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1 Year of artistic growth
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1 Year of artistic growth

Julian Hartinger
by julianhartinger on 2 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

The following images show my growth as an concept artist over the period of the last year. 2021-2022

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I had the pleasure to work on the game project "Nura´s Wish" as an Artdirector, Concept Artist and Environment Designer.

Nura´s Wish is an atmospheric puzzle adventure where you solve puzzles as a red panda. The puzzles are light based.

Here you can see a selection of some of the stuff I did.

Demo and Trailer could be played and seen here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1659890

We needed some promotional Art- here you can see one of the so called "Steam capsule" images I created.

Ideation/Moodpiece Tutorial/Forrest Area

We wanted to have a forrest area in the game. We wanted it to look mysterious so we tried different color combinations. At the end we decided on the blueish-green one.

Ideation/Moodpiece Tutorial/Forrest Area Color variation

Expression sheets for the protagonist. It was important to us to make the protagonist cute. We decided on a red panda because we thought a wolf or fox were already overused and to have something fresh but still similar in a way.

He is red and smart like a fox. Also more unique with his fur pattern then a wolf and he is also cute and fluffy.

We wanted to have 4 different areas - like the 4 elements. For the Rock Area I had red stones like in the Grand Canyon area in mind. Here are some images to establish a color palette for the Stone and water area.

In the second piece about the rock area you get a foretaste of the temples that we wanted to use in this biom.

We wanted to have water area later in the game. Here you can see a first concept also with the guardian spirit who has the shape of an otter. I had the idea to use stones and giant lilypads as jumping platforms.

These were the concepts for the spirit guardian of the water area later in the game.

The panda has a fairy as companion. It works as a light to solve the puzzles. One of our first ideas was to create something like a typical fairy- later we had the idea to make it look like a moth. 

We ended up with something very anorganic for the fairy- which you can see in the playable prototype. Since we weren't completely happy with it -we wanted to create something that's more inspired by a jellyfish or lampion down the road. So here you can see some silhouette thumbnails for that.


Concept Paintover+ UI of the Main Menu

We wanted a minimalistic UI for the main menu. Later we decided against the triangles because they where to aggressiv and futuristic.

A Selection of humbnails of the altar stones that the player has to lighten up in every puzzle to solve it.

We have different objects in the puzzle areas that get activated. Here you can see a stone plate that will get activated if the player puts something heavy or himself on it.

I made this temple ruin with the goal in mind to create a game environment that could work for a side quest in an adult fantasy game like Witcher or a Soulslike.

The player has to explore and investigate the ruin and stop whatever makes the evil magic appear from that place.

Since i am a huge fan of gothic architecture I got Inspired by british castle- and church ruins. I wanted to create something the player wants to explore and at the same time also implement some game mechanics.

I used Blender 3d and different mesh packages to save time with the walls and pillars - so I got more time to focus on the general map design and hero assets. 

After I rendered different Layers in Twinmotion - I started the paintover in ProCreate. 

"The Dark Ritual"

These finished illustrations show the beginning of the journey of a courageous heroine. The base for this where the dark temple ruin from above. 

I created this mushroomfarm for an arttest - since it was an artest I am not able to tell more about it ;)

The final painting of the parchment tower. The idea behind this piece was to challenge myself with a special material on this environment - parchment. I wanted to have this beige, parchment textured surface - with the different  imperfections that would be on the tower and surrounding environment if it made out of paper. I also wanted to do a ruin type of watchtower because I like ruins. Other then that I wanted to experiment within Blender and the fracture modifier and "simulate" in a way the destruction to create a more complex and realistic look. 

Here is a mood piece that I created before the finished one. I wanted to create a peacefully yet extinct mood that creates some epic scale to the watchtower ruin. Also I wanted it to be "light" in optical weight. Since it didn't show the parchment that clearly I also created the "final" image above.

This one shows the Interior- since its an abandoned watchtower ruin there isn't much interior over. Some beds, a table and some good old barrels. The Idea is that the player can explore its way through the watchtower ruin and some paths are blocked by rubble. The player could find a bit of loot and a document/diary that explains that this is an abandonend watchtower and what happened to the former crew. He fight a couple of enemies that I didn't specify further in this design.  At least they should be in some way the former crew but as skeletons/undead which attack the player if he enters.  They could also be made out of parchment.

These are orthographic views to help a 3d modeler to create the model of the watchtower. 

These are alternative compositions that I tried and didn't use in the final one. Also since I tinkered around in Twinmotion I had the opportunity to try different materials for the rock around and came up with this very blue icy look -I added some snow. Since it was my own project I had the time to try this different interesting stuff but at the end I came back to the to my  initially goal of the parchment look- which Twinmotion was also super helpful- because with Quixel I had already a nice paper material as a paint-over base. 

This shows the process

1. I created (with the help of references) a lot sketches- which you can see (some) further down the page. Also I created some analog materials and build some paper models to see how the edges from paper that you glue and build together look like. 

