needs to be added around the treehouse so that there is no risk of falling off.

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