Saturday, 25 January 2014

Witness the creation of a Moment from the final instalment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - from initial sketch to the finished artwork…

Tom Hodgson, Pottermore’s Creative Director, shared a time-lapse video during his presentation to an audience of Harry Potter fans at A Celebration of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort.

The time-lapse video, specifically created for this event, shows how a Moment gets from the drawing board to the final splashes of colour. The Moment in question is ‘Snape’s Dark Mark’ (from Chapter 36 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) which will be released in the final instalment of the book on

Now that the artwork stage of this Moment is complete, the Moment moves across to our animation, sound, design and development teams to apply the finishing touches.

We hope you enjoy this video.

(When playing the video switch on your volume to hear the audio clip from the story that relates to this Moment – courtesy of the Pottermore Shop.)

Is this how you imagined a Moment being made? Tell us on Facebook if you have an account, or on Twitter with the Hashtag #HPCelebration. If you enjoyed this video, you might also enjoy reading about the ins and outs of how this particular Moment was created. Tom explained to the audience:

       “...As you can see, this is the Moment where Snape reveals his Dark Mark to the still disbelieving Fudge.  The audio you heard was Jim Dale’s reading of the Goblet of Fire, which is available as a digital audio book at the Pottermore Shop.  You can also listen to the digital audio books at the Pottermore booth throughout this weekend, so do pop by.

I’m going to use this Moment to demonstrate our thought process when blocking out the scene and the positioning of the characters: As we have shown the Hospital Wing several times before - Harry always seems to end up there! - we concentrated on choosing an interesting angle that we have not seen before.  We knew how we wanted the room to look – its dimensions, the windows, the bed, the flagstone floor, so the challenge was how to present and position the many characters in the scene.  We spent a lot of time blocking it out – establishing where the different characters might be that made sense in terms of the scene, but also to conceal faces.  Whilst we’re on the subject of concealing faces, I want to explain why we do this in all Moments on  We try to provide the most faithful companion to the reading experience possible, and one of the most important aspects of reading is your own imagination. It is not for us to tell you what Sirius Black looks like in detail, or contradict the vision you have of him in your head. Instead, we encourage our users to celebrate their own versions of the characters and we enjoy looking at some of the fantastic pieces of artwork our users upload every week to show just what they see.  Please keep them coming.

Back to blocking the Moment: we painted two options for Bill - one on the bed and one on the edge of the scene.  After some debate, we decided that the bed wasn’t the way to go as the bedside was getting very crowded with Bill, Sirius and Harry all jostling for space.  We moved Madam Pomfrey because she was obscuring Bill’s ponytail and once Harry’s positioning was correct we could place Padfoot in a protective pose.”