Tag Archives: concept

Background designs

I’ve been checking this site: mattepaintingresource. And I downloaded some pictures as a startingpoint for the following image.

HK seighti test 1

It’s still a work in progress. In the end Seighti (the main character) should be going down the ‘river’ in a kanoo/kayak (I never seem to remember which is which). But at the moment I’m not good enough with color. I can add color-flats no problem. But to go on and add textures or make things look like they have volume. That’s not (yet) my strong point.

I think I want to make this one in a 3D environment, but with painted textures. So the image still has a bit of an 2D animation feel to it. I will probably use blender.

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Blender test

OK last time I made some buildings in Sketchup, but I wanted to have more detail. So I decided to use a proper 3d-manipulation program…and…..since I don’t have any experience working in Blender I did a tutorial online. A very good one at that.  A beginner’s tutorial made by BlenderGuru. A nine part tutorial in which you learn how to make a still life: donuts on a plate.

donut tutorial

Of course the subject has nothing to do with the S8i story. This was just a way to learn about blender; the User interface, shortcuts etc. etc. The tutorial focused on a photo-realistic render.

But photrealism is not really what I am going for. My goal is to make the backgrounds with blender, but still using hand drawn textures. The overall feel should remain that of a cell animated feature. I want the backgrounds to be reminiscent of the work of: Kazuo Oga (the man is a genius!) and of Jean-Leon Gerome (another genius!)

I’m still in doubt: should I make the characters in 3d or keep them 2d.

Like you see in my (GIIMP) sketch below I work with gradients, shadows, highlights and rim lights. This is possible in cgi (3d). But not as much in 2d animation. I really want to make an animation that remotely looks like this sketch. And I should find out what mix of 2d and 3d would be best.  The sketch is made for a prologue. More on that next time.

uniform try 2

OH……..I noticed I need a new computer.  My computer takes almost 5 minutes to render just one frame (the one with the donut).

Background check

Here my progress in drawing a background. I really love setdesigns, and wish to get better at it. But I have to make use of cheap trickery to make my work look like anything at all. roadtrip1.4

My initial sketch. A road through a landscape…in case you can’t read my sketch.

roadtrip1.3

Then the actual line-art. I just fleshed out my sketch. Adding detail, changing horizons. Playing god in my own little make believe world.

roadtrip1.2

Then the colorflats. Well, I put some degree of color variation in them. Some speckles and the occasional shadow. And then the cheap tricks start.

roadtrip1.1

I put a lightsource in the scene itself. The sun. Next to that a gradient, red. From top to bottom.

roadtrip1

And then I put in two dark parts at the top and bottom, just to fake some sort of panoramic view.

My work isn’t as good as other backgroundartists….hell. I’m just an amateur. I want to make the backgrounds to be more cinematic. No blackoutlines for example. I’ll put up more.

Enjoy.

Catwalk 1 or more

Designing a character is in my case a very slow process. It evolves during the entire time I work on the project.
 concept boek 50
I make a first doodle, and keep changing it bit by bit untill I like the final product. Except I’m almost never completely satisfied with the final design…and thus am never finished.
Finding the character is very important for designing an outfit or wardrobe. Would my protagonist wear shorts? Does she wear an amulet she recovered in an ancient temple. Does he have a tattoo of a deceased loved one? Would this character ever wear green clothes?
concept boek 88c
Not all my designs are approved. The upper one is just silly! Why would she run around in large boots, have inward feet and no pants!? Okay, it just looks kinda sexy (?). But it’s not really efficient.
With S8i I started out with a doodle. A woman thief for hire. So her profession indicates she wears a suit in which it’s easy to sneak into places. Running shoes to get away. Those are the overall elements. But what about the details? In my opinion it’s those details which make the character come to life. A bracelet. Different color shoelaces. Some homemade adjustments? Well to be honest. Those elements come when thinking of the stories…I can think of a couple of these attributes. But they seem a little bit forced.The character model itself is another point of interest. In which pose should I put her. Is it form over function? Or the other way around? Does she have a strong stance? Or a strong body?I chose a strong stance and a lean athletic body…but not strong. I hoped to achieve a feel in which S8i is known for her wit. And not brute force. She would lose in almost any physical fight.
outfit v1
Her first line-up. These are the first general outfits. As you can see there is not much of an overall look yet. Not a defining color or design element which returns in every outfit. I decided to redo this line-up simply because I thought it’s too sketchy. Sketchy is good. Don’t get me wrong. But this one is just sloppy. I wanted a little more clarity.Next stop is her body. Like I said, I didn’t want her to look strong.
pose 1.2
So I changed her shoulders. I noticed them only after I drew the standard outfit. She looked too strong.
s8istrong
After tweaking I still was unsatisfied with the result. So I looked at it from a different angle: copy image and flip horizontally. Only keeping the outer lines and started drawing her back. Immediately some of the flaws became apparent.Here my first version of her back, next to it for comparison, a tweaked version.
s8inormal

