I really loved the artistry in the title sequence for Marco Polo – the art direction is just perfect, drawing as it does on traditional Chinese painting, but with the underlying themes coming through in the imagery.
There’s a great article over on The Space Between, the Mills own behind-the-scenes blog, on how the title sequence was put together and where the art direction and themes came from. It’s well worth a read.
The most interesting part for me was the creation of the ink effects, using a high-speed camera so they could better control the timing of the footage later on, and recreating the artwork with water on heavy stock paper – when the ink was added, it spread out following the invisible water artwork. It’s an great technique that works really well for the piece.