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Contemporary Set Design with James Clyne

Conceptual Environments for Feature Film Production

Sample Clip

In this third of three DVDs in a series, James will cover a wide range of Adobe Photoshop® techniques that he uses as a concept designer in the feature film industry. Focusing on the subject of a contemporary loft interior as a film set, James acts as a location manager, production designer and illustrator to visually explain a common feature film art department pipeline technique. Setting itself apart from other concept art techniques, this DVD concentrates heavily on the smooth integration of photo reference and high-end conceptualization ideas, or what James terms "Photoshop® kit bashing", blurring the line between photo and ideation rendering. Subjects such as using photo scrap as virtual set pieces, texture mapping in 2D, and rendering a wide range of materials from brushed steel to polished hardwood floor are also covered.

  • Getting Rid of Fish Eye Lens Distortion
  • Laying in a Sketch Over Photo Scrap
  • Setting up an Action Key
  • Rendering Different Materials and Finishes
  • Going from Large to Small
  • Set Dressing
  1. Laying out the Film Set
  2. Sketching / Blocking in Set Pieces
  3. Action Keys / Photo Reference / Layers
  4. Where do I go from here?
  5. Filling Gaps / Color Palette / Adding Pieces
  6. Matte and Glossy Finishes / Detailing
  7. What resolution do I work in? / Color Dodge
  8. Working in Foreground Elements
  9. Changing Set Dressings / Balancing Color
  • Product Code: JCL05
  • ISBN: 1-59762-848-4
  • UPC: 805366017163
  • Duration: 157 minutes
  • Formats: DVD-ROM

DVD-ROM Requirements:

  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 64 MB Video RAM
  • DVD-ROM Drive
  • 5 GB of hard disk space
  • 1280 x 1024 display

DVD-ROM and Digital Download Requirements:

Minimum Operating System:

  • Microsoft® Windows® Vista®
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Apple® Mac® OS X 10.2


  • QuickTime Movie Player (Version 7.0 or higher)
  • Acrobat Reader (Version 5.0 or higher)

For more information on DVD and Digital Download policies click here.

  • Software Used:

  • Adobe

James Clyne

Concept Designer

James Clyne attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where he studied Fine Art and Painting. Eager to focus on design, he attended Art Center College of Design as an Industrial Design major focusing on entertainment design. Clyne began his professional career designing creatures, characters, and environments for gaming companies such as Sega, Activision, and Pulse Entertainment. Wanting to expand his work in entertainment design further, James began consulting as a concept artist and storyboard artist for special effects houses such as Digital Domain and Rhythm and Hues. His early work in film began with Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Soon to follow were Instinct, Titan A.E., Mission to Mars, Galaxy Quest, Mystery Men, A.I.-Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, The Polar Express, and Troy for which he provided conceptual designs for environments, sets, props, matte paintings, and vehicles.

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"James Clyne is a master when it comes to translating his inner worlds of gigantic structures and machines. His smart construction approach, based on a very open abstract process, gives to his productions a very original feel unseen anywhere else. He is an artist which has recreated a new sci-fi vocabulary with an amazing precision and talent."

- Sparth
Concept designer/illustrator
UBISOFT Entertainment

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