Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blue Guardian Finish

I've been down pretty hard for the past week and a half with bronchitis, but I'm starting to feel better now. Thanks to everyone who offered to bring me food, I'm lucky to have such good friends.

I thought I would do a post on the finish for the blue guardian character I've been working on. I'll probably let this sit for a day or two and tweak a few things then - if I make any major changes I'll post an update. Over the the past month off and on I've posted sketches and thumbnails relating to her, if you sift backwards through this blog you'll find a few. I designed her in tandem with the prince character, who I finished off a couple weeks ago. I hadn't had time to bring her to finish, but I got the urge to do a character yesterday so I decided to finally bring her to life. Here is the rendered front view, with the rough back view (with and without her wrap).

And here she is next to the prince character from a little while ago:

There is a complex background for these two, but the quick gist is he is a prince who's spent the last ten years hiding out in a tribal community. She is an exiled royal guard, who has spent the last ten years wandering. In their design I want them to feel like they belong to the same universe, but while he has more or less gone full-on tribal, she is a regal character who left her old life unwillingly and there are bits and pieces of her old uniform mashed up with costume elements she's picked up along the way. Even though current circumstances have brought her low, inside she is still a proud warrior.

Personally I'm proud of the wrap design - I myself haven't seen anything quite like it and I'm always pleased when I can create a costume element that is a) something you can make out of real materials, b) reflects the culture of the world it is a part of, and c) is something I haven't seen before. Those successes are why I absolutely love what I do.

Some people have expressed curiosity about my rendering process. I've played with taking videos but it often hinders my photoshop from running smoothly. This time I took jpegs along the way, maybe you'll find them interesting:

The process is pretty simple. I do the line, then block in flat color. Then I add highlights, then shadows, then slowly start removing the line by painting over it. Last I add texture elements, sometimes with photo textures, sometimes with spatter brushes. And yes, I use photo references for faces. I'm sure there are geniuses who can invent perfectly photo-realistic human faces from their imagination, but I am not such a one.

Here are a few new one hour paints:

Army of Shadows
Star Wars Episode 5
The Incredibles

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