For our series “It Will Be Ours,” we wanted to create a dismal, sterile room that was being ‘devoured’ by the outside world. We precomposed the scene pretty specifically to have a young boy watching TV in the far right corner, while a woodland woman was sweeping into the scene from the left.
We began by choosing dismal colors of pink and grey for the right side of the frame to contrast with the green foliage we added later. The left side of the set was painted with large black breaks. These black areas were later replaced with a miniature set we created to give the sense of a larger outside world. All of the grime and cracks were faux painted.
The tile floor was also painted a blended design of yellow into grey to further enhance the feeling that the room was being morphed. I added realism to the faux tile panels (sold in 4′x8′x1/4″ sheets at lumber yards) by adding “grout and grime” with a Q-tip. It’s better than a brush because it comes apart and drags the paint irregularly. A quick spritz with water blurs edges.
The next shot shows how dirt and moss finished the scene and hid my tape. From a distance “visual blur” helps a set look more “real” and it serves as camouflage. This concept applies to window displays, DIY Halloween and Xmas home decor and any other fantasyland one might like to create.
Below is a view of how we stretched the background by simply placing additional black foam core behind the set. Again, this black area was designed to “go away” later in our final digital painting.
Below is a view of the back of our set. These are the flats we reuse over and over. The triangular jacks are designed to fold up when not in use. They are based on a design by the amazing set design shop Acme Scenery.