Character Concept Process

After being stuck in work training for a long twelve days, I started sketching a lot while I listened. I tend to find myself more creatively motivated when I'm learning new things. Plus! Deciding to participate in a discord competition gives me a deadline and a proverbial fire under my butt to finish this.


To begin with, I started playing around with hairstyles. I've been trying my best to stay super loose and not let myself get sucked into polishing too early which is a huge problem for me since I do enjoy painting a lot. After sketching a bunch of these I asked my usual discord groups for feedback.

A lot of the feedback I received was about how they liked one or two of the designs so I did some quick sketches merging the two. 

   1 & 6

1, 3 & 6 

(short)

1, 3 & 6

(Long)


I ended up going with the longer version of 1, 3 & 6 since I was really enjoying the mohawk mullet combo. It also felt a lot like something you'd see in Final Fantasy, which I am a huge fan of. 


After I figured out what I wanted to do with the hair, I went forward to work on the clothes and style of the character. 

I really just wanted to focus on having fun with the character, let loose a little and just focus on making something 'cool' that was also a joy to make. It was around here I started to like the idea of making him a little crazy and flamboyant and getting him to feel like that character in a RPG that you have in your party but you know for sure is going to betray you.


Out of these 7 thumbnail sketches I lent towards 3, 5 & 7 as my top three favourites. From here, I'm one step closer to figuring the character out by getting to add some colour! 


Starting with number 3, the more casual outfit of the ones I picked. (after all there's nothing more villainous than socks and flip flops.) I wanted this outfit to look like he's stylish but also doesn't really care all too much about trends. I definitely prefer #3 of these since the pink stands out against the black and avoids falling into the ' mad scientist' vibe that #2 has or the touristy feeling of #1.


For thumbnail #5, I decided to try something a little different with the colour schemes. I love gold accents on outfits so I first began playing around with those with 1 & 2, neither of these really took my fancy, however. Number 3 was a step in the right direction with the bright bits of red popping out against the dark blacks that was reminiscent of Joker from Persona 5.


After taking a small break from this concept, I joined in a google hangout to work on it with other people to keep motivated and get instant feedback. From that hangout I changed a few things around, starting with the colour scheme.

 I decided that the bright pink was the way to go. It's such a fun and bright colour that I rarely get to use and it would add to the flamboyant feeling of the character. 



#1: (Hands down my favourite design of the three) Taking the idea of high contrast colour to a dark outfit, I adjusted it to be pink rather than red and added back in all the fun gold touches. While I enjoyed the coloured gloves, I felt that having the bright pink on the hands would pull the focus away from the face and divide the attention too much. To compensate for this I have added the circle rimmed glasses from the casual concept to keep a secondary touch of colour and keep the focus on the face area. Pink highlights in his hair were also added to aid this.



#2: For this more casual concept, I got a bunch of really good advice from the hangout. The main feedback is that they liked the white jacket but preferred the patterns from the black and pink. So in this updated idea, I inverted the black jacket and adjusted the patterns on the pants to feel like they're more similar to each other. More gold will need to be added to fit with the other two costume designs. 


#3: Number three was a weird one in how I hadn't actually coloured this one before now. Originally I was happy with just the 2 designs but the idea of a more 'big bad endgame villain' outfit seemed so fun to me. For this concept, I really wanted to play around with different fabrics and materials with the shiny latex of the suit contrasted with the pure white fur of the jacket. Since it would be a fun challenge for me once I got around to polishing the concept. 



From here I picked an outfit to finalise and got additional feedback, they were kind enough to do a quick paint over and brought up some pretty great points about shape language and where to push the concept. 


the feedback:

"I like the collar but the double collar was a little distracting so I merged it into one. I extended the cape because villains look cool in capes. I liked the high collar and made it look like an arrow pointing up towards his face.  Basically I wanted to simplify the shapes more and make them a bit more dramatic." 


This was super good feedback and I decided to try to find a middle ground between the two options and I feel like I managed it by giving him a half coat and adjusting the collar to be one piece while also keeping the same silhouette. 



