I was recently asked to create album artwork for the latest album by RecordBreaker, a band from Toronto, Canada. Clicking on the image above will reveal a brief animation showcasing the details of the image. We started with some sketches and concepts based on their music, history and symbolic nature of the bands third album. This is the main image from our shoot and we’re all very happy with the unique and character look we managed to achieve. The album is due to be released very soon so check out their website for more info. Click through for a little more information and pictures on the process we took to create this image. Great work guys and can’t wait to hear the finished record!
It all started with this: based on some drawings and discussion with the band we decided on the feel of a “movie theatre performance venue” for the whole album package. This main image was to be the main character piece. I began with a scale drawing of it to demonstrate a realistic direction to the band and to figure out perspectives for myself. It soon became apparent that this was going to be a very elaborate composite project in order to get in every idea we all got excited about. The sketching stage is a crucial one to make sure the minds eye actually matches reality.
It was then onto the process of scouting a location. This was surprisingly difficult. None of the several places I went to had the exact character or features I was looking for, so it turned out to be a combination of two: the beautiful marquee from the Royal Cinema, and the vintage looking entrance of the Allenby. Part of the trouble of finding an appropriate space was due to fitting features into the square aspect ratio required and none of the scouting tests I did could get exactly what I was after. Things that had to be fit into the image frame were things like: marquee lettering, previous album covers as posters on the sides, secondary character placements, instruments, etc. Another example of the importance of pre-production.
Finally, we could book the shoot: in these behind the scenes snapshots we were getting everyone’s character poses including the three iterations of each band member (an aspect that ties into an underlying trio theme for their 3rd release) and the instruments. Lighting setups varied significantly (despite the two similar shots above) depending on what we were doing, but the general setup can be seen in here. The setups were adjusted to match (and more importantly stylize) the lighting that would have been present at the actual location. Special thanks goes to my amazing assistants of the day that helped the process go as smoothly as possible.
The final composite: after some necessary blending and manual painting and colouring to give it the illustrated look. Click the image above to see a little animation showcasing the various elements of the image in a more detailed way.