I've been focusing on my environment more recently, trying to figure out the final shape of the building and the layout of the laboratory. As this small environment will be the main focus of the animation, it can receive a lot of design and attention, along with trying to make it as richly detailed as possible. Below are the first two layout tests I've put together. I've tried to think about lighting as much as possible, with the idea of using green-house like glass and stained windows as much as possible to give it a more interesting and rich feel. This is obviously still quite basic with no colour, but its definitely opening up some possibilities. I'm going to work on a Pre-viz animatic this week to try and work out exactly how the time-based animation is going to work, along with a length.
The first design is a rectangular hall-like room, with a curved glass roof with one side of the room being windowed and the other half a glass green-house wall. This would saturate the room with lighting and god-rays.
The second layout is a circular area with a dropped floor, including a glass ceiling which leads from a more square part. I think this could be a good way to present the time machine, with it below the spherical glass, lit up with sun-rays.
I'm going to work on some further idea and possibilities, as well as getting the lab-details previz'ed such as the furniture and machinery.