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.

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