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Projection Design

The Playmill Theatre (2020)

I was slightly intimidated when I began work on Tarzan. I knew the stylized look I wanted to achieve, but knew there would be many locations to create. I consider myself a rapid prototyper rather than a finely-detailed painter. For this project, I knew that I needed to revisit my toolset in order to reinvent my workflow.

Jungle Floor_v01
Beach Ending_v02
Human Camp_v02
Sunset 2_v01
Watering Hole 2_v01
Deep in the Jungle_v03
General Jungle_v01
Deep in the Jungle COLORFUL_v02
Scary Jungle_v02
Ocean View - Top of Trees_v01
Prologue Ship Piece
Jungle Night with Moon_v01
Jungle Clearing_v01
Jungle Clearing Day_v02

Backdrops I've created for The Playmill Theatre's production of Disney's Tarzan.

Studio Artist 5

Enter Studio Artist 5 created by Synthetik Software. SA 5 is a toolset built around prototyping design concepts in a wide variety of styles. After creating/selecting workflow presets, Studio Artist will actually paint/draw/sketch your source material much like a human would, all in realtime! It goes much deeper than that, so I couldn't recommend checking them out enough.

I would create a rough composite that I would then import into Studio Artist. After creating an acrylic and ink'd version, I'd then blend them together in Photoshop to create the final look. Below are two images, a rough composite sent to Studio Artist 5, and the final result respectively. You'll notice how much of a "glue" the software can act as.

Ocean View to SA.png

A really rough composite created in Photoshop. It's obvious that this is a combination of multiple images from various sources and different levels of quality. Click the image to see it larger.

Ocean View - Top of Trees_v01.png

The final look after blending the original composite with an acrylic and wide brush and ink painting technique from Studio Artist. Click the image to see it larger.


The prologue in Tarzan is set up to be one of the most intricate and memorable scenes. It provides an incredible amount of exposition for the entire story, and it was established early on that this scene needed to take priority in our blue sky brainstorming sessions.

Using our massive 30-foot-wide LED video wall as a backdrop, I animated a few different shots of a ship rocking back and forth in various positions, focal lengths, and distances. Our actors were placed in front of the screen and used ariel silks when appearing to be drowning underwater.

I had the opportunity to also serve as the sound designer for this project, which allowed me to sync a vary vivid soundscape and concept to this scene, allowing for a very convincing and rather terrifying moment of the show.

Tarzan Prologue Ship.gif

The first time we see the ship from the distance in the prologue.

This is only the beginning of a longer post and showcase highlighting this project. The full debrief will be coming soon. Thank you for reading about my Projection Design for Disney's Tarzan at The Playmill Theatre!

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