It’s not destroying… It’s making something new.

Click to see a mutating world.

When I decided to do a poster on the movie Annihilation, I knew it would be quite challenging. The movie itself is fascinating and remarkable. The overall concept of this movie is related to mutation. There are lots of weird-shaped flowers, strange animals like the deer in my poster, and mutating human beings.

The first object I drew is this mutant deer. There is a scene in the movie in which a mutating deer with flowers on its horn is duplicated. So I found a picture of the deer and traced its outline. In order to create an effect of duplication, I added the drop shadow so two deer may have some contrast that allows the viewers to distinguish them.

The second object I drew is the lady with flora on her head. This idea is inspired by a scene in which the character played by Tessa Thompson has grass growing in her body. It’s hard to explain the scene but the concept is that the lady is transforming to human-shape plants. So, again, I looked up a photo unrelated to the movie but has similar concept, and traced its outline.

And for the background, I tried to recreate the “Shimmer” which is a huge “bubble” covering a forest. The “shimmer” functions, according to the movie, as a mirror but it refracts not only lights but also DNA. The original “Shimmer” has a relatively cold color tone. But as for me, my skillset is far from creating the effect of a bubble. So, I just created a large ellipse and gave it a gradient mixed with those colors from the original “Shimmer”. I also added an effect call ocean ripple to it, trying to show those mutating and duplicating cells.

In the movie, lots of the scene take place in a forest which is also mutant. So, I drew a very dark forest with some weird-shaped branches flying out.

Color is a very difficult element in this whole poster. Because there are too many elements in the poster, I decided to focus on the lady which is supposed to be the CVI. I tried different ways to color it such as giving it gradient, painting it, or making it purely white but none of these worked out. Somehow, I made it transparent(exclusion) and it generated this mainly pink color. It was surprisingly good. The yellow was just around the lady’s brain which was correspondent with the text “FEAR WHAT’S INSIDE”. And the “cells” from the effect of the ocean ripple are also shown in the lady’s brain area. Her hand has different layers of color which is again accidentally indicating the process of transformation.

For the text, I think my choice of typography is a very serious mistake. I focused too much on those drawings that I ignored the typography. For the title “Annihilation”, I tried to create an effect of annihilation. It looks not so bad but I’m kind of worried about the readability. I once thought I could fill in those gaps with illustration of leaves and branches but I didn’t think I could color those leaves well, so I gave up this plan.

And lastly, I left a so-called “Easter Egg” or “spoilers” using a symbolic typography. It’s just a meaningless decision of mine because I just watched Ready Player One recently.

Overall, the drawing is very interesting. I really enjoy the process. And the most difficult part of this whole assignment is color. I struggled a lot. And also, because of the different displays of color in AI and in PDF, I’m really confused and hesitant to make decisions. But again, I really enjoy doing this assignment.

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