Colorway – for the art directors toolkit
I always get a bit excited when I come across tools that enhance design process. A tool, widget or device that, once applied to our workflow, offers an opportunity to hide the process and get to the heart of design. Design is largely about rapid iteration, finding what works from the ether of ideation. The other element to consider is communication. How to communicate ideas that are clear? For movie design, it is almost always visually.
The company responsible for a host of movie-making tools, UK-based The Foundry, has recently introduced a tool named Colorway that helps designers collaborate, ideate and communicate.Colorway is a companion to 3D software that hides the complexity of 3D software, providing a simple interface to experiment with different finishes, colors, and even lighting options for a 3D render. Any ideas generated using the software can be saved and returned to the original model for further development.
How would the Colorway process look in an art department?
- A set designer working in Rhino exports a 3D model of a set.
- The graphic designer or illustrator prepares the file for Colorway.
- The design team gathers around a projector showing the set in Colorway ready to try many iterations and brainstorm. Alternately, the design team, spread out across the globe, downloads the small file and saves out their unique interpretations for the look of the set.
- Once a look is chosen, it is exported from Colorway back to Rhino for further development, with the design choices intact.
The teaser reel for the product describes the software and process far better than I can, take a look:
Right now the product is limited to two 3D software packages; Cinema 4D and Modo, the Foundry’s own 3D package. As of this writing, Colorway is still in beta and free to use.
You can download it HERE
If you want to download a few files to experiment with that are more architectural than the sample files downloadable from The Foundry, you are welcome to use the file of this Pagoda I modeled in Modo.
It is based on this Chinoiserie sketch I found online. Download the files to play with HERE
Here’s the model in Modo:
And here’s how it looks in Colorway, a far simpler interface, accessible to anyone without the need for a deep knowledge of 3D modeling. Ready for experimentation!:
There’s also a closeup of the lantern as well:
Update: I’m aware the lantern is not the correct scale, it was enlarged for this purpose. 🙂