There are several locations in which the action takes place, and each of them was designed and painted in Adobe Photoshop. This was the part of production which took me the most time, and from which I learned quite a lot as well, as I have never done a fully coloured, finished background before this project.
I wanted the short to be very colourful and have a nice atmosphere, so I spent quite a lot of time trying to get the colours right. Each shot was sketched out in the animatic of the film, then a black-and white layout version was made, and finally, the final coloured background was painted on top of it.
After that, the shot was composed in Adobe After Effects, and some small effects like smoke, light and shadow were added to enhance the visuals.What follows are several of the backgrounds I created for “Small and Big’, establishing the main locations that the short film takes place.
Intro shot final composite:
One of the fist establishing shots of the film, starting with the final composite, the Adobe Photoshop painting and finally – the layout. This shot shows the small village where the story takes place, and the homes of the 3 main characters – the Small guy, the Big guy and the Old guy. The story is set in the beginning of the century, before electricity was widely used, so the village is suppose to have a very rural feel to it. The Big guy’s shop was designed to appear as the newest building in the village, and so it doesn’t quite fit in with the other older looking brick – and – straw buildings.
Second establishing, again, starting with the final composite, followed by the Adobe Photoshop painting and finally – the original, black and white layout sketch. This shots presents the shops of the 2 main characters, which were designed to resemble the characters themself, and to establish the opposing philosophies and origins of the 2 characters. The Big guy’s shop is more modern, using electricity, brightly coloured and build with new materials, while the small guy’s shop is very old-fashioned, closer to earth in colouring and relying on a furnace and chimney.
The shop of the small character, Photoshop painting followed by layout sketch. This shop is build out ot natural materials, since the character lived in the small village all his life. Since he doesn’t have electricity, he has to rely on old-fashioned methods of providing light, like the old gas lamp.
The shop of the big character, painting and layout. The Big character is a more modern type of person, and is wealthier than the Small one. His shop has electricity and is brightly coloured, opposing to the warmer, more natural colours of the small guy’s shop.