I will probably tweak it and tweak overan over again. And then decide to fully redo the drawing. This is the way I learn how to draw, and hopefully increase my skills.Next step is to take one of these designs and make 3 or five different versions of it. That way I can see which one really works best.

To be continued

Orqa

So here’s another design I did for Emiel’s game groundforce. As I said last time (here) I really like the designs to decided too incorporate them into my own storyline. And why not. His game is really cool, the setting fits with S8i’s story….So I thought go for it.

groundforce23

You can see more of Emiel’s work over here. Last time I checked he was working on some add-ons (DLC?) for the old Ghosthouse game.

Enjoy.

Surf’s Up

Sometimes I get bored at work. My work isn’t boring…but sometimes there is just less to do. I need to be constantly challenged…HAH! So I decided to do another Cat piece. I still don’t really have a back story about her. But I think; the more I draw her, the more attributes she gets. And every attribute is an adventure of some sort.

So here is my sketch
cat design2schets

Of course I drew the legs too long. But yeah. That’s my handicap, normally I think: Ooh, long legs look nice. But then I Continue reading Surf’s Up

Multi Purpose

For my oldest friend I promised I would make a couple of designs for his game. I never really came around to it. But this evening I had some time. So I started working on the first of in total six designs.

emiel_norm2

I sketched these out in my sketchbook and redrew them in blender. I use multiple layers, every time I add a layer and some more detail.

groundforce22

I actually really like to draw robots. So decided I maybe should use these (this is only the first of three) in my own ‘production’ as well. That’s the reason I’m showing these designs here. This robot was developed and manufactured in the same company the other robot here was made. Namely Orqa. This is just a quick render. The final piece should have more weathering/shadows and whutnots.

groundforce21

This is the robot’s opponent. A human. Her gun is still missing, Cause I noticed I’m lousy at drawing weapons (maybe because I don’t really like them).

If you are interested in Emiel’s work (my oldest friend) click here to visit his website.

Cushioning the Blow

This one I drew a couple of weeks ago. And to my surprise my wife actually liked it. Don’t have that much to say about it though…so here ya go.

230815a

Above you can see my first sketch. Had some difficulty drawing the leg furthest away from the viewer. Every time it just looked too small.

230815.2

Colors are rather basic. No fancy light effects here. Maybe I should revisit this one some day in the future and do the coloring anew. But for now: Enjoy.

Dragon Riding

One of the first drawings I did with S8i was this one. I sketched it out rather quickly in my booklet. It’s a small book I carry around with me all the time; you never know when a ‘good’ idea pops up. I’ll make a post on my booklet some other time.

pagina logo

And below is a colored version. I have a lot of different versions.

pagina logo2

Then one day I learned of an exposition of Brandon Graham’s work in Amsterdam. I read a comic of his: KingCity. And that was actually the inspiration for making my own story. His comic was drawn in a clear and not overly complicated way (but simplicity within comics is tricksy and much harder then it looks! Just think of Herge’s work, or other ‘Klare Lijn’ stuff). I thought…maybe I could do what he did. Of course I failed epic. I just emulated his style in the beginning; and that always reads as a knock off. Anyway…He was so kind to make his own version of my dragon riding S8i:

brandon graham walrussketch1

I cleaned the line art…which in GIMP means: erased all the stuff you don’t want to show.

brandon graham S8i sketch line

And I added color. Hopefully in a way Brandon Graham does in his comics.

brandon graham sketch color

You can see his work here: Royalboiler.