04 July 2007

The Batman: Season 4 Finale

Apologies...It's been a long time since I've posted. Unfortunately, I have not had time to draw anything new that I can post, but I will let you in how sometimes things have to change on the fly.

For the Season 4 two-part finale of The Batman, we had to show quite a bit of Wayne Industries, a location that had been designed for a previous season. Since we were spending so much time there, I had to make sure it looked like the headquarters of a multibillion dollar conglomerate. So, I took the basic layouts from the original designs and did some remodeling.

I wish I had those originals handy for comparison along with the Wayne Industries logo, which was basically two V's shaped and placed side-by-side to create an I in the negative space between them. The first sketch, the front view, features the main tower with that "W" logo. That domed shape in the right foreground was one of the main areas of interest, where the aliens would begin manufacturing their war machines, or so I thought.

Towards the end of a season, the design team is dealing with designing off scripts, key layouts from storyboards and late additions for episodes coming back. So, it's not unusual for things to get a bit behind, especially on a detailed action show like this. Add to that continuing script changes, and you can see how changes on the fly can become unavoidable.

From the second sketch, it's clear that the space has been fairly resolved. I had done a series of interior shots to match the exterior shapes. Then the prop designs for the weapons of destruction started coming in. There were much larger that initially anticipated and the script called for more of them than expected. So, I had to throw together the second pass on a warehouse space to accommodate them. The third sketch shows the new space with some scale references in front. The airplane is a 747, which is a very large vehicle. They are on Post-Its because even the scale of this new one had to undergo several changes.

The fourth sketch shows the aerial view of the Wayne campus, the view with which I'd started the entire remodeling. The new warehouse/assembly line is in faint red towards the back. While this particular view was never cleaned up, as it didn't turn out to be needed from the way the scenes were boarded, it helped inform the changes I had to make to the already cleaned-up front view. As if things weren't tight enough on the schedule, I had to start on my next job, so a few interior details were completed serving split duty.

Not the most traumatic on the fly changes I've had to deal with, but they did require some juggling of time and quick thinking to minimize the work required to accommodate those revisions. I have yet to see the final results, as aired a while back. One of these days I hope to catch them on a rerun.

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