In launching our new website, we dug through the archives and rediscovered War of the Worlds to celebrate World Music Day today. This is a project that we hadn’t shown off in a little while- so are excited to do so again. 

When Sony Music asked us to re-interpret the 1978 album by Jeff Wayne, we jumped at the chance to dig in to the technical research and planning required for the creative. Working closely with Jeff was critical, we needed to know exactly where he was coming from. We wanted to retain some of the original design’s quirks, homages to which were built deep into the art. 

War of the Worlds - Logo

One of our earliest decisions was that we wanted to avoid photorealism whilst retaining a poignant sense of drama; a movie poster feel. We wanted to capture the mood and effect of Jeff’s music. The illustrations took nearly 7 months to finalise, using a variety of different software (Photoshop, Cinema 3D, Maya and Poser) to create figures such as sailors and a marching brass band.

We wanted to capture the mood and effect of Jeff’s music

Some designs went through a lot of revisions before we were totally happy, Brave New World is an example of this. Putting this image together, we rough sketched the composition which showed the basic content. We then made the underground city in 3D, fine tuning the design to Jeff’s vision. Once this was completed, we could then add in the finer details to the scene. 

War of the Worlds - Concept/Development

Research was a huge part of the design, everything - such as the soldier's uniforms, had to be correct to the period and modelled in 3D.  Atmosphere and lighting were also very important, we wanted to capture the vastness of the underground. We then gave it an aged look using subtle sepia tones and a grading effect to darken shadows and bring out highlights - giving it it’s stylised look. Once this was done, we moved on to the next image!

War of the Worlds - Final Design 1

In total we did 7 illustrations, logo, cover art, cinema and tv adverts. The work created also went on to be used as part of the live stage show!

War of the Worlds - Final Design 2
War of the Worlds - Booklet

To see more from this project: