Continuing on from my initial concept with Kasdeia and how she could summon demons I began drawing out ideas heavily influenced by Chris Ryniaks work. These would be the demons in their summoned form however, I wanted to look into the way they would appear before taming. Along with altering designs from concepts I had already viewed I worked on my own. The first of these was the idea of a giant toad/ frog creature I was struggling to create a creature that looked fierce enough therefore referenced one I had already found and altered different aspects of this along with merging matte painting techniques.
The second of my designs was that of a leviathan, not those shown within the Final Fantasy series however, more of a biblical type. Again, I used ideas from Chris Ryniak’s work to influence me when designing out the summoned demons. The following step was to draw out the not tamed idea of the leviathan this was another concept where I took aspects from my references and blended it in with a final idea, I feel like this is a downside to the first two concept pieces as more of my own influence could have gone in to them.
The following concept was for a demon rodent or small creature, the idea I chose to go for was a hamster as its so controversial as to the idea of scary. I found it difficult to find a reference picture for the proportions of this however, after some time I found a suitable image for me to base my drawing off. From this image I then added in slightly more threatening features such as sharper teeth and green slime finally finished by a extruding tongue. The fear aesthetics of this creature came from a mimic in the dark souls series.
The final and what I believe to be the most successful in the concepts was that of the sabre tooth demon god. I wanted this to be one of the main demons that Kasdeia used if not had summoned on a permanent basis. For the idea of godlike I gave it tendrils either side of its face that harnessed magical powers. Although similar to whiskers in there placement they where more like sensors. The inspiration for this idea came from the Coeurls within Final Fantasy XV and how they used the tendrils to charge and harness lightning powers. The main feature of the demon was the sabre tooth face and body. For this I searched for both 3d models and fossilised references. Overall I believe this was the more successful of the concepts and is the one I will be taking forward over others.
Link to time lapse video of sabre tooth god: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGur_gMD-lg
before heading into backstory for my character I chose to sketch out fast thumbnail designs on Photoshop using a pen pressure controlled transparency. I chose to do this to get a rough idea on the character I ended up creating and others that could push ideas within the future. As a time limit and to loosen myself up i gave myself a set time of 30 seconds for each thumbnail. In doing so I was allowing my hands to loosen and not to think too much on the brush strokes I was creating. Having already studied life drawing prior and having brief understanding on how human anatomy was I saved time in not looking at reference images.
A lot of the same designs started reflecting in each new thumbnail with ideas then bouncing from one another resulting in me knowing further the type of character I wanted to create. The next step was to devise a background for the character as well as details such as name, age and appearance. Drafting this out a few times the final result was that she would be a Demon Tamer, 25 years old and that her name would be Kasdeia Ravada. The full in depth back story is below.
It was then from the backstory that I began drawing out more detailed concepts first by hand then transferring the styles and elements digitally all the meanwhile using references to help me along the way. Initially within my hand drawn concepts I depicted Kasdeia with the faun like ears from a young age rather than something she was given. It was playing with this idea though that helped me within developing the back story.
This was the hand drawn idea within my sketchbook initially the idea was to make her look mysterious even as a child however, i felt this didn’t reflect her persona or the troubles she was going through. I also started writing notes along my work a small example of this can be seen on this concept where I’ve commented on removing the ears.
Next to this I also began in drawing out the various poses from basic zsphere models I created within Zbrush. From these poses i could then develop further by adapting them digitally and making a skin to sculpt with.
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.
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.
Nearing the end of the project my group and I started changing around the composition of the final image to account for everyone’s placement and roles for the conceptual piece. After creating numerous layout one issue we came across was that the flat image was too boring and never told a story therefore I changed the composition. However, again this was then discussed as a group and it was decided that a cave would not account for the placement of a city, robot dinosaur, airship and character. Furthermore the cave did not come across as steampunk enough which was our decided theme.
In order to fix this aspect I researched into different composition method such as the rule of thirds and then started applying this to my layout along with two point perspective. I also found a previously worked on digital piece however could not find the artist that cohered with the finished piece. I found this through YouTube channel Adrien Von Ziegler a composer who specialises in Fantasy and Celtic music.
Of course the elements within this are not steampunk which could then be adapted to the project being carried out. However the layout is more appropriate to what we needed. Furthermore this would be a greater image to get across the notion of Dystopia.
After more discussion with the group we finally decided that this was more suitable for us all including the placement of each individual component.
Within the work being produced titled “Project sloth” numerous references and research was carried out and looked upon. More so focusing around artist research and on a base level what is steampunk? During the beginning half of practical assignment a presentation had to be completed where artist and previous works where displayed alongside inspiration from other games was gathered together and discussed. That presentation can be found below.
Some of the information given within the presentation such as the team members and roles has now changed since then. Other factors that have changed alongside the team members was the composition and creature design. To an extent it was difficult to work around the changes and to account for the new layout and theme. Furthermore, merging the different art styles together and creating what appeared to be a coherent way of working. A lot of the methods and tools used to create the work varied although because of communication and feedback among the other team members it was brought together in a successful manner.