Prop: Anything that moves that isn't alive. At least, that's the definition Art Lee gave me and sounds solid enough for me. So if a door opens, a gun fires or zombie burns, the prop department makes sure it looks good. Hellboy Prop Department = Andy Chiang and Art Lee. Door open - they look at the storyboard and layout drawing and duplicate the door in the required perspective. If Abe walks in and fires the gun we need to know what the gun looks like, the bullet, the muzzle flash and the wisps of smoke that rises afterward. Technically, the drawing of the holster on Abe is called a "Special Pose" and the character model guys handle that.
Depending on their time, the budget and their computer department, the overseas studio will sometimes apply a texture layer so that the door would be painted just like the background with no give-away simplification of color to spoil the surprise of Abe charging in the door. But since we can't count on that, our color stylists have to color key every prop, no matter how small.
I used to say that no production was "official" until I had approved a toothpick. It represents the level of detail required in animation, that such a simple object needs to be drawn, colored, approved and pasted up on its own model sheet. Hmmn, I don't think I've okayed any toothpicks for Hellboy but then I've never had to sign off on so many bones, blood stains and monster ashes before either.
I guess it balances out. -- Tad