The decision about how this scene would look, and move, was a collaborative one, taking into account visual style and composition, animation, and narrative.
We knew that we wanted photorealistic elements in the scene, and that those elements should be chosen and placed purposefully. The fountain is the focal piece of the scene both visually and thematically, and so it was decided that it would be a photo-realistic element in the design.
The rest of the town square was built around that. The fountain influenced the style of the town and the layout.
This scene is about discovery.
It’s the first time that Ramona sees the town — her ‘home base’ and there is a recognition of the town square as a meeting point — both in the real world, and in this virtual hub.
That sense of newness, of discovery and first impressions, influenced how we built the scene, and how the camera would move through the space.
Even though we’re using a flat illustrative style, we wanted to create a feeling of ‘diving into the screen’ and delving into this new world, and playing with the Z-axis to move through space.
This animatic was the first time we mapped out how the camera would move, and what assets we needed to build to bring the town to life.
You can see that the fountain was a pivotal starting piece, and how the scene pulls you into this new world.