"Mother" is my final project as a graduate student in the New Media & Animation program at North Carolina State University.
This project aims at developing a unique aesthetic approach for the art direction of an animated story about spies set in WWII Europe. As part of my research, I analyzed and identified the key elements and motifs from 1920's-1940's design and cinema (specifically Art Deco and Film Noir) and used those elements as building blocks for a unique aesthetic representation.
Special thanks to Donnie Moore of Absolutely Not for the amazing score.
For the concept stage of this project I created several illustrations trying to capture the stark Noir vibe I wanted for "Mother." My main objectives were to use vibrating color combinations and create the simplest shapes and shape combinations possible.
Storyboards and Color Studies
The palette is a varation on RGBY with shades of gray. Blue is used exclusively in scenes with the Mother character, intended to help the viewer differentiate the flashbacks from the present as well as connect "Young Mother" to her climactic scene at the end.
These are some of the sketches and paintings created to develop the Anna/Mother and Gaston characters. Although it isn't explained explicitly in the film, Anna is a clone of Mother, so it was important that the designs for these two characters looked distinct but shared the same form.
These are a couple type studies created for the intertitles and main titles. At one point I considered using a custom typeface inspired by the typography from the titles in The Maltese Falcon, but determined that the blockier typeface used makes a stronger reference to Noir as well as the tall lean character designs.