Sunday, February 12, 2012

Desert Pre-Viz

For the last scenes in the series, figured out a way to create the desert landscape for our finished props. Made a sketch to get the feel for building the next steps.

It involves taking the real sand covered (queen-size) sheet and draping it over very large crumpled rolls of paper free from the factory bin out back. (seen in diagram below, pipe on back wall is electrical conduit for scale.) 
Started laying out the set in an open space last week to see what's what. Turns out the sheet covered in sand doesn't go on for miles as I'd thought. But it will handle the texture for the foreground very well. 
An easy solution to create more terrain will be to use more paper to establish the dune shapes and then cover them with matching thin foam sheets or inexpensive fabric dyed to match the sand. I also feel the real sand needs to be stained from the natural color to bright golden yellow with a bit of gold leaf flecks in the close-up areas.

The material used for the background hills will be made to match the final sand color, rolled under at the edges and fluffed into shape. Should blend well enough, especially for the blurred background.

The desert set was always planned to be placed in front of the same infinity sky scrim built for the main cottage set. If I position the desert at an angle, I may be able to fit it in without having to dismantle the main landscape much. If not, I can always take the desert set outdoors and shoot there. It's a very portable set as the sands can shift as they like, as real sand does, won't matter in this film and may even add a nice montage effect. Even the sun light moving at the "wrong" frame rate may enhance the surreal effect of these particular scenes.

Should take place bathed in strong end-of-day golden sunlit glow though.Will play off the gold nicely.


  1. Looks really good Shelley, inspiring work!

  2. Thanks, Jeff! Helps so much knowing you are watching.

  3. Your sketch above looks very real and very dreamy at the same time. Very impressive.. I am sure set photos will look even better after you make it.

  4. Thanks, Yazzlemetazzle! Thanks for looking in!

  5. So cool! Love the soft color pallet!

  6. Thanks, JON! Yes, please picture it with soft golden sands and a bright green and golden serpent rolling through it!


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