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If you have been to The Escape Effect, you have probably noticed our epic escape room posters on display in the lounge.  In this blog, our artist at The Escape Effect, Russell Barton, shares his process for how he creates these awesome designs.

Establishing sketches

It all starts with a quick sketch to establish a concept for the posters.  Then, the team will bounce ideas around until we have a design we all like.  We always aim to keep the imagery true to the room itself, adding real life elements from inside the games. After establishing sketches are complete, I begin with a very rough 3D model generated in a SD modeling package.

These images show the rough model for Fright Before Your Eyes.  For this poster, we were recreating part of the room, so the first step was to start with a quick block model of the layout.

A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture of the 3D model for the Fright Before Your Eyes poster.
A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture of a different angle of the 3D model.

Creating a quick render

The next step is to create a quick render which I use to build the final poster in Photoshop.  One of the 3D packages that I use to sculpt is ZBrush.  I create these very rapid sculpts to build a form layout that I can paint over.

As an example of the rendering process, here is the poster from At Odds With The Gods.  I use a quick render to sculpt organic forms like the Cerberus and Hades figures shown here.

A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture of the initial 3D model for the At Odds With The Gods poster.
A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture of the progress of the At Odds With The Gods poster.

Adding elements of the room

Once I have all the 3D elements in Photoshop, the real work begins. This is where I spend the majority of the poster creation time.  As the images show below, I start with the base render in Photoshop and gradually add in elements of the room such as the bricks and posters.  More items and figures are added. In this example, the group of people is in silhouette with a purple trim to make them pop.

A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture of the model for the Fright Before Your Eyes poster.
A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture showing bricks and posters being added to the poster.
A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture showing more details and a group of people being added to the poster.

Creating the atmosphere of the game

The next step was to darken the poster to create the overall look and feel we were after.  This really set the atmosphere for the game.  Additional elements were added, such as the SD1000, a prop used in Fright Before Your Eyes.  Environmental details like fog and lighting, along with some final details, tie it all together.  It was also important to make sure the color and overall look felt right sitting with the posters we already have for the existing three games.

A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture showing lighting being added to the poster.
A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture showing fog and color adjustments being added to the poster.
A screen capture of the process of creating The Escape Effect posters.
A screen capture showing the finishing touches being added to the poster.
The finished poster for Fright Before Your Eyes with frame.
The finished poster for Fright Before Your Eyes.

The finished poster

Once the graphics are completed on my end, the poster goes through the next step where the frame and text is added.  The frames are kept similar throughout all the game designs, but each feature unique elements to tie them into their theme.  This Fright Before Your Eyes poster has Victor Strange’s gloves in each of the bottom corners, as well as the game name in its signature font at the top of the design.

Next time you visit The Escape Effect, check out all the game poster designs on display in our lobby.  Be sure to take a close look, as you may also find a hint in each one that will help you out when you are playing your next game!

Hand-Curated

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