|"The Hulk" Avengers (2011) keyframe by Charlie Wen TM & © 2011 Marvel. All Rights Reserved Source|
What is key frame concept art? You may read the term "Keyframe" being used to describe concept art and wonder what it means.
Of course, using the term "concept art" to define keyframes isn't wrong, but I would define it as a illustration of a key scene from the movie script and it's not the same as a concept design for a prop, set or costume.
To find out if I was close, I asked professional concept and storyboard artists what keyframe concept art is and collected their answers. Learn from the industry professionals what exactly keyframe concept art is.
Learn more after the jump.
"A Key Frame is the mid point between concept art and storyboard art in my mind." - Rob McCallum (http://mccallumart.com)
"A key frame is a rendering depicting a particular moment in the script or story." - Tim Flattery (http://timflattery.com)
"It refers to a key 'scene' when referring to set designs or moments in the script." - Andrew Probert (http://probertdesigns.com)
"A KEY FRAME is a concept illustration of either a 'Money Shot' ( where a big slice of the budget is spent)....or a 'Master Shot' that conveys and captures the feel or the style/look of that scene of the movie." - Chris Buchinsky (http://captzeppelin.wix.com/
"'Key Frame' is usually referring to a a key pose while animating a character, there are multiple 'key frames' while animating a character walking or running etc. In films we will usually have to illustrate scenes from a story/script which are sometimes referred to as 'key scene illustrations' I guess I have also seen the term 'key frame' be used for this as well? Which means just that: 'illustrating a key(main) scene from the story'. It just means you are showing a director/producer what the film could look like, so maybe you design all the costumes and weapons early on then you put them all together to show what they look like in action at that particular point in the story. Or the opposite, the story is illustrated first but the designs aren't figured out and they are designed in more detail later, just a part of the process." - Ben Mauro (http://www.artofben.com)
"A key frame is a piece of art that ends up as the basis for the final shot. or, at least in pre production, it's a shot that the director is happy with as a 'look' for the show and therefore gets termed a key frame." - Mark "Jock" Simpson (http://www.4twenty.co.uk)
"The difference between Key Frame and a set concept or a costume concept is a key frame is usually create from the highest point of a scene from the script." - Henry Fong (http://www.henryfong.ca)
"A key frame is an actual moment in the story, and may well have already drawn by the storyboard artist. However, because it is an important moment or 'frame' from the story, it is often developed further than the standard storyboard 'frame' into a full blown concept illustration." - Nathan Schroeder (http://www.nathanschroeder.net/)
"A key frame is an important moment in the story, sometimes a large, detailed storyboard frame, that is more about action or "shot design" than about element, set, or costume design. Sometimes it's about a VFX moment. Either a concept artist or a storyboard artist may be asked to do it, depending on the dynamics of the crew and the relationship with the director." - Peter Rubin (http://ironroosterstudios.com)
"Keyframe concept [art] is basically an illustration that shows some kind of story or action. It's used to show the director what a final frame might look like. Typically is less about design and more about showing action or story." - Emmanuel Shiu (www.eshiu.com)
"From my perspective, a Key Frame illustration is meant to capture a specific moment in a film — to show the viewer exactly what a actual frame from a movie will look like. This is different from a concept design drawing of painting, as these are primarily concerned with the design of a specific element (or environment) featured in a film. Put a slightly different way, the Key Frame services the film in totality — where as a concept design provides insight into the design of an element of the film." - TyRuben Ellingson (http://www.alieninsect.com/)
"The artist must capture the mood and keep it poetic to the writer's work as well as what is in 'The Mind`s Eye' of the Production Designer and the Director's vision." - Chris Buchinsky (http://captzeppelin.wix.com/
"Key frames are more for mood and the overall feeling of the picture than they are for any solo conceptual idea, i.e. Props, costumes, production design, costume. They are key scenes from the movie illustrated keeping all of the aforementioned in mind. They are different from storyboards in that boards usually depict a scene through sequential imagery whereas a key frame would depict that same scene with one descriptive illustration." - Phillip Boutte Jr. (http://phillipbouttejr.carbonmade.com)
"Typically it will show the 'key' moment of the scene. The point of the scene that expresses the shot, the lighting, the mood and action. Everything you need to know distilled into one image." - Rob McCallum (http://mccallumart.com)
"The goal of creating a Key Frame is to express the mood and camera composition(angle) to bring the scene to it maximum level of drama. It usually doesn't focus so much on the design aspect of set or costume design. The design is usually provided by fellow concept artist and depends on what stage of production you are at." - Henry Fong (http://www.henryfong.ca)
"The purpose of any illustration is to show what a set, or vehicle, or character may look like, but presented in a way that allows the viewer to understand what the design is, not necessarily how it will appear in the film. We may illustrate a large set like a control room, or grand palace in a very wide angle, so that a director can see the whole set in in its entirety; but with the understanding that we will probably never see it that wide in the film. We may illustrate a character in a pose that never happens in the story, but which allows the viewer to see the full costume. The same goes for vehicles and props." - Nathan Schroeder (http://www.nathanschroeder.net/)
|Avengers (2013) Keyframe by Andy Park © 2011 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2011 Marvel. All Rights Reserved|
About the Blogfest
This post is part of Siv Maria Ottem and Alex J. Cavanaugh's "Norse gods" blogfest. Anyone who buys her book Secrets of the Ash Tree during this blogfest can email her and she'll send them an autographed print of the Freya illustration made by her daughter Maria Bech. This illustration is not available anywhere else and is not included in the book. She'll also be giving away a signed copy of her book to who-ever actively parties the most today. So, if you want to join in, spread the word, use her banner, visit as many blogs as you can, and write a great post! She's giving away special points if you visit her new web page http://sivmariaottem.com/ and like her Facebook Author page!
Secrets of the Ash Tree is available at most online retailers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Official Description: 'Secrets of the Ash Tree' is the story about Liv, a young woman who discovers her true nature through the unraveling of hidden secrets. Her adventures begin when she digs up a chest that was buried by her father under the old ash tree in her garden. What she finds inside the chest changes her life forever. Liv discovers one secret after another and is thrown into a world full of dangerous and strange creatures, mighty Norse warriors and perils beyond her belief. What started out as a fairy tale in her father's journal was to become her legacy, a guide line to survival, and a map to the world she was about to enter. Each day, each mystery, each encounter will ultimately reveal her true destiny and behind the edge of a sword awaits a young god who is willing to share that destiny with her.
What do you think a key frame is? Do you prefer them to other types of concept art? What's the best key frame concept art you've seen?