From here its just a matter of polishing the design. 



  


Mellowmares Update

Just a quick update on the Mellowmares project!


Since we jumped into Unreal, we did our best to build the game as quickly as possible.  I've been picking up odd jobs here and there like remaking the jelly and making the UI. Since I last updated, I have been super busy. I recently picked up a concept art internship and an extra cert 3 course on the side. Between all that and work, my time allocated to Mello has been cut significantly. However, I feel like I've still worked on a considerable amount as I've also done a bunch of work on building the levels and general time management and admin stuff. 

Miscellaneous assets
  

Emotes, NPC sprites and hud counters.


Snapshot of one of the scenes I've been working on
Updated Jelly mesh with the new texture

So far with the way we've been working, we should be all set to finish beta in about 2 weeks. Then we have the 2 weeks after that to squash outlying bugs and polish it up for the end of year showcase.
We'll be taking this game to the next Pizza and Pixels to get feedback from other local developers.

Mellowmares Production Blog


The past few weeks I've been working on Mellowmares. Our project was originally being made in Unity, but due to programming roadblocks, we ended up making the move to Unreal 4. We have 2 designers who are well versed in blueprints so making the move really took the weight off the back of our programmer.


Since the art side of things transferred pretty easily from one engine to the other, I wasn't pushed far back at all. In fact, our game looks better due to the awesome shader made by Cassandra Zanin.





Bench and Cabinet modular pieces

 



Modular shelving and various assets
  

Jelly

Used as a launchpad to jump onto high platforms.


  

Milk Carton

Milk for a puzzle + background asset.


Paper Towel + slightly unravelled variant

Used as a barrier to force players to use the splitting mechanic
  

Shelf (long)

One of the 3 shelf sizes used for a platform 


Splashback a + Trimming

Background assets


Bench (no doors)


Bench (with doors)


Cabinet (wood Doors)


Cabinet (glass doors)


Coffee Bag

Puzzle and background asset


Doughnut

 

We went for an excursion to Ikea to gather references for the game. Once the game is complete, I may make an asset pack and chuck it onto my gumroad.

Proof of Concept End

Week two of the end of year project! This week was a mad rush to get final touches ready for our industry pitches! As everyone is juggling work two different groups, it was super busy all week.

Flock Defender: 

Aka the game I wrote about most last week, this week I was finishing up a handful of concepts and handing them to our wonderful project lead, Cassandra Zanin, to create the pitch video.




These were what I worked on for flock.

I tried to theme the UI to things that wouldn't be out of place on a farm. eg: A tool belt, a bulletin board and a calendar. 





Mellowmares:

The second group I'm a part of is Mellowmares! A deliciously dark puzzle platformer about the life (and death) of marshmallows. 

Now for this game, I made the main character concept and character blockouts. I also typed up the pitch and made the level concept.

For the character I wanted them to be expressive but fundamentally cute. Due to the many brutal ways this little guy can die, I wanted to create something that people would empathize with and once I had a handful of people stop by my computer to comment on how sad seeing this guy cry made them, I knew I was on the right track.




In the end, Flock defender got cut from the line up and Mellowmares got greenlit for production. So for the next 15 weeks ill be posting updates on the creation process. 










Week 1 Flock Defender


For a end of year class project we are tasked with creating a video game and we have 3 weeks to create a proof of concept.

One of the groups I'm a part is a tower defense mobile game where you defend your chicken's from evil foxes intent on eating them.  This is just a bunch of concept art for the game, plus an icon.  So far its mostly just finalizing a style and thinking up weaponry, the clock is ticking and we need a concrete base to move forward.


  Then at the end of the day I made a bunch of blockouts in about half an hour just so we can start building within Unity. Super rough but gets the job done for now.








Substance Designer Stained Glass Windows

For one of the assessments for this year, I decided to push myself and learn Substance Designer.


The task was to make a environment in Unreal and while I'm not 100% happy with how the whole scene, I'm very proud of my windows.


