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Famous Players Coliseum Theater  ·  DESIGN VISUALIZATION

Famous Players specializes in providing the movie theater as an experience in and of itself. Not content to simply show movies, this Canadian theater chain uses each location to extend the narrative experience far beyond both the opening titles and closing credits. The "Coliseum" style theaters, with their bright, themed lobbies and 2-story circular design, are among the most successful theaters in North America.

For this location in Kirkland, Quebec, the design team at CommArts was working on a design concept that called for an innovative combination of dynamic lighting and projection systems. This would up the ante for the chain by providing even more drama and atmosphere in the lobby. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to convey these ideas using traditional hand drawn sketches alone. Since lighting effects were the main design feature and represented a large fraction of the overall project budget, the design team decided to present their concept using digital animation.

The animation required about two and a half weeks to complete. In the process of making the 3D model, we also redesigned several of the items including the sliced sculptural planet above the ticket dispensers and a large globe at the center. (These less costly alternatives to the originally proposed features were desired to offset costs of the more sophisticated lighting system.)

Ultimately, the video itself proved effective. Not only did it allow the entire team to visualize design decisions more quickly, it also allowed us to overlap the design and presentation schedules of the project. When the designs were finished, the resulting materials were directly used to create the presentation to the client.

Perhaps most important of all, the renderings accurately portray the finished project. This has far less to do with the quality of rendering than with the fact that everyone, from the designers to the client, the contractors, and the lighting engineers, were working from the same strong, clear vision of the concept. Thus, if planned properly, a relatively small investment in animation services can pay off again and again throughout the implementation process, from initial design, through winning approval from the client, to making the project a reality.


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