Now that all the characters are completed, I’ve switched gears and am concentrating on refining the Forest environments. Looking through my folder of inspirations and reference material I come again and again back to this man’s work. Eyvind Earle was perhaps most famous for art directing and painting the backgrounds for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. I’ve admired the style of that film my whole life.
We decided from the beginning to not try to create anything realistic looking. No photographic bark and leaf textures. In fact in The Path we are using gothic ornaments and its funny how this still gives the feeling of leaves. While I don’t try to copy what this guy has done, very modern, very 1950s, I do get into the way his orderly patterning looks. At the same time, I like the chaos of a forest with branches jutting out randomly, creating spooky silhouettes. We want players to be reminded that a forest is a wild unknowable place constantly changing. I think the atmosphere we are creating shares Earle’s use of the stark blackness of the trees, punctuated by shocking colors.