I've got 2 windows I've used for the scene and both were used in Substance to create windows that change transparency depending on how frosted the glass is. There's also a mid between solid non transparent lead and the transparent windows.


This is my in game render, its all rendered in real time and I'm working on making coloured shadows to really sell the piece.








I made all the windows with substance designer. I wanted to create a substance that was simple to change by someone who had never touched designer before. I made sure I used as few textures as possible to create the look. Using only a Colour ID, Alpha & a black and white mask for which panes are frosted and which aren't.



I'm halfway through making a tutorial on how you can make your own stained glass in Substance Designer.

First Time in Substance Designer

Started playing around in substance designer, i followed this tutorial to create it. A super fun afternoon activity, even though there's some rendering issues I'm liking how it turned out.

This is how my nodes ended up. super confusing even with labeling :/


K/DA Keychain WIP Master Post.



The first keychain I created for my revamped store was K/DA Evelynn. Shes personally my favorite design of the quartet and luckily was the easiest reversed design to do. Each of the keychains will be double sided with different art on each side. Which is a challenge I  haven't undertaken  in keychain endeavours  before. 


With Evelynn, her reverse side is her Demon Shade form! Which in the sketch started as a pale lilac for skin. This was changed for the final as I felt like it didn't convey the blacklighting that the music video shows her in. I tried to make the vibrant pink glasses pop out from the rest of her which needed a darker background for the best effect.

Meanwhile for her keychain front art work I tried my best to show off her diva side of things. With a casual yet refined look that screams; I know your staring at me. (or at least as close as I could get with a 6" design window) 


  

Akali's keychain was almost as easy as Evelynn's. However the paint splatter details proved to be a challenge to get right. Just like with Eve, Akali's reverse side is from the blacklit scenes from the music video. However due to the different colour pallet for the paint and main outfit, her skin was changed to a more dark blue rather than perfectly matching Eve's purple.

I feel like this design choice will help differentiate the two keychains and showcase the two personalities better.



Now we hit the hard ones, begining with Kai'sa. Kai'sa's reverse design was super super difficult to choose, I wanted to avoid her looking boring in comparison to the first two by using the minimalist pallet from near the end of the music video. So after a while I settled on using her Prestige skin design as her reverse!

I ended up loving the reverse side more than the front, as I attempted to convey two different emotions on each side. On the front; a famous dancer, not really one who enjoys the speaking position but who also looks approachable. While on the reverse; a confident, beautiful & dominating presence who owns the stage and doesn't share the center spotlight. After all, she's earned it!


  And finally... Ahri.


Who I have yet to even sketch! She is proving to be even more of a design challenge than Kai'sa. The main issue being what to use as her reverse? Her tails? Her previous Popstar Skin? Or maybe something else from the music video? I'm so stumped on this choice that I am asking on here for what you guys think will work best. I don't want her to pale in comparison to the rest of K/DA but I am unsure on how to make that happen. 


So, if you have an idea what could be used as Ahri's reverse side please comment it for me. I'll absolutely appreciate any feedback on the matter!

Con Prep

I annually sell prints and keychains at Gamma Con in Canberra, so this year I aim to sell at Smash! 2019. Thus I feel the need to update my shop items, starting with acrylic keychains!


  

So i decided to start with K/DA double sided keychains. These are just sketches but i will blog post the WIP for all.

2 Hour Concept Challenge

Quick concepts to get into the habit of creating everyday + putting ideas to paper. This was also a challenge to see how detailed I could get a concept in 2 hours. Four hours later we have these two.


Arachnie. I wanted to go for a warrior spider who uses house hold items to attack. So I settled on her using a knitting needle as a spear and a bobbin as a small shield.


Goobert: I wanted to try my hand at a even more inhuman concept, so after playing around with ideas I thought merging a bat and a frog would be a cool thing to try. I wanted to see if he would be expressive so I found some reference images (Kudos if you can point out which pics) and played around with them.