Building the world of Ipok

Led by our talented Art Director, John Liew Yu Liang, the Environment team had a huge undertaking of creating an entire world from scratch.

This post outlines the step-by-step exploration of our concepts, including early inspirations and deleted pre-production done for the film.

Firstly, we identified the sub-themes of our film – Adventure, Journey, Alien Planet.

  Astroneer
Astroneer
  No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky
  Subnautica
Subnautica

These led us to multiple inspirations like Astroneer, No Man’s Sky and Subnautica. We really liked the saturated palette of exploration games, their strange flora and unique inhabitants.

We then started searching for natural, real-life references that uses such a palette. There were a lot of hits, with most of them from travel logs.

  Pamukkale Hot Springs, Turkey
Pamukkale Hot Springs, Turkey
  Skaftafell Ice Cave, Iceland
Skaftafell Ice Cave, Iceland
  Underwater Jungle
Underwater Jungle

We eventually found out that aquatic life is actually very colorful and strange, which made us decide that our planet will be an underwater-world-on-land kind of place.

To get things started off, the team began building the world from the smallest rock to the largest continent. The workflow is to generate an encyclopedia of strange plants/vegetation, compile them into a thumbnail image and then layout into their specific habitat/biome. Finally, the key scenes will serve as concept art.

 

 

 Layout and design by Toh Lay Siong
Layout and design by Toh Lay Siong
 Layout by Clement Tan
Layout by Clement Tan

 

 Workflow for Encyclopedia by John Liew Yu Liang
Workflow for Encyclopedia by John Liew Yu Liang

 

After grinding out the encyclopedia, we started adding in the characters to the concept art. The aim was to have them journey through these places together, exploring and at the same time taking in the scenery. The term, “large and breathtaking” was often used. A world map of our planet – Ipok, was created.

 World layout by John Liew Yu Liang
World layout by John Liew Yu Liang

We also explored the space craft that Ana would use to land in Ipok.

 

 Escape pod exploration by Muhd Faiz
Escape pod exploration by Muhd Faiz

  

 Final SpaceCraft designs by Muhd Faiz
Final SpaceCraft designs by Muhd Faiz

 

At this point, the environments were shuffled around to suit the story’s narrative. Some of the finished thumbnails were unfortunately cut due to the new direction in the story. Nevertheless, we hope you enjoy the rest of the concept art!

 Key Scene 01 - The Crashsite by Muhd Faiz
Key Scene 01 – The Crashsite by Muhd Faiz
 Key Scene 02 - Ana meets Crawley by Toh Lay Siong
Key Scene 02 – Ana meets Crawley by Toh Lay Siong
 Key Scene 03 - Wonder by Karen Mei
Key Scene 03 – Wonder by Karen Mei
 Key Scene 04 - Crossy Logs by Clement Tan
Key Scene 04 – Crossy Logs by Clement Tan
 Key Scene 05 - Lily Pads by Chan Jin Wei
Key Scene 05 – Lily Pads by Chan Jin Wei
 Key Scene 06 - Danger by Clement Tan
Key Scene 06 – Danger by Clement Tan
 Key Scene 07 - Ice Caves by Winona Leong
Key Scene 07 – Ice Caves by Winona Leong
 Key Scene 08 - Ice Mountain by John Liew Yu Liang
Key Scene 08 – Ice Mountain by John Liew Yu Liang
 Key Scene 09 - Farewell by John Liew Yu Liang
Key Scene 09 – Farewell by John Liew Yu Liang

Huge props to our Environment team for building the world of Ipok!

Art Director – John Liew Yu Liang – ArtStation
Asst. Art Director – Toh Lay Siong – ArtStation
Asst. Art Director – Clement Tan – ArtStation
2D Artist – Winona Leong – Website
Spacecraft Design – Muhd Faiz – ArtStation
2D Artist – Chan Jin Wei
2D Artist – Karen Mei – ArtStation

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