Choosing a scene is the most important creative decision to make in this project- we need a scene complex enough to be interesting but not one that would absorb all our triangles or time. To compensate for this we wanted a scene that had incredible presence and mood, with interesting light and composition. With this in mind we made individual random mood boards that we then brought back together for discussion. We discussed how we felt about anime or cartoon rooms as some of them had interesting light and shape, but eventually decided we wanted to air on the side of realism. We made this decision because we didn't want to put something that had already been stylized and put in engine back into engine. We also felt the scene that left more overall impact while still being feasible were the realistic ones.
Once we narrowed our choices the one that stood out was a shot form ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ that I found, we felt it had an interesting challenge with the grids and the light shafts, as well as interesting texture potential and a shot that leads you to a solid focal point of the scene. The beams frame the light in the middle and we felt this would make for an aesthetically pleasing scene. With this in mind we presented our idea to the 'dragons den' and were advised to reconsider based on the bland brown colour palate. We felt the texture and lighting were enough to make the scene stand out however soon resigned back to our search that combined what we liked from Guardians and a scene with an interesting colour palette.
It was an important point that was made though, when we reflected on our original moodboards, they truly were overwhelming brown and dull. They had interesting compositions, sure- but did they stand out? Not really, not in the way we needed our scene to stand out. We were advised to look at influential artistic movies from the past like Space Odyssey, that was simple yet effective because of its contrasting colours. Also to disregard any personal attachment we had to the moves themselves, and look at them purely objectively and expand our search to movies we hadn't heard of/seen, or even considered watching before.
Once we began searching again it was a far more arduous process and we looked specifically for bright and colourful palettes. The problem we had is while these scenes hit the criteria of an interesting shot, we didn't really like them, and often the colours were abrasive and unpleasant so we continued to cycle through.
We originally got to the point where we were choosing between two scenes:
Both of these scenes were solid choices- once was hindered by over complication and the other by simplicity- we had just come to the decision to do the one on the left, when I stumbled upon our Star Wars scene, it had the style and character of a retro bar but with the sci-fi chrome textures and lights that I love so much. It was oozing with potential and there was enough individual assets to slate the needs of six ambitious group members. We returned to the 'dragons den' with our scene, armed with colour picks and grey scale studies. We felt it was the strongest scene we’d found that had exactly what we needed. The colours and lights kept the scene bright and interesting enough without dominating it. Another beauty of our scene is it uses so many repeated and instanced models which means our scene has the potential to look far larger and complex than our other choices. We knew the scene would be challenging but were more than prepared to tackle it regardless, the ‘difficulties’ simply served as an excellent opportunity to learn new technical engine skills.
To our enormous relief- the choice was approved and with apprehensive optimism, we move onto the next step.