Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Tube Riders: Corridor concept 2

I’ve had a play around with some more renders and colour filters for the corridor as I’m still learning. I felt the other concept wasn’t quite there in regards to detail. There needed to be more detail in the foreground even though the lighting is more subdued and shadowed. It also needed to be sharper because it’s meant to be a clinical space and the slight airbrushed look of previous attempts looked too washed out for the foreground.

My Photoshop  is a basic one so there maybe other options for future renders in a better Photoshop version. For now it does the job. I want to work on improving the lighting and making it more atmospheric. I’ve added a few notes on materials and textures, but will add to this later when I start looking at materials for the entire complex.

anoted render1

Categories: MA project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Tube Riders: Corridor concept

Taking some of the details from my sketchbook I’ve had a go at piecing together a concept for the medical research centre corridor. Starting out in sketch up with a really basic structure, I built up layers of colour, shine on the floor and some basic lighting. I’m not sure whether this is entirely finished as there are a few problem areas to iron out, but it gives a guide to what the mood lighting will be and a rough size. I may add a figure in at a later stage.

Below: From Sketch Up to Photoshop/digital painting.

cropcorridor abc

corridor abc

cor filters1 and lights

Categories: MA project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tube Riders Sketchbook: The reception and levels

I’m continuing with drawing out possible shapes and details for the reception area, incorporating details that I have sourced from my mood boards and getting a clearer idea of what the upper levels might look like.

ind mood

Above: Mood board that shows the architecture of the Lloyd’s building in London with some more industrial additions. These serve to inspire the main reception area and show how height, levels and piping could work in my designs.

Below: Some drawings to show positions of walk ways, pipes etc and some possible window detail. I’ve added a bit of colour on the bottom picture just to get an idea to work from for concepts.

reception int 2



Categories: MA project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tube Riders Sketchbook: Interiors and reception spaces

I have a rough idea of how I want the space to look and feel but I still need to think about height, detail, possible lighting and how it will all fit together. When looking at the industrial spaces of the London stations I was particularly drawn to the idea of light flooding in from above when the character of Clayton walks into the reception. The reception is in the bowels of the building, so to have walkways and windows high above with light flooding downwards would create some interesting lighting and camera angles. It reminded me of the cathedral in Liverpool so I put together a mood board to see if the two spaces would work together as  inspiration for the heart of the building.



The idea of the eye being drawn upwards like in a church could work well. The cathedral is also circular in shape so fits in with my initial ideas.


rec int 2


Above: A rough sketch to show a possible shape to the overall space. Next I will work on some more detail, introducing industrial and clinical elements.

Categories: MA Practical Project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Tube Riders Sketchbook: Huntsmen concepts

I have started working on some visuals for the Huntsmen and have had a play around with laying digital painting over a drawing. The following images show a progression from initial sketchbook through to a more detailed painting.

huntsmen1bhuntsmen 4a

huntsmen 4abheadab

head with words

Categories: MA project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tube Riders Sketchbook: Horror mood boards and ideas

Another selection of concept designs will feature the Huntsmen characters. This is the horror element of the story and they provide various possibilities due to the fact that no Huntsmen needs to be exactly the same. They all have some similar features described in the book such as a dog/wolf like snout, protruding wires, scars, cyborg elements etc. but they can be varied. There are the older models as well as new improved Huntsmen featured throughout the book. In addition to this there are the experimental Huntsmen that were part finished. I will work on a few variations in the sketchbook but settle on one final coloured image that conceptualises the overall look for possible model/mock-up.

horror mood 1

horror mood 2

Above: Two mood boards showing colour inspiration and details that could be used.

Reference for visuals:-

Below: Some early sketch/collage experiments.

horror pic 1

face adapt 3

Above image is a digitally enhanced version of the sketchbook, with some added colour, blending of skin tones etc. This is one idea for the head and face area.

