Production Design as the art of mapping image to story
Production Design tools: Story Arcs and Color Scripts
Where live-action film is a product of the photographic process capturing actors, locations, props on film, traditional hand-drawn animation is a product of the illustrated image, where every single element appearing on-screen must first be designed by an artist. As any 90 minute animated feature can entail a multitude of sets, characters and props, all needing to be hand-crafted by army an of artists and technicians, the Director responsible for telling their story in this medium is both empowered and challenged by this artistic burden of choice often taken for granted in film.
At Pixar, the process for managing this infinitude of design choice is handed down from the traditions of Disney Animation, as inhereted from film Production Design. Because of the large creative scope inherent with animation, Directors look to Production Designers to execute their vision across all aspects of production. Serving Production Designers are any number of Art Directors representing different design disciplines, from Characters, to Sets, Lighitng, Color and so on.
As the Production Designer's role is to execute the Director's vision across all aspects of the film's visuals, across different disciplines and a crew of hundreds, it