I’m now posting this as a backtrack not realising I hadn’t posted however, as mentioned in one of my earlier posts about how I wanted to touch upon creature creation I then went ahead into Zbrush and worked on one of Kasdeia’s demon followers that she can summon. This was heavily inspired by the Chimera with influences from magitek FF game series. I feel as though I put too much detail within the base model as this is something that should have been done within substance painter leaving cleaner normal maps. Due to this I feel as though the general finished effect of the model is taken away.
These where two of the concept art pieces for the creature with the character design sheet to base its poses from. The concept art here is very basic as a lot of the main design came from my previous character creation unit and therefore did not need to be expanded on by much. From the concept art I then had to come up with a backstory for this character.
“Once a formidable predator within ancient Pangaea Alkabir spent their time roaming vast mountain planes hibernating for a little time a year. Although they were feared by many Alkabir was still prey to some of the larger titans of the times, due to this Alkabir found themselves only hunting around nightfall when they knew it was safe to leave and scrape up the scavengers of the night. As all was going well and to plan for the smilodon a terrible earthquake caused by a nearby volcano resulted in a collapsing of his den revealing the beast to one of the titans. Within this moment blue lava rushed down the valley straight into the Titan preventing what could have been the death of Alkabir.
After this scare, the beast decided to change his ways and help those he once hunted of a night to safety with exceptions to any who opposed him. Due to those small few who did oppose against his ways an occasional battle would break out leaving Alkabir with war scars, over time the battles increased as the Titans began imbuing more fear into the various creatures across Pangaea, fewer fights were being won by the Smilodon and their fur was beginning to shed from the stress that their body had been put under soon enough would be the time for Alkabir to die. In one last hope to save the lands in which they prowled they made their way up the volcano sneaking past any foe detected. At the top lay a symbolical shrine made from an ancient explosion of the volcano here Alkabir presented trophies from their most formidable battles in hope to be noticed by the ancient gods. Being at the peak Alkabir had lost all their energy only managing to place the trophies on the shrine just before collapsing.
A few of the larger enemies detected Alkabir’s life draining from them and began to make their way to the peak to feast and bemuse themselves on how this vigilante had now fallen. Unknowingly to them the ancient ones had received Alkabir’s offer and had been watching their struggles since that life changing day. As a gift to Alkabir, the ancient ones bestowed godly powers upon him to become immortal and spend their time helping any who call upon them. Many years had passed and the now God had helped many creatures across the land, little known to him a threat so great not even the most
powerful of ancients could prevent was about to strike. During the early morning, just prior to dusk a green flash lit up the sky across the continent following the flash was a large asteroid moving at incredible speeds. It hit the crust so hard the continent split off into various lands and killed of near all those who inhabited. At this moment Alkabirs immortality felt like a curse ripping all their fur from their body and leaving them in wrenching pain from the shockwaves while watching everything die around them. Due to the heartache felt Alkabir fell into a deep hibernation. Hidden away in an overgrown valley, the land changed around him rainfall shaped a stream which later developed into a river connecting to a waterfall.
One day Alkabir was woken by a young girl known as Kasdeia shaken up by how much the land and creatures had changed Alkabir was aggressive towards the young human. It didn’t take too long, however, for Alkabir to sense the girl had good intentions and just wanted to help the god. Following the girl back to her home he was then locked away and trained to perform as a cruel circus act for many of years. Although nothing compared to the stress and pain already experienced Alkabir’s body began to break even further all their fur had gone minus one long main down their spine revealing a feeble body covered in scales. It was not only Alkabir who had been out through this cruel act as other creatures were also made to perform for crowds of humans.
One day Kasdeia came and rescued few of the beings she could and run away from the circus I which they were kept, Alkabir could still sense her good intentions and followed Kasdeia to a moon temple. A place where he could contact the other ancient ones, Kasdeia helped the beast up to the shrine where he could be healed during this time Alkabir also spoke with the gods of his time granting faunae powers to Kasdeia so she could speak with the various beings and summon when needed. Alkabir swore to fight alongside Kasdeia throughout however many years, during one of the battles a large amount of Alkabirs leg was torn off using what parts she could fix together Kasdeia formed a mechanical leg in place of the decapitated limb.
Kasdeia would ride around on Alkabir’s back sitting on a saddle fashioned from any materials she could lay her hands on taking him up to the place where she found him as a young child once a year to rest and restore both their powers. Throughout the years a temple had been built just next to the lake this was then used as a haven for Alkabir and their tamer during one visit Alkabir caught a glimpse of themselves in the lake noticing how large antlers had grown from the top of their head and giant tendrils in place of their whiskers the trophies he had offered billions of years ago had been bestowed upon them as a permanent reminder of their battles and kind heart. From this day forth Alkabir would use these as weapons in a hope to avenge Kasdeia and the creatures harmed within the circus, setting off from the Haven one last time Alkabir and Kasdeia fully suited up in battle gear ready for the final fight together.”
