Framestore's Art Department held a significant role on Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Involved from an early stage, the artists conceptualised the environments, characters and huge space vistas which would form the base of Framestore's extensive VFX work.
Bradley Cooper's Rocket Raccoon and the entire city of Knowhere, housed in the severed head of a giant celestial being, were both massive projects for the Art Department to tackle, with artists drawing inspiration from the original comics and sci-fi films alike.
Stepping Into The Galaxy
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy threw several challenges at Framestore, from a talking, photo-realistic raccoon to a three-mile wide city with thousands of lights. It was the concept of this city, the city of 'Knowhere', that provided the Art Department with a playground of possibility as they set about designing their most complicated environment build so far, comprising of 85,000 separate pieces such as towers, pillars, turbines, favela huts. The VFX team then brightened up those districts by hand-placing around 10,000 street lights throughout the city, bringing the environment to glowing life.
Diving Into Design
'I have a lot of favourite things about this show, but my heart belongs to the interior of Knowhere', said VFX Supervisor Kyle McCulloch of Framestore's work. "We just spent so much time developing it and making it a real place. We designed different neighbourhoods with different colours and different types of houses, there’s so much backstory that went into the design and making it complex enough to be real. In the end I hope it just goes by and provides a great visual backdrop, but for us there was so much that went into making it'.
The Middle of Knowhere
Work on Knowhere started with Framestore's Art Department collaborating with production designer Charlie Wood. They spent many months on its visual development, and even as the teams began to build the actual asset worked extremely closely with the Art Department. 'The design became a jumping-off point for us', explained McCulloch. 'It really evolved through the desires of the director and became even more colourful and alien than it had been originally'.
Find out about how we developed Rocket Raccoon and more over on our main Guardians of the Galaxy page.
'I have a lot of favourite things about this show, but my heart belongs to the interior of Knowhere; we spent so much time developing it, and making it a real place.'Kyle McCulloch - VFX Supervisor