Jenn Manley Lee


Photo reference part 2: Environments

Photo reference part 2: environments I don't really reference actual buildings or interiors in Dicebox. I'm inspired by some in books and real life, but I tend to alter or adapt what I find, though occasionally a conceptual building from a book does make it into the odd back ground.

I do take lots of random reference photos of buildings and cityscapes that appeal to me, but I collect these more to use as reference for a particular sense of environment then for any particular architecture style.

Here is the photo reference I used to create the industrial district that open Chapter 7 : Scene 5:

The photo is of Portland's SE industrial area as seen from the Hawthorne Bridge. This is probably the closest I've cribbed a cityscape photo within Dicebox. Beyond being able to quickly create a believable neighborhood, I was able to get my perspective from the building in the photo and build on it. This how I often use my building reference, for a perspective map, something I learned in David Chelsea's excellent reference book, Perspective! For Comic Book Artists.

For the factory interior, I first hunted around the internet for shots of factory floors that had the feel I was after--old school factory, floor space used efficiently but awkwardly:

Using the reference above, I was able to create the look I wanted for the Tidsanden factory:

Now, I had collected some lovely and innovative factory interiors, but this factory was to be neither. Also, I purposefully do keep certain things in a visually anachronistic vein whenever I feel justified doing so. I want people to respond to the imagery on an empathic level, almost as if I was using icons to convey a recognizable experience more than simply a place. And also to serve as a contrast for those things I intend as strange and unfamiliar.