Tag Archive: Production Design

Up late at the studio doing production design for The Happy Samurais living/rehearsal space.  I’ve being dreaming about designing this place for close to two years now (I know, I’m sick in the head).  Testing out all the ideas I had for it, then all the variations on those ideas.  Went through all the books and reference folders I had saved up for it — production design folder alone had 1,500 images in it (remember the “sick in the head” thing?).  It’s definitely gonna be the craziest, most epic thing I’ve ever designed, and if you know all the things I’ve worked on over the years (including all the “secret” stuff), that’s saying something.


Thought I’d add in a couple notes I wrote to myself to kind of guide me and keep me from straying off track as I worked on these designs.

  • design with storytelling in mind
  • don’t just design a room that looks cool.
    • what will be behind the characters?
    • what will frame them?
    • which direction will they primarily be facing?
  • design props/furniture that are appropriate for THESE characters
    • don’t draw a couch I think is cool
    • draw a couch THAT character thinks is cool
  • how will that area look in an up/downshot?
    • add in vertical elements to help emphasize the scale/depth


Compositing all the different under-drawing elements for the top half of a double-page spread.  All elements drawn on paper (some on same paper, others on separate sheets) then scanned and composited in Photoshop.  That way I’m flexible and scale things as needed to make the shot work the way I envisioned it. After all the compositing is done, I print this out and lightbox the final pencils.  No 3-D models or sketchup with the backgrounds.  All by drawn by hand.


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