Categories: MA project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tube Riders Sketchbook: Corridors, rooms and lighting for the research centre

My first task is to design the medical research centre that houses various spaces including corridors, a lift, a lab area and an underground arena. I’m starting with the reception area and its walkways, gantries and the corridors leading off. It needs to be clinical and well-kept but I’d like to give it a sense of theatre with some height and levels to create interest. I’m also looking at the idea of introducing some industrial elements inspired the station photos I took in London.  At the moment the colours are going to be whites, muted blues/greens and metallic shades.

Below is a selection of mood board visuals that I used as inspiration.

corridors and stairs1


Sketchbook visuals


Above: an adapted corridor introducing some industrial detailing.


Above: Looking at spaces and shapes of the reception area.


Above: Possible reception design showing desk area and some height and lighting.


Above: layout of ceiling with opening and gantry. This could also be mirrored on the floor as a detail.

Below: A selection of photos showing a scale 1:50 figure on what could be a floor plan or ceiling detail.

DSC00150 DSC00151 DSC00152



The production designer needs to think of not only the general space and how it will be used for filming but also about the detail and materials that it will be made from. It needs to be believable as well as working for the story. Although the book does not mention the dimensions of the space I thought it might be a good idea to play around with the size of the room, maybe to give the impression of height. The reception is situated deep below ground so to show the depth of the complex the character can be shown looking up towards the upper levels.  A shaft of light could originate from some of the upper levels, casting parts of the reception in shadow and soft light. I  also need to look at Post production in regards to creating spaces in science fiction–how much is built and how much is or could be CGI?

Categories: MA project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Creative Quarter Project: Phase 4 (Installation and conclusions)

Monday came and we still had a lot to do. We’d organised for Leanne to pick up the plinth from the hairdressers later that day at the same time as picking up the head. In an hour break early on in the day we painted the plinth so it was ready in time. The rest of the day was spent finishing the hat, securing hair to the back of the head and covering up gaps. Leanne messaged us with a time which was a little earlier than we first anticipated, so it was a rush job to finish on time.

The big worry at this time was the moving of the head. We’d already moved the head without decoration in the lift so knew it would fit, but we had a new problem…moving it with a chicken wire frame and paper mache. In addition to this, it was heavier with all the heads and more fragile. Luckily Leanne turned up with a flat trolley which made it easy to manoeuvre out of the building. The lifting into the van was our biggest worry at that point.

Amazingly we got away with a few scuffs on the paintwork but the heads and acrylic sheeting remained intact. We were given the area just outside the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery and Emma and I were left to fix hat and hair to head while Leanne and the guys went to pick up the plinth.

Overall the installation went well. The head was positioned and screwed to the plinth base.

2014-03-03 15.27.34

2014-03-03 15.28.152014-03-03 15.28.472014-03-03 15.28.59

2014-03-03 15.31.052014-03-03 15.31.19

2014-03-03 15.37.00

The Robin Hood sculpture finished and in position outside the gallery.


Once it was finished we were relatively happy with the overall look. The main problems came with the rush job at the end which resulted in a less than perfect finish to some of the sections of the head. The back of the head was not secured as much as we’d have liked. We had to resort to gaffer tape in some areas which meant the hair was looser than initially designed, so of course over time, there was some hair loss, possibly due to wind or passing crowds. From a distance it had the desired effect. We watched as people walked past and stopped to look while we installed. The face area was visually striking both close up and from a distance. The acrylic worked and the content was interesting. Emma did a stunning job of edging it with the wool and creating an interesting pattern. Had the hair hat been finished on time, we could have finished everything off to higher standard. The back of the head with the hair pieces was visually striking as it did look like a head, though due to time constraints it wasn’t secured well enough. The sculpture did however fulfill the brief in the fact that it was designed largely by the hairdressers, adapted and built by us, finished on time and to budget. The concept of many heads coming together to create it was partially successful and it said something about the hairdressers in the creativity, use of recycled materials and the history/culture of Nottingham which also fulfilled the brief.

