Now that the designs for the characters are more or less finished, I've decided to start working on the locations and background art. Since this is a stop motion film, all the backgrounds will at some point have to be built as 3D sets, so it's important that I take into consideration how the final set will be constructed from the 2D designs. The staging is very important and I must be careful not to design anything that will be too difficult to build, or go too crazy with the number of locations. However, I don't won't to restrict the design too much or the film will suffer. There are shots and locations in the film that would be extremely difficult to build as a full set (unless I was working with a large budget...which I'm not.) So instead I'll be using green screen techniques to extend certain sets, making the world in my animation seem that little bit bigger.
Here some story board panels featuring two set locations we've been working on.
I decided to make some rough tests of the two locations to get an idea of the lighting/colour schemes to suggest how the sets might appear on screen.
The stage door/alley way was designed to contrast the glamorous theatre front and interior. The film takes place just before 7pm so the sun would be setting. The alleyway is dark and filled with trash cans and garbage bags partially lit by the single light over the stage door.
Here are the rough background colour designs with the final character designs. The backgrounds are too abstract to represent a proper in situ shot, instead these images are just to get an idea of how the colours work with the characters.