Explore key frames from key works of Framestore’s art department

The department is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

In a recent story about Framestore’s work on the Shoggoth’s of Lovecraft Country, I reflected on the fact that not everybody knows that several VFX studios have dedicated art departments; in fact, Framestore’s art department is turning 10 this year.

To celebrate, several Framestore artists picked some of their favorite works to discuss here at befores & afters. Check out their works from films Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Blade Runner 2049.

Framestore’s design for a Kelpie from ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.’

Dan Baker – The Kelpie was a great character to design. It was exciting to take it from initial sketch drawings through to the final concept and it was great to see that the final creature looks so close to the original designs. The Fantastic Beasts films are always a huge pleasure to work on and it’s such a great team. The brief we received allowed for a lot of our own input and it was so rewarding to see it come to life.

A Boggart concept from ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.’

Ben Kovar – This was a great brief, as it was a chance to really get to grips with how one creature could transform into another. The final idea was a sort of biological rubik’s cube. In the script, the boggart was changing rapidly, trying to adapt to the beholder’s fears. As a result, many drawings were needed to describe the stages, all of which were fun creatures in themselves.

A design for part of the Illusion Battle sequence in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home.’

Jonathan Opgenhaffen – It was exciting to have such a creative input on this surreal sequence. We worked on various environments and action beats which helped emphasis the chase through the Illusion battle. We worked closely with VFX to develop the look and we worked to a tight deadline which made it all the more exciting. This project was hugely rewarding creatively and was fun to see it replicated in the film.

‘Zombie Iron Man’ concept in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home.’

Rostyslav Zagornov – I really enjoyed working on this project and helping design Zombie Iron Man. It was an unusual brief and was fun changing the look of such an iconic character. I was fortunate to be able to explore other variations ranging from very extreme and gruesome to more reserved, all helping to reach the visual balance that was achieved. It had its challenges but that’s what makes it more rewarding and this is definitely a project that I will always remember.

An art department frame for Mysterio’s presence in the Illusion Battle in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home.’

Thomas du Crest – I had a lot of fun exploring different crazy ideas for Mysterio’s illusion sequence on Spider-Man: Far From Home. I’m very proud of Framestore for bringing one of the best scenes in the movie to life!

‘Blade Runner 2049’: Framestore design for the Las Vegas environment.

Martin Macrae – It has to be Blade Runner 2049. I was a huge fan of the original film (it inspired me to get into filmmaking). It was a great experience to help design such a film, we had to sometimes pinch ourselves. The project gave us the chance to get involved in a lot of different aspects of design too; from vehicles, props, environments and cityscapes. The film went on to win the Oscar and BAFTA for Best VFX as well, which was a great lift for the team.

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