Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Environment Piece Finished

First thing I've learned is, don't say you'll create a better piece of work than someone else's, cause you'll only look stupid if it doesn't. Having said that I felt that my work still looked pretty good.

Sam's war torn building I felt looked very good especially the areas lit up by the firelight, although it did look rather dull, empty, hollow and somewhat lifeless.

And so with some wisdom granted from my tutor I set out to make it a lot more interesting to look at by editing it to look more like a radioactive area, complete with green haze and green glowing mushrooms. There is a definite improvement between the 2 pieces as there is a lot more light and so there's a lot more to see. Also the plants act as a source of light making some nice warm glows.

I am very happy with this piece, as it really is something interesting to look at with the green colours and all the glowing mushrooms.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Environment Prep. Work

Our next task is create an environment that could possibly be used as an environmental concept piece for a video game. The image must be a full colour 300dpi A3 Print size and we've also been asked to experiment with complimentary colouring as well.

And with that we were released into the wild for an hour and a half to collect first hand research of environments, in this case, buildings around Manchester.

My initial thought were to try and create a fairly realistic looking environment photo of a building during say a post apocalyptic war? Maybe not necessarily post apocalyptic, but I think it'd be interesting to completely change the scenario that a building is in and I also think it'd be really cool if people could recognise the building I've used as well.

With that here are all the photos I took with stunning iPhone quality (sarcasm)


Manchester definitely has some great architecture within it, although I never saw any real potential in any of them as I felt that they were just a little bit too dull and I didn't want to paint just a building.

So for the project I chose this picture as my main reference.

I felt that it was an interesting photo with lots of activity and also showed off a lot of the Printworks building and I can easily imagine some survivors huddling around a fire in a barrel with a little checkpoint at the junction in the road as well and possibly at night time or dusk with blues and oranges.

Here I have also reconstructed the scene using Google SketchUp where I've also added a couple of wholes in the building as well as the checkpoint and a couple of barricades. This will greatly help me with the painting as it'll act as a very useful template although there are a few things I will still edit when it comes to painting, namely the height of the lamp posts.

And this is what I will actually be painting over for this project.

Now I am well aware of a certain post apocalyptic piece of Printworks that someone has already done which I will surely look at for tips and some influence, although if I'm honest I see this piece as a rival piece rather than inspiration so hopefully I'll be motivated to create a superior piece.

It is very good though so we'll see how my piece fairs against it.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Character Turnarounds

In our next task we were asked to create a character turnaround, as a 2D artist, we may sometimes be asked to create a character turnaround for the 3d artists to use as a template when creating the character within a 3D modelling program.

At the start I wasn't terribly sure what character to create as I wanted to make someone who actually was a real character. For instance, if you look at the Team Fortress 2's classes, they are all real characters, each with their own physique and distinct voice.

Originally I was at a lose with coming up with an original character, so much so that it was starting to really irritate me, so much so that I then went for the first thought that came to my head. Which just so happened to be, "John, the Intimidating Office Worker".. It's original at least.

For his physique I wanted him to be big and bulky but maybe slightly too short legs, cause he's an office worker after all, not an athlete. For a little bit of help I also looked at the Heavy from TF2 and how his proportions vary around his body. However I maybe should've looked a little closer and paid more time into the side view as he's a little too upright and he does seem to be a little too skinny as well.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Armour Design

After designing weapons, our last task was to do an armour design, and to get every (or at least me) excited our tutor brought in the art book for Skyrim, and freakin' hell it's pretty. To say the least, the artwork put into Skyrim is amazing, very inspiring. Course 15mins on the Skyrim wiki turned me off the idea of armour that could be within the game it is just too limited and almost plain with a few exceptions.

So instead a did some research into fantasy armoury in other RPG games whilst also taking a look at some real life medieval armour.

With some research under my belt I then attempted to paint out my armour, to say the least it was tricky. As I paint I am mechanical, something that's one way on one side, must be exactly the same on the other side, done to several pixels, which is a bit unnecessary and is also where I waste most of my time. I also had a hard time coming up with an idea of what to make the armour look like, there are just so many different kinds of armour, and the last thing I wanted to do was to have another aboriginal masterchief look-a-like armour set, hence the movement towards fantasy armour rather than sci-fi.

I am happy with how the armour turned out to a degree, I like how shiny it looks in areas, and I also really like the splashes of red colour on the armour and I quite like how the cloth turned out as well. However there are many flaws with it that I prefer to try to ignore, and so please, don't look at it too long. The attempt at chainmail didn't look too bad which I was very happy with, since they first made an appearence on the armour at the elbow joints as I was unsure how to place armour at joints of a person as they obviously need to bend, so I went with chainmail since it seemed to make sense. The main flaws with the armour I think is firstly the fact that he doesn't have any hands, go on and check, they aren't there. Clean forgot about them but it's ok, since your eyes will be too distracted by the dodgy left foot that just doesn't look right. I also must confess that the reason why he has a rag around his waist was because once again I was unsure of how armour  is made so that people are still able to bend and turn around and still retain some amount of movement, and so, I hide his crotch region and my shame with some decorative cloth.