It taught us about time management and the need to adapt designs due to budget and practicalities. Design is all about compromise and problem solving and that’s no different whether you work in film, art or theatre.  It’s also about negotiation and communication. I’m happy with the way we handled that side of the project. Between Emma and I we had contact every week with the hairdressers and Leanne from the council. Thankfully we managed our time well enough to allow the time needed at the end to finish the hat for the hairdressers.  It’s important to remember that for future projects. If you are organised and try to finish ahead of schedule it allows for last-minute disasters.

A big thank you goes out to Mick from NTU workshop for sparing his time and space, to NTU and to Leanne.

Categories: projects | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Creative Quarter Project: Phase 3

With the basic structure of the head ready we set about the task of how to fix the heads inside and the shaping of the neck with paper mache.  We collected all the painted heads from the hairdressers and began arranging them in a rough order to work out the internal space. Fixing them in place was going to be a matter of using chicken wire inside to give a surface to fix things to and loops of wire around the necks to secure their positions. The plan was then to work from the inside out, as once the heads were in position we would continue the paper mache over the acrylic sheets when they were fixed in place.

head 2 101

Above image shows the first stage of paper mache. We moulded a wire frame around the plinth to create a neck shape. We then packed the spaces behind with carrier bags to give an extra surface for the paper and glue to fix to and to give the wire frame strength.

The whole week was spent working between the paper mache and the heads. We spoke with the hairdressers and they said that all the hair and wool had been delivered and that they would work on the hat.

hat project 106

Further paper mache work on the neck.

2014-02-25 11.15.24 2014-02-26 13.20.57

2014-02-26 17.03.242014-02-26 13.21.10

The above images show the progression of head display. Rather than making the heads uniform, we opted for angles and upside down to create visual interest and to make it look as though they we just thrown in. The spaces were then filled in with black weed guard to hide the wire and block out fixtures. We also decided on placing relevant props here and there to tie in the hairdressing theme and fill large black spaces. Everything was then glued in position.

We cut some of the acrylic early on so as to have the side windows fixed to help hold the heads in place. Cutting the sheets took some practice. The first sheet split too far down and we had to do a patch up job, but as we were  covering the corners with more paper mache it wasn’t a concern. We finally got the hang of scoring the surface of the sheets deep enough to make a cleaner break. Using the glass cutting tool we were also able to take little bites out of the acrylic to make a neater edge. Then all edges were sanded. The front sheet would to go on next to seal the whole face.

Towards the end of the final  week we went to pick up the hat and was told that the apprentices had not had as much time as they’d hoped. The tutors had woven most of the wool in preparation for fixing to the hat. In short, the hat had to be finished by Monday and we had 3 days including part of Monday morning to finish the neck, the plastic front and seal it in, glaze it all, paint the plinth and somehow get it to Uni plus the hat and the back of the head. We worked all day Friday and most of Saturday on the hat and painting the neck. At the end of the day we used sealant to fill in gaps and sprayed the painted neck so both could dry over Sunday. We opted to cover the central area of the hat with fabric for speed instead of wool and kept the hair for the back of the head instead of it getting lost in the wool.

2014-02-28 19.43.51 2014-02-28 19.43.59

2014-03-03 10.42.46

By Monday morning the head itself was complete apart from some hooks and some protective plastic for inside the back of the head. The hat still needed finishing and so did the back section of the head. We’d kept the whole sculpture in three sections so it was easier to move and get through doorways and lifts. That also meant that we had to then put all the pieces together once the plinth and everything was in position.

Above image shows the near complete hat on Monday morning after we’d sewn the fabric on and finished edges.

Categories: projects | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

London Locations: Inspiration and ideas

These are photos that are not specifically  locations but are more of a source of inspiration. I may use elements within my concepts, particularly when dealing with the underground. I also photographed some interesting industrial features that can be used in my designs of the city and the medical research centre.

london underground b

london underground a

Below is a selection of images taken at Canada Water station. I thought these might be perfect for sections of the medical research centre, using the idea of walkways between places in the central reception area, corridors leading off etc. The pillar might add a sense of scale and I could use central pillars through all the levels down to the bedrock for the underground arena/torture chamber areas.

industrial 1a

Categories: MA project, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blog at