I used this backstory for when i then modelled my creature in Zbrush and rendered it out in unity i thought about the different environments i could place the creature in and how to convey emotion. Although I would have liked to have posed the creature and included Kasdeia in the final piece I didn’t have the time to finalise. This was the end single pass renders from that project.
from previous drawn concepts and thumbnail work I began converting and expanding ideas within Photoshop hoping to finalise on a style. For the first of these concept piece I used a fashion model to roughly get the human anatomy then refined this further. Making sure to work in separate layers throughout the work flow. I ensured that the outfit idea was on its own layer, the same went for the hair and other aesthetics such as tattoos/ branding. Not putting too much focus on the initial design ideas I used block colouring. As for the main focus of this concept a range of techniques where used. Again, I ensured the various parts; line work, block colours, light angles and shading had there own layers. The drawing took roughly around 3 hours to complete not including any tweaking for the shading I used the size 17 chalk brush as I feel this has best airflow and blending. Unfortunately this brush didn’t work too well in terms of the armour or dress rather than using a brush that blends well I should have used a fine detail one able to capture the rustic feeling of Kasdeia’s clothing. To add in the fantasy elements and reinforce that she was a demon tamer I took inspiration from Chris Ryniaks morning scribbles series and altered the design briefly. In a later piece when working out the demons this would developed on further. As a subtle detail to bring the finalised concept on her appearance together I used a smoke brush on low transparency and changed the colour to a soft cyan in order to reflect the mysterious notion of summoning demons.
Other conceptual pieces I carried out during this stage included refining the poses that I would later be sculpting Kasdeia around to make these poses more interesting I gave Kasdeia different weapons and demons ensuring to keep them relative to the poses she was in.
From the three poses the combat where she is using the whip had to be my favourite as it captured how fierce of a fighter the character is alongside reinforcing her backstory of being forced as an animal tamer.
References I used within these pieces include:
During the process on coming up with a character concept I was presented with the task of creating a matte painting to place my character in. Before working on my own from concept pieces I followed a tutorial based on Machu Picchu and how to expand a high angled wide shot. The software I used in order to carry this out was Photoshop CS6. This was the base image I was given.
I didn’t want to strictly follow the tutorial so added in my own elements and found a lot of inspiration from Asgard within the Thor films. The first step among this process was to sketch out a rough idea of what I wanted to create using the given image as a basis on composition. I chose to keep it simple to begin with extending the mountains within the distance and bring a cliff edge together in the foreground. I started painting in the sky with a soft brush using a basic gradient of dark blue at the top of the sky fading into a softer blue along the lower horizon line from here I began painting in clouds and blocking of colours using the Idropper tool to gain as close to the pre-exsiting spectrum as possible the Idropper tool was used heavily throughout the matte painting in order for me to make it as realistic as possible. This process was carried out throughout the majority of the painting until the surrounding negative space was filled. Following on from this I chose to add in spire like features attached down with chains as well as a distant waterfall this required some rearrangement of the composition however, didn’t take much longer to fix. The next steps involved adding in the finer details for this I had to zoom in and make light brush strokes following the pathways other trees, cracks and grass where following although I believe this was carried out successfully more time could have gone into this at a later stage to again make the image more detailed. after finishing off the finer details I then again decided to change to composition of the image more so the left side rather than having a sloping mountain edge I decided to make this into a sharp cliff edge with various drop offs. Overall I felt this worked out better however, more could be done to the image in order to gain a more professional result and is something I will be taking into consideration during my main matte painting along with any others I am tasked with during future projects.
During the third trimester studying Game Art and Animation two of our main modules consist of creating a game character or creature in 3d. In order to have a successful outcome within this unit human anatomy must be explored through a series of ways the main one of these being life drawing. Having already done life drawing in the past I already had a small knowledge on the proportions needed to draw a human correctly. even with these skills though I still struggled in drawing humans in various poses. Therefore took this further within both class exercises but within my own time too.
I will be posting regular updates and progression videos on my life drawings skills as well as character design, concept and modelling. All of this along with my sources of inspiration and how I came up with the character/s.
Life Drawing Practice 1:
TechDoc17_03_17 Document Reviewing the process and methods used within recent project on environment design.
Turn Around of the library building:
Single Shot Renders:
This is the final composition for what is titled ‘Project Sloth’ the inspiration on the layout was taken from Bone Temple as mentioned in a previous post. Although I was planning on adjusting the layout to a new temple as well as discussing this with the group it came to a decision that this would be the more appropriate image. Furthermore the textures, values and overall feeling of the image was a lot stronger than other layouts tried with one example being;
Although the rule of thirds is evident within both and very similar in the placement of the main image I could not get the idea across of steampunk. Furthermore this would have been more awkward within the group as their objects could not be placed accordingly.
Before editing the layout of the composition one more cave piece was tested, unfortunately I could not record this piece however I have a series of progression pictures of each individual layer.
The first layer composed of a rough sketch line art where a basic idea was created. Further more rough ideas of highlights and the direction the light entered the cave at.
Then next step was blocking out the colours using pen pressure and a chalk brush this way the colours blended together more easily. For this step a class mate helped me in the methods and how to develop a more professional finish.
This is how the cave appeared after the image was blocked out along with the specular light and radial light being evident. In parts the light reflected i added in a slightly more saturated value creating a lower light space. The next step involved adding increasing more detail.
This is where a higher opacity brush was used however this was later lowered to blend in with the under layer. The final step was to include in more foliage and detail within the image to finalise the composition.
This is the final composition I believe the level of detail is successful as well as the various tonal values. I also believe that a little more story and 3d aspect is identifiable within the final image.