So to conclude, I need to manage my time better so I'm able to take my time creating these pieces, and also that I need to do some feet studies as well as hands to improve, although despite the flaws, I still am quite proud of this piece.

Weapon Set Design

Task : Design a weapon set of 4 weapons, they must include a concealed weapon, a small weapon, a standard weapon, and a heavy weapon.

Sounds fun.

My initial thoughts were all ray-guns and death rays, however I wanted to veer away from the sci-fi area of things for a little bit. I landed on Western Sci-Fi instead with weapons from Firefly and the like, didn't veer too far as it turns out.

Firstly I did some research into the sort of weaponry they used within the series as well as the real life weapons that inspired them.

After looking at some research I then began work on each of the weapons by creating a 3D model of them to get the size and perspective right for each to create a more accurate looking weapon with straighter edges. After which I simply added more and more detail into it when I was painting over the template to create a detailed weapon.

The small weapon, a pistol, was the first to be created.

I loved the name of the pistol, the "Trusty Sidekick", hinting that it's a sidearm with a bit of a kick, which also suits it's appearance as it was based around a revolver or a magnum. I was a little dissappointed by the end result though as it lacks detail.

Next was the standard weapon, a rifle based off the Whinchester rifle

I knew from the start of this weapon that I wanted a lever-action rifle with bullets mounted on to the stock and a longer than necessary scope, not to emphasise that it is a powerful scope but rather it's not that high tech, hence why it has to be so long. Inspiration for the scopecame from the sniper scope in Saving Private Ryan. I was very happy with this rifle and I felt it had sufficient detail added to it such as the little decorations along the side of it, similar to the shape and markings of Mal's pistol in Firefly.

Next was the concealed weapon, which was a belt with explosives strapped to it.

I really liked the thought of this weapon as it really does have a Firefly-esque feel to it. The thought of purposely strapping explosives to a belt as part of some cunning plow or plan that would seem bizarre to anyone other than the Captain of the spacecraft, Serenity. I would like to point out that the purpose of this weapon is not to blow yourself up, but rather everyone around you, as the explosives are spring loaded and can be fired out in times of need all around the wearer, so that they're just out of the blast radiuses of the explosives. The inspiration came from a weapon I saw in a Deus Ex: HR trailer, as the main character fired shells out of his arms in all directions. I really liked the way this turned out as it looks like it would fit perfectly within the Firefly universe, especially as it has the writing and background that is seen throughout the Firefly series aboard the ship that says "Serenity", the ships name. I was also pleased with the level of detail I went into on this weapon, especially the reflections of light around the belt buckle.

That just left the heavy weapon then, and I had a fair idea of what kind of weapon I wanted to go for. Something that looked like part of an American civil war gattling gun. The gattling gun was somewhat rushed as I had left it to last and so wasn't able to do anywhere near as much detail on to it as I would have. When I first started off with this weapon I knew 2 things, it was going be called "Lola" and was going to be portable.

And with Lola out of the way all that was left was to bring them all together and maybe add a helpful diagram for the "Safety" Belt.

Vehicle Design + Pilot

Straight off the bat I knew that I wanted to have a big bad ass helicpter gunship of sorts with a slightly futuristic look to it, possibly dodging missiles and returning fire etc. Similarly I want the pilot to also look like as if he could take care of himself in a fight if he was ever shot down, although I don't want him to look too heavily armoured or anything.

Here is the gunship in an early stage of it's life. I've opted out of the action shot as it was my impression that the vehicles were going to be presented in a manual or something so I went for a very precise factory blueprint sort of look.

Initially I wanted the gunship to have propellors similar to that of the gunships in Avatar, but the wings were proving difficult as it is really really unclear how they're attached onto the gunships in the movie.The other problem I was ahving was that the gunship's cockpit made it look really unbalanced and front heavy so it needed improved.

Here it is finished.

The finished gunship sported a heavy machine gun turret with auto-tracking and 2x 44 "Reaper" missiles, which looking back at it now does seem a little overkill. Now for the pilot.

Initial sketches showed the basic figure with a helmet, with flip down range finder sights and some light armour along with some movement, which actually looked really well, which only saddens me since never got round to doing the legs.

After my sketching a did some silhouette work on the helmet since I really didn't know what I wanted it to look like other than a cross between a storm trooper's helmet and a space marine's helmet. What ensued was master chief's helmet somehow but never the less I liked it and also discovered how useful silhouetting could be.

After quickly sketching the helmet I then looked up some reference as to where the body armour should go across his chest. I also changed the background from pink to grey as it really didn't befit the pilot.

And sadly this is the finished pilot. I really liked the look of him and was especially pleased with the tonal work on the helmet, but it turned I wish I had more time to work more detail on to his chest plate and to do his legs. On another note, creating something original is very very hard. Just look at the spartan helmet clone.. subconscious, I'm blaming you.