2. I created a rough 3d model on my iPad trying out a new software which is normally for CAD models- turned out not to be that good. Reason for that -after export the model got triangles and some loose edges and vertices floating around that I had to clean up. 

3. I recreated the whole model of the undamaged tower in Blender and used the first model as reference. Now there was this very interesting part with the fracture modifier that I wanted to use on the floor that is made of wooden beams. Since it contained out of multiple objects grouped together the normal boolean modifier did not provide the clean result that I also needed for the fracture modifier. I tried different stuff and ended up using a small Blender add on that I bought on Blendermarket. Its called "Noisy Cutter". I used it to cut the wooden floor in two pieces and then I applied the fracture modifier on the smaller piece to break them up further. I applied some rigid body "physics" to the objects and everything "exploded" - the mesh pieces got stuck into each other and where dancing and flying around. After some further tinkering I got everything to work. I build the whole broken up wooden  floor outside the tower-and then pushed it back in again. Still had to rearrange a lot of the wood that felt through the tower -so that I admit It would have been much faster and easier to place the wooden pieces by hand OR build the whole wooden thing separately from the beginning - make it "fall" outside the tower on top of  some sort of dummy and put the pieces with their current position back into the tower. 

4. Put the whole model into Twinmotion, textured it, tried out different compositions and lighting scenarios. Finally came finally up with the one you could see on the "final" image. I painted over it using ProCreate. 


When I had the first finished model I made a short paintover to test how I could get the nice looking parchment look I was going for. 

Creating the "analog" materials to test how paper would look like and also decide if I want to have any sort of colored ink on it. Also tested out different techniques to give the parchment/paper different textures or colors. At the end I decided against a lot of them because I dint like them and didn't want to be "noisy" with the paper.

Here you can see a selection of the sketches I created for the project. I explored different shapes of towers,  various shapes and materials of battlements. Divers shapes and versions of the of the surrounding environments and an optional bridge.  I decided to go for a combination of the two shown main sketches.  I liked the idea that I saw  on an actual castle in Heidelberg. There was a huge piece of the tower that was disjointed by the rest of the building. I wanted the player to use it as a path into the second floor and wanted to have the main door thats on the side be blocked by rubble. 


Some Reference- used Pinterest and my own photos for ref search. Searched mostly for tower ruins and stuff that is made out of paper. Also for broken up wooden floors -to get the skeleton look that I wanted. Turned out, dioramas are a very cool source for reference and since I build them also from time to time it got a lot easier to transfer the stuff that I saw there into 3d.

This painting shows a cargo HOV-5T4R vehicle bringing cargo and research equipment into an old alien monument. 

I started a course at the beginning of 2022 with the awesome mentor Jose Vega. I learned a lot of Blender and 3d Coat, how to model and texture efficiently for concept art and a lot of other stuff. Jose gave a ton of valuable feedback and I was able to speed up my process a lot and also raise the bar of quality. I did some sketches (which you can see below) before the course -but this image is the final outcome of it. 

I am happy with the outcome and also glad because now I have a sci-fi piece for my portfolio. There is still a lot that could be improved- for example the specific design of the pillars in front of the monument. Also the architecture of the building itself but I wanted to finish this piece and move on to new artprojects.  

Here you can see some detail views of the HOV-5T4R and the cargo containers- I decided not to use batteries but instead create some cylinder shaped cargo containers. 

A quick photobash I did before I jumped into 3d to have a base to model from. 

Different ideas for compositions -made in Blender 3D. I wanted to go with a happy more sunny day look so I used the same bright HDRI to light the scene on most of them. I kept the shadows and shapes in mind for the composition.

Some sketches of front designs that got inspired by cars, motorcycles and farming machines. 

Sketches for the cargo plattform I added because I was realizing that it fits to little luggage on the vehicle itself and for the mood I aimed for.

There is functional stuff that I figured out how it could work  and I played with the shapes to make it look futuristic and interesting using the rule of thirds. I just put everything onto the paper even if some of the stuff together won't work because I want to care about that into 3D later on. 

Some of the sketches I created when I realized that I need some sort of technology to maneuver and to make the Vehicle fly/hover.

This are the first thumbnails I created for this project they where just a practice but I wanted them to put them into an actual painting later on. 

Here are some of the references I used. I got inspired a lot by the Halo games and Star Wars for this image. I also looked at reallife farming machines and motorcycles. 

Here is just a little exercise I did in Twinmotion with the help of Quixel Megascans. None of the assets are mine- I just composed the scene to play around with Twinmotion and practice a bit compositing.

At the end I just want to thank all of the people that gave me feedback the last year on my work and helped me to improve as an artist. <3

If you made it till here- I wanna say thank you that you took the time to read all the stuff and hope you like at least some of the paintings.  If you would like to check out some of my other work or follow me on my journey to become a better concept artist- don't hesitate to follow me on Artstation, Twitter and Instagram:

Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/julianhartinger

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iiixlemmixiii/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulianHartinger


Have a nice day and kind regards,


Julian


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