Bookards: Emotion concept
The goal of this project was to create an emotional setting for my wife's story and to create some visual ideas for a woman who thinks almost entirely in words. The challenge here was converting simple ideas and concepts into a visual that would make kids go "Aww its so cute" or "Oooooo I like it" (Total success on that front by the way).
I was provided with the following
~The librarian is the main character, she is casual, kind and likes T-shirts
~There are intelligent talking mice that live in the library and help without her knowledge
~There is a girl that has watched from the shadows and no one else knows she is there
~The library is warm and loved
Starting with some sketches and thoughts on a simplified and anthropomorphic mouse that can convey expressions through posing. There is also an idea that they drive around in a little toy car and that the little one most loves driving, so that deserved a little sketch as well, just more ideas on the dynamics of the mice.
Then moving into a bare compositional sketch and color palette swatches to get the relation of the woman to initially just one mouse. I then asked for input from friend/mentor Adam Duff who recommended adding in more mice to create more of a flow between the characters and to expand the size of the mice to match her, very convenient as there are 5 mice in the story.
Process View Description
~The next step was blocking in colors. The image is a bit excessively warm to literally push the concept of a warm and inviting space, meanwhile the mice and the mid-ground are a much cooler grey to create a clear separation.
~A pass of adding in shapes and spots of color to clear up the idea and setting of the library. Reference photos of my wife were shot to really nail the posing of the girl reaching as far as she could and being about to tip over, always very fun to shoot reference photos. My wife made me promise to destroy the photos after using them and not show anyone, so sorry about that.
~A pass plotting out the aspect and perspective of the image, something I find very pleasant and enjoyable solving the puzzles of how things work together and overlay. I work on set lights at the same time as they are also very heavily reliant on the perspective grid and placement in 3d space.
~ A pass getting feedback again from Adam Duff on improvements to the image and making sure that the story read properly. Set dressing was the main thing in need of improvement and a suggestion to make the colors pop more and add some more whimsy.
~Final cleaning of the image and re-balancing the colors, refining the lights where needed to convey depth and just generally making it feel cozy.
End result is a very fun image that makes little kids squeal with delight, a really delightful success.
Game Jam Concept
This concept sheet was made for a local Game Developer Conference's first year at SWOSU college. The descriptors were provided a week before the conference and the organizers wanted to have a very wide choice of possible subjects for the first time they were doing this. The theme was "Royalty"and a modifier list of 12 other words with the need to select 2 or more to create a game asset concept.
The first challenge was of course to pick out items from the list and go from there. With many rough sketches that were jotted down and thrown away of various things like a Mustard Jar King, a Musical Guardian, or Aerial Mystic. I finally decided on a Deep-sea and Crystalline Royal Mount due to seeing a Nautilus on TV while sketching.
The sketches on the left were ideas of various ways that such a creature might be used in an undersea setting, ignoring much of the physics of how the animal functions in the real world. to push a concept. But after seeing the horrifying beak mouth of the animals a war mount was chosen.
From that point it was simply a matter of thinking about how to modify such an animal for warfare and rendering out the ideas while making sure to include things that could differentiate the unit in a real time war game and create a secondary movement for such a unit.
The design did take first place, so it was successful. There was no reward or anything of the sort but getting to help a local GDC get started and getting to talk to so many other people interested in game design was delightful.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Character design concept/illustration
A project done for a long-time friends Warhammer: Age of Sigmar event at a game store.
Getting to bring a friends ideas to life and to direct the development of a character while getting feedback choices along the way is great fun, even if you aren't getting paid to do it.
Draft and Design Process
The brief was very simple, This is a character that needs to have obvious parallels with Guy Fawkes and fit into the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar world, he is a mischievous mage who loves gold sewing chaos and fire.
Guy Fawkes being so well known at this point for the iconic masks made the starting point obvious, lets design some masks, let my friend pick which he likes the most and then go from there! His choice being B led me in the direction of a more regal yet tattered and a bit undead approach.
A pass at body choices and decorations was next, I made the decision to push tattered long robes because of the potential fun and ease of design and that they fit the setting. Again he went with B
A pass at the level of "Bling" or gold that was going to go on the character and creating an elaborate "Mages Collar"
Taking his thoughts and choices and rendering them out into a final character design. Then presenting some options on a large gaudy golden staff to go with the character, the staff was not used in the illustration but the design was fun, he liked #1 and I liked #3 but it did not matter.
Process View description
~I started out with a very rough sketch of the character looming over a battle field and treating the units as puppets, very literal interpretation at this point while keeping the battlefield as an actual game play area.
~I did not like the game board idea and changed the setting to be more illustrative with an actual battlefield and the idea that he would be manipulating specific units to create chaos. Using fog to create a visual barrier separating and placing him above the fight in a very literal sense.
~I began adding in units and actors directly related to and designed by Games Workshop the makers of the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar game. And also putting in some explosions and fire.
~Another pass refining units and clearing up what they were. While also changing the perspective and placement of the Fawkes character, I fiddled around with that a great deal given how much of the image was comprised of that character, being sure to stress that it was about him more than anything else going on.
~At this point I looked for feedback and got some from Marc Brunet on one of his ArtSchool streams. His feedback was to change the perspective on the head and light up the scene more.
~And so I did! Under lighting the Fawkes mage and creating more movement with floating ash. Also flipping some parts of the image and trying to direct the eye more.
In the end the design was successful and my friend was very happy with the image. Again working with other people and bringing their ideas to a reality is really delightful.