Wilson Tang was an art director and concept artist on Aeon Flux, Hulk, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, and several other movies. While at ILM, he pioneered the use of a modified video game engine to do "realtime previz" of non-existent settings. Here, for the first time anywhere, is some of his concept art from those films.
My sketches represents the top most layer of Coruscant, below the mile high buildings envisioned by Doug Chiang's sketches. When I started, I got 5-6 beautiful concept paintings from Doug's team up at the Ranch which established the mood and scale of the city. My job was really to detail it out, and make it hold up for the entire 7 minute sequence. Since I was an architect in a previous life, the architectural detailing was inspired by people like Shin Takamatsu (who I worked for) and Santiago Calatrava - contemporary architects known for their bold and inventive formal language.
I then took every shot in the sequence that George shot on green screen, storyboarded in the background, and then worked backwards to block in the entire city in 3D as well as the flight path through the city. The buildings themselves was conceived as a series of highly detailed "lego blocks" which allowed us to mix and match to avoid repetition.
In the end, what ended up on film was pretty close to what I designed — especially the industrial district since it was created as practical model at ILM's now defunct model shop. (Working with legends like Lorne Peterson who build the spaceships for the original Star Wars was pretty cool....but thats another story)
According to Tang, these are "screenshots of a modded game engine (UNREAL) which I used to allow Spielberg to do some 'virtual location scouting' for the Rouge City sequence in A.I. I did the same thing for Ang Lee on Hulk as well."
Adds Tang, "Since this was way back in 2001, I've been told that this is the first time in history when a game engine was used for making films (reverse Machinima), and I've got a patent from ILM to prove it."