Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Work Dump: Storyboards

Here are some presentation boards I did for various projects over the past few months. This is sort of a random selection, I did a lot of this sort of thing. Turnaround on boards was pretty fast, I'd usually do a set every few days or so.

And for fun here's a goofy character design I did recently for a side thing:

Work Dump: Dungeon textures

I had to do a lot of textures for a recent project involving a dungeon. I'm only going to show a few, there are truly a million of them. I did some texturing in Maya back in undergrad, but it has been a while. Nothing reacquaints you with texturing like having a whole dungeon thrown in your lap! My co-worker and I decided the look would be stylized and a little painterly. It went through a lot of iterations, some more painterly, some more colorful. In the end it was decided the colors would be pretty muted, but it was a lot of fun to do.

I have some screenshots of the Maya file, unfortunately it doesn't have the in game lighting which really shows the textures off nicely. This makes the screenshots at the bottom look a bit drab.

^Here is the master floor texture. It was a demo dungeon, so it was to show three different levels in one space.

^Some different types of walls, a door, and a column. Also the ash from a pillar that burns in-game. I think my co-worker might have taken a pass at the metal on the door too, so I don't get full credit on that one.

^Here is the dungeon screenshot, minus in-game lighting.

^Here are close-ups of the different area textures. I didn't do the exterior brick wall, that was placeholder. A bit drab without the lighting, but it was still pretty neat to work on things that actually show up in the player experience. One of the things about being a concept artist is you draw a lot of cool things that inform the final product, but you don't get to see anything you yourself made in the game. So this was pretty fun for me. I did some storyboards and UI work for this too.

Work Dump: UI Design for Midway Arcade Orgins

The company I work for recently put out a compilation of old Midway arcade titles for Xbox and PS3. It was pretty fun to play the old games... even though I'm miserable at them. I enjoyed arcades a lot when I was a kid, but the Midway titles were before my time. I was more of a Streetfighter II/Ninja Turtles/Simpsons kid.

Since I have to wear a lot of hats at work, I ended up designing the UI theme for the game. We went through a lot of ideas but ended up going for a starry nebula thing. Here are a couple of the many iterations we went through, as well as some of the logo design:

^First version, and the one I liked the best. Sadly we couldn't put the text on slanted planes so this didn't work out. The shinies (golum! golum!) might have been a little busy to the eye, had they been implemented.

^This was getting closer to the version we went with. We wanted to be able to scroll through the cabinets, the guys were very passionate about featuring the cabinet art. It was a lot of work finding all the cabinets we needed!

^Placeholder cabinets, but this is very close to the final version. The star is for favorited games. One of the guys on the team had the idea to change the arrows, and I think they looked a lot cooler than the previous place-holdery ones.

^Here is the screenshot from in-game of the final main menu select. Pretty much the same as the above concept. We played with the nebula and its color a bit. Sorry for the sloppy screencap, I should crop that.

^Help menu concept look.

^Early look for the game options screen.

^Screenshot from the in-game options screen. Another sloppy screencap.

^First pass at logos before the title was finalized.

^Later pass on logos after we knew the name of the game.

^Actual intro screenshot, splash image. Ended up not using the logos at all!

The nebula came out really cool in game. Kudos to the great people I work with, the nebula drifts around really nicely on the game screen and the stars twinkle subtly. I'm proud of of how it came out, everyone made it look fantastic.

I had a lot of fun working with the guys designing the look. Since it was a compilation we got to spend a decent chuck of time on the game menu experience, making sure things were clear and easy to navigate and looked cool.

Work Dump: Fireworks

Here are some fireworks studies I did a while back for a project that probably won't see the light of day. It was a pretty neat idea and I enjoyed doing the reference research for it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sandstorm Progression

Progression post! I just realized that I had a huge typo in a post title from a few weeks back, and it's just been that way... oh well. This is why I'm a drawer not a writer.
Here's the progression on the sandstorm I teased a few weeks ago. I picked at it here and there since:

This was the original drawing I posted ^ which was done in a few hours.

Added some detail rocks, and I was working on making the mouth look more sandy. I put the guy on a horse to give him more of a reactionary pose. I also moved the balloon out so that it didn't get lost.

Small adjustments to the mouth angle, swapped the rocks so the right side wasn't so heavy.

Finally, I added some more horses. I wanted it to look like a group of nomads had been wandering through the area when the sandstorm blew up very suddenly, chasing down the balloon and taking them by surprise.

I've had a lot of people asking how I do clouds. I will try to do a post on that at some point when things calm down, (ahahahaha...ha) but it really boils down to getting or making a good quality cloud brush that you like, then taking a soft-round with a high transfer and very slowly building up cloud shapes. Using a straight up cloud brush generally makes things look cheesy, but the combination of a good cloud brush and hand painting into it with a soft round really gives you the hand-done feel. I don't use photos much for clouds and I really do not care for the smudge tool, I find smudging wrecks more than it helps in my process.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Things

Just a couple things. I'm still picking at my sandstorm piece from last week, I've put another couple hours into it:

Just messing around with placement, trying to get it to feel like the mouth is really made from the sand. Not quite there yet, I'll probably mess around with it a little bit this weekend.

Also a speedy 1 hour painting I did this afternoon, not finished:

Definitely need to nail that armpit area next time I mess with it, makes me crazy! She's a sorceress, so we'll add the obligatory fireball in her hand for next time. ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Angry Sandstorm

I've been taking a fantasy illustration course on my own time outside of work this semester. We draw images based on text descriptions. I was enjoying the piece I started this week, so I thought I'd post a little in progress. Here is the passage:

Balloon and Sandstorm
You are on an exposed desolate plain, watching an approaching sandstorm. A hot air balloon – its envelope stitched together from sheets of sailcloth and other pieces of scavenged material – with a wicker basket swinging beneath it, is being swept towards you by the rising gale. The balloon’s pilot – a swarthy-skinned man, wearing a pair of flying goggles – is clinging on for dear life. The impression of a face has formed within the whirling cyclone of dust and sand, its mouth open wide as if ready to swallow the balloon and its terrified occupant (as in the sandstorm and tidal wave in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns respectively).

Here is my first rough pass:

I wanted to really play up the scale and make the little guy really small in relation.

Here is what it looks like currently:

 I have a lot of things I want to tweak on it, but for only a few hours of work I like where it is going. I'm going to monkey with the balloon placement and work to really hit home the sandstorm, making the mouth look like it's really constructed from sand. I also need to tone down the dark-darks, right now it looks a bit like a real mouth stuck IN some sand. I like the idea of the drawing though and think it's pretty fun.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Impatient Girl Doodles

I always keep printer paper at my desk. That way when I'm waiting for something to load or in a cutscene when I'm playing a video game I can doodle. When I'm just messing around I usually like to draw girls, they are curvy and fun when you're just idly sketching. Sometimes I draw people from my imagination, sometimes they are characters from the game I'm playing. I thought I'd post some for fun, so here is a batch:

I have piles of these and usually just end up throwing them out. Sorry about the quality, I just took pictures with my iphone. Anyway, it's amazing how much doodling you can do while you're waiting for a large file to save or sitting through a cutscene. I draw other stuff than ladies, but ladies are a lot of fun. Plus since nothing is sacred when you're sketching, there's no pressure!