Thursday, 5 September 2013

Set Design- Post 4

Following on from my previous post where I had begun to develop my design ideas, my final post shows the in depth development of those ideas.

The most important aspect of the Tooth Palace set are the architectural structures, they make up the entire identity of the Tooth Palace, turning it from just a cave to a magical palace. With that in mind, I paid most of my attention to the structures of my own set, trying to make sure they not only serve their vital functions but also keep the character of the original structures.

It was at this point that I was rapidly running out of time before my deadline, I tried to finish everything as best as I could but there are some obvious dead ends to the work; I am particularly disappointed that I ran out of time before I could produce some final paintings of my set working as a whole.
I have considered finishing the project in my own time for the sake of my portfolio, but when I think about the project as a whole, I achieved a lot of my aims for the project and I feel that I must keep looking forward and concentrate on my final year of university.


As the workers drive the design of the hatchery set, it was important to me that I pin down their design. During my early research I discovered the Pangolin, a creature native to the Huang Shan Mountains. I thought this creature would be an excellent basis for my Hatchery Workers as it had a lot of functionality that the workers could use and its scales reminded me of the gold leaf texture found in the Tooth Palace. When developing the workers I used the Pangolin as the main inspiration but I created the actual body of my Workers by splicing a number of different animal skeletons together to create the shape I wanted. Aside from functionality, my main aim with their design was to make them relatable to the Mini-Fairies and the Tooth Fairy through various similar visual features.


Sorting Room:

Hatching Zone:

Planting Area:

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Set Design- Post 3

Following on from my previous post where I explored some initial design ideas, todays post shows the further development of ideas. 

I applied the principle of ‘contrast as a design tool’ used by architects to come up with various ‘zones’ that will each deal with a different stage of the life cycle. Each zone will have its own individual look but they will all be linked through various common features that run through the whole set.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Set Design- Post 2

Following my previous post where I explored various sources of inspiration, this post displays the initial results of that research. 

It was a gradual but eventual decision that the Mini-Fairies would be hatched from eggs that are the (magically) developed teeth of deceased children who never unlocked the childhood memories that their teeth contain. Though it sounds rather morbid, the idea came from wanting to keep the theme of the original film which is that the children themselves are the guardians of magic and wonder, so in death a child can still give back to the guardians by using the magic of their childhood memories to create a Mini-Fairy who will then continue to serve the children of the world.

Set Design- Post 1

Here is the long awaited work from my Set Design module. I experienced some personal difficulties during the time of the module which resulted in me doing a re-sit via Extenuating Circumstances so I have been working on it throughout the summer. Despite the delay, I'm glad to say that I gained a lot of confidence and learned a lot from this module, and I am pleased to finally be able to present it to you.

The aim of the Set Design module was to choose a set from an existing film or game, and then design an extension of the set that looks convincingly like a part of the original whilst also having its own flare.

The set I chose to base my project on was the Tooth Palace from 'Rise of the Guardians', which is a Dreamworks animated film. I chose this particular film because I loved the incredibly unique reimagining of the iconic childhood figures (Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy etc.) and how they operate, and animated features are what I dream of working on some day. I also felt that the imagination behind the film was very similar to my own and so this was an obvious choice.

For my set, I wanted to explore how Mini Fairies (which are the Tooth Fairy's little workers) come into being, and so my set proposal was a Mini Fairy Hatchery.

Over the next week, I shall post about the different aspects of my project, showing the work and development of each stage; today I shall show you the initial questions and research that led to the preliminary designs and ideas.

The following pages are a selection of the moodboards I created when carrying out my initial research for the project:


To start, I brainstormed my hatchery idea, trying to think of the components that would make it up and what other elements might impact on the design.

Tooth Palace (all images are copyright to Dreamworks Animation Studio):

To begin my research, I looked to ‘The Art of Rise of the Guardians’ (the film’s official art book) in order to get a glimpse into the thoughts and inspirations of the film’s production team.

Architecture & Structures:

From looking at the Rise of the Guardians art book, I found that many key influences for the Tooth Palace architecture came from Hindu and Buddhist culture. I also found that the root of the design seemed to be based on a natural structure (ie. Stalactites) and the man made influence defined the surface structure (ie. The tooth drawer slots that create the detailed and uniform grooves in the body of the stalactite structure ).



In my brainstorm I also considered the workers of the Hatchery and how they would impact on the design. I wanted to create a creature that was different to the Tooth Fairies but was linkable to the Tooth Fairy and the Tooth Palace.