Friday, 23 October 2015

Week 3-Viking Hand in

Name: Sarah Wright
P Number: p1322992x
Project Title: VS- Partially Stylized Character Project

Overview: To produce semi-stylized Viking characters based on the artwork of JC Leyendecker. The lead character is going to be a spritely young girl, with a collection of supporting characters from her village, and enemy characters. For this project I produced a main character 3 support character one main Enemy character and 2 lower enemy characters as well as promotional images.

The process for this included:
  • Researching and studying Leyendeckers’ work specifically his style of rendering. 
  • Finding "modern day Vikings" to bas my characters faces and body types on 
  • Researching Viking Clothing 
  • Sketching out my collection of characters 
  • Preparing my characters for colour and exploring pallets 
  • Producing final renders. 
Research/Mood boards:

A few sketches to get a feel for the characters I wanted to produce, in response to my Viking mood board.

Further Character Iterations:

Design Evaluation:

Colour research/thumbnails
I began this process by creating clown renders of my characters, from there I base my first pallets off the colouring in my Viking clothing mood board. After some feedback it was suggested that I take inspiration from Leyendecker for my colour choices. So I made a reference sheet of hero and villain images that I could extract my pallets from, this worked very well and I'm pleased with how the final pallets turned out.

Rendering Studies:
​Noting down the materials present in my character designs and studying how Leyendecker renders these.

Final Character Sheets:

Render Crib Sheet:
This was created in response to feedback, it was suggested to me that I put all the reference I needed for my more polished outcomes onto one sheet, so I did not lose sight of the Leyendecker look I needed to stick to.

Hel Character Exploration:

Composition thumbnails and Polished Promotional Images:

Evaluation Q&A

Q: Did I answer the brief?
Not particularly, in trying to hit the quantity of characters needed for the brief I missed out when it came to rendering them all in a Leyendecker style. I plan to put my characters back in the context of Leyendecker’s work when I revisit this project.

Q: How well did I mange my time
Pretty well. I ran out of time to polish some of my characters, but I can make that up at a later point. I feel like my hero designs are fairly strong though. However because I'm not used to the level of characters I had to produce I had to skip some iteration when it came to designing my enemy characters, and overall rendering time was cut. For future project I'll need to cut down the steps I usually take when producing designs.

Q: Did my end result represent what I wanted for this project?
Yes, I produced the quantity of characters I needed for this project, and I am happy with the designs of the majority of them. When it comes to the level of polish I wanted I didn't quite hit that, but that’s a matter of time rather than ability. 

Q: Strengths I found during this project
I was more efficient and organised in my process than I normally am. I'm used to creating one character at a time so I gave myself several opportunities to evaluate and check my characters against each other to make sure they all fit as a group, which helped me produce some solid designs.

Q: Weaknesses I found during this project
Trying to render my characters in the style of Leyendecker was an issue throughout this project.
Q. What stressed me out the most during this project?
The quantity of characters threw me when it came to cleaning them all up to an intermediate level.

Overall I love how the main character and Hel turned out. Though I fell a little short on time to develop my enemies my hero characters worked out great this project.This project may not have turned out as polished as i'd like, i can see where I can develop this and improve upon it. Also how I can mold this to better fit into my portfolio. So that’s a win for me.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Week 2- Character Creation

Since I was all over that place last week I took so time to go through and plan the rest of my project, with daily goals (written and ticked off on my many post-it notes)

 I started going through the motions without much of a hitch.

More Shield maiden designs closer to the end I decided to make her a Blacksmith character as well. The hair over the eyes was a happy accident that amplified the gruff  intimidating look I was going for.

Main Character designs. I'm choosing to develop the far left design

Main characters father

Swords-woman character, Married to the archer, looking after the main character

With my 5th character I came to a bit of a dilemma with his size. Originally I was gong to have him as a tall lanky, slightly hunched character to match his wife, however when testing this in a character line up  I changed his original size to better balance out the group. The contrast between the Archer and the Swords-woman also worked out in my favour.

checked the size difference with a character line up
Archer Designs
At this point I evaluated my designs and went through any changes that were needed. Some  structured self crit is good when I have something almost locked down.
After tweaking I did another arrangement similar to the composition I noted down last week, and took some notes, with the majority being about poses rather than design.

Now that I had my heroes more or less locked down I went back to dissect Leyendecker's style as that stumped me last week. I decided to do a few  material studies from his work, I first wrote down what type of materials I'd need to render for each character (the main ones being skin, hair, cloth, leather and metal). After I'd found examples of these in Leyendecker's work, I tried to reproduce the rendering style. I found that I can produce something similar to Leyendecker through texture effects when it comes to materials. When it comes to faces I'm stuck between using Leyendecker's softer style he used to paint woman, and his angular style that follows the planes of the face very closely.

Study sheet
Mid week I went onto the enemy designs. I decided on having Hel, ruler of the underworld in Norse mythology  as my main bad guy. I noticed Leyendecker's women have what Andrew Loomis described as "heroic proportions" that is they are generally 8-9 heads tall. So I made sure to reflect that in Hel.

Hel is also described in several ways: 

So I tired out a few looks, because I wanted her to be closer to Leyendecker's glamorous models I did not depict her as a hag, and later on also threw out the idea of having half of her undead. Instead to reference her original description of being half alive with the lower half of her skeletal, I drew her with body-paint depicting a skeleton to represent her half dead form.

The  lower enemies were fairly quickly sketched out as I realised I have little time left in my schedule so the have only the one main iteration. I wanted a small, medium and large damage dealing enemies, so I settled on these three, A large tank like Viking. A berserker witch, and a quick vicious wolf.

I also lined these characters up like the heroes for to test how they looked together. I found that Hel needs a new pose to better show her flamboyant character (time permitting) . The wolf  also needs work as well as the berserker (his shield's perspective is off).

To finish off the week I've been going through my Hero character designs, cleaning up their lines and doing clown renders ready for colour.

Blacksmith clown render with and without lines

Archer Clown Render

Swords-woman clown render. I also changed the look and pose of this character in response to self-evaluation

I'm very happy with how this week turned out as I completed all of my designs like I set out to do. My main concern now is getting everything done and polished in time, as I did rush a bit with the enemy designs so I don't want that to come back a bite me later on.

My goals for next week:
  • Finish the clean up and clown renders of all characters.
  • Decide the colour/materials of my characters.
  • Render basic lighting for character sheets.
  • Thumbnail and produce a promo piece. 
  • Present everything ready for hand in.