I have started this project off with an idea that I want to be a prop creator, or a weapon maker, but for some reason I was really close minded about character design as I’m not too confident with the Human Form. But the very first thing I’ve done in this project was to create an environment, interior and an exterior.
I was using the pareidolia technique for some quick designs. Now that I am looking back at it, and at most of my designs, I think I was doing things wrong. As there isn’t too much development of the ideas going on, just few sketches to figure out what I want to do and then straight into the main thing. I now feel like with my designs to be on the safe side I would do 9-12 quick sketches, pick 3-5 develop them a bit further and then pick 1-2 and develop them even further and use these designs instead, plus then it would be easier for me to cope with everything I guess.
I have picked a nice design of a temple like building from Japan, since my game was set in Japan I thought that was a good idea. I have used Sketch Up in order to create the building, I think that I took too long on it as it has a lot of detail in my opinion, but it actually didn’t need to. I might as well have used 3DS Max to create it although at that point I didn’t really know how to use it properly, or I wasn’t too confident in it. Plus if I actually did it might have given me more practice for the 3D Realisation Module.
I have decided to colour it in, and I tried to do it on Photoshop but it was over detailed and the thick black outlines from the Sketch Up model were stopping me from doing it right and it was overly frustrating at that time. So I have coloured it in in Sketch Up which looks alright I guess. The colours might not make too much sense though. Next time I would definitely create something less detailed on Sketch Up and then colour it in on Photoshop as it would be far more easier to do so.
Now this was less detailed but still done using Sketch Up, I wanted to do an interior look of a castle, it is not the same building that was shown before, just some castle where the spider queen resides. Because I have done it all using SketchUp, I had few troubles creating the props in there. Plus at that time I can’t recall whether or not they have been developed enough for me to actually create something, plus I don’t think I was too happy with them anyway as it looked too much as the reference that I’ve found of the internet, for some reason at the time I didn’t feel creative enough I guess to come up with something good. And it did frustrate me, but I think that next time around I shouldn’t have too much trouble as long as I do my 9-12 quick sketches to clear my head before fully designing. The cobweb, torches and the chandelier was taken from the storage found in the software.
Here are my interior objects designs, well… “my” I have used a lot of visual references which unfortunately made it look like the thing itself I was referencing, but like I said I know what to do now as every day is a learning curve for me and now that I am looking back at it I do feel like I’ve learned a lot which will help me with my work, plus my mentality has improved when it comes to my work and I think that I have found sort of my style which is effective and also looks original and stylised, or so I’ve heard on plenty of occasions.
This was my first time using pareidolia to create character design concepts, which I was actually happy with. Although at this point I have decided to base my game on a 2D side scroller that I still play from time to time called Maple Story. And the concepts were still useful but the style wasn’t right in my opinion. Although I don’t think it did matter too much at the time, as long as they were helpful. I have developed one of the designs which I’ve found the best in my opinion. The colours also worked although in the long run it wasn’t too good, especially in the next few concepts.
This is where things were going a bit downhill in my opinion. I didn’t know what I was doing, I then decided to change from Maple Story to Grand Chase which is a different side scroller but with more 3D effects so the character aren’t too 2D really. So I have used the body sprite of one of the characters (they’re all the same to be fair) and tried drawing one of the designs on it from my small sprite designs using Maple Story sprites. It was really confusing and it came out confusing as well. But at least it did help me separate the good designs from the bad ones. The colours just looked ugly, the little sprites were cute but the main big one… I don’t think so.
This is where I have cleared my head and went back to the Maple Story sprites idea. I have also changed the colours and have done some other colour variations that might work. I know I probably shouldn’t have used this tool but I’ve just used the Colour Replacement tool, it worked fine in my opinion and it was pretty quick so I am happy with it. Next time around I would probably do more facial expressions or actually do more than one. Maybe different looks and different colours since it was pretty quick for me indeed.
After I have finished my spider queen concept. I wanted to try it out in a setting of Maple Story and so I did, and it sort of worked, the only down side was that the outlines might have been a bit too thick, but if I would have done my own setting the same way I have done the characters, it wouldn’t be too bad, or just use a thinner fine liner to get the same effect just with less thicker lines. Also at this point I started thinking about my 3D Sketch Ups, and realised that it was for a 2D game so I wanted to attempt recreating these designs into 2D although for some reason I… forgot about it and it just went out of my head. Thankfully for next semester I am going to be keeping a checklist that will be updated frequently (weekly) and that will also help me organise my time properly. I have used a map from Maple Story at first and then I have tried drawing it myself. Also the background was mine, just tried to make mountains and it worked I guess.
We have then been given a quick project to do with story boarding, which I did enjoy, well the second part where I could story board my own things. Cause at first Gareth gave us a piece of text to read through and story board it, the text was very hard to understand at I didn’t do much for it, I just wasn’t happy with it. And then I have focused on my animation. I have used a sprite of a skill from Maple Story just added a bit of my own things to it which honestly you can barely see. And then I have realised that my story board wasn’t too much of a story board really. Plus there were few things I wanted to do as well, which was to show the demon hovering in the air after the transformation. And also I wanted to animate the queen in order to show how she would have a sinister smile and then disappear and reappear as a demon.
This was probably the most enjoyable part of the project, at that point at least. We have been given a small project to create a map for out game. I immediately though of the maps used in Maple Story which are very nicely illustrated and show you the available paths using these pearl like dots which represent the amount of maps in a certain area. I have used some of the references and added my own stylised spin on them to make it all look like it is from the same game of course. I’ve created a timeline to go with the story which has helped me with placing the areas and the available dots on the map. I do think that next time around I could come even closer to the Maple Story maps and have things going on out of the main images, like patches of grass, maybe some minor things in the background that could be found on that map which in the end could help designing the whole map as well.
This was the final part of the project, we had to create a final illustration which would showcase the game in a way. I have first decided to create a battle scene, but not the kind of scene you would see in the game, because games sometimes show these illustrations which are not the actual footage so I was aiming for a bit of that. Although I did use something I have made in the past, even though it was never graded before I still felt a bit uneasy about using it, so I have developed it a bit further using my own style which hopefully has worked out. I was thinking of re-creating the demon in my style as well but I wasn’t too sure about it, although right now I do think that I still could have given it a go. Or maybe even make the whole scene 2D as in a shot from the game.
I have then decided to create a front cover for the game, because it was based on Alice in Wonderland which is a story, I wanted to go for a book sort of thing. So even when you get the game and when you open it, it would feel like opening a book where there would be a disc with the game on it. Once again, I could have used this idea for my hand-in. I must say that the book illustration I have done is probably the best illustration I have ever made in my entire life. I am so proud of it and so happy with how it turned out. I will also create a 3D model of it and use it as a texture and see where it goes. I could use it for my portfolio I believe. The eye in the middle was based on a demon eye and also I have used my friend’s ring for the colours in a way.
To conclude, this project has had it’s ups and downs but more ups I believe. I have learned a lot, especially with organising things and not worrying too much because I am actually not that bad as long as I can keep up the quality of work I have started producing towards the end of semester, but I do see a difference and a change, I feel like I have improved and evolved and my art style has definitely developed.