Having never really done landscape/background art, this task is the most interesting and also the most daunting. In order to feel more at ease, I’ve done a variety of research to help trigger my imagination in this matter.
I also looked at Artists that work with the landscape around them such as Andy Goldsworthy and Nils-Udo “Art in Nature”
When looking in “The Art of Up” book for information on Kevin, I came across some interesting and useful quotes from the people that worked on/with the landscapes in the movie:
“For our plants, there is a life cycle happening in each shot. At first, when we designed a plant, we created a clean graphic representation. But the thing that we learned in CG is that you have to add the leaves that are dying and leaves that are younger to make it look convincing. This is fascinating because, once you do that, you start observing the life cycle. You have the young bug growing, the vine that’s matured and the leaf that’s dying. And the dead things fall to the ground and provide matter for the next plant to grow from.”
-Rickey Nierva, Production Designer
“With a lot of those plants in Venezuela, like the chiflera tree, the leaves had an interesting furry texture. The bromeliad had an interesting effect where on one side was green and then the other side was red. And that’s from exposure to sunlight. The plants grow so fast that the red part doesn’t have time to produce chlorophyll. There’s really a biological reason why it’s so beautiful. The red and green contrast is very graphic and that’s something Pete wanted to maintain throughout. So we used these little design details to bring those qualities in.”
-Bryn Iwagire, Shading Art Director.
“The plants were so beautiful, we didn’t have to make anything up. We’d just pick the colours, eliminate all the extraneous detail, and do simple colour gradations. Then they looked beautiful. It’s really easy to make plants beautiful because they are completely organic. We examine real life, then extract the essence of beauty from each one.”
-Bryn Iwagire, Shading Art Director