Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hi-Rez, day 11

We were only supposed to go to Hi-Rez ten times, but I didn't want to rush the last concept so I decided to go an additional time. Vivi and Leandro thought it was a good idea too, so we all went togeter yesterday.

As we arrived at Hi-Rez, Leandro and me realized we had a problem. We hadn't been going there together for some time and as the computers we used had been switched and taken for other purposes, we had ended up working on the same station without knowing it. The other free computers didn't have photoshop nor the 3D software he uses. Luckily, Saman, the person that works next to Jerry, wasn't there that day, so that is the workstation that I used.

Saman has an amazing workstation (like about everyone at Hi-Rez) with a big Cintiq, dual screens, and a huge desk so I can say I was very glad to have the opportunity to use it. Saman takes his pen home with him, but luckily I always have mine with me too, as I need it to use the Cintiqs at SCAD.

As soon as I was installed, I went to Jerry to discuss the concepts I had until then. He told me the elements from different concepts that he liked that I could put together in the new one. As I started the new illustration, as usual, I worked a lot on the pose. This one was a bit tricky, as this character has an unusual shape. Jerry gave me some feedback to fix it and make it look better. When I finished the line, I started doing color studies, which I won't say much about as it was the same process as the last illustration. It was my last day, and Jerry was already gone once I was done with them, so I went to find Ramon and see if he could give me some feedback on the color choices. I was mainly hesitating between one that looked really good, but was a bit classic, and one that looked very original, but I wasn't sure if it really worked. Ramon really enjoyed the original one.

Ramon also showed me more about his process. He was working on weapon concepts, something I'm not used to doing at all. He tends to start with 3D renders often done by someone else, and modify them by drawing on top of them. The way he draws is incredible, when I look at his drawings I often have a hard time saying if it's a drawing or a 3D model. He uses a lot of photos from weapons to get the right texture on the weapons, and has diagrams showing how the weapon would work. He also showed me some of the character designs he's done for tribes. He starts with a bulky 3D render too for the characters, to hasten the process. The armors he draws are full of intricate designs everywhere, he says it's very helpful for the 3D modelers and speeds up their modeling time when everything is clear.

With the feedback he gave me on my illustration, I started working on the final painting, and just did that for the rest of the day.

And that was my last day at Hi-Rez for this class/internship. I'm sorry if the posts got repetitive, but truthfully, without saying exactly what I'm doing it's hard to give a great deal of details and variation, as in the big lines I was always doing the same thing.

So overall it was a very enjoyable experience. It did a very good job in conforting me that that is really the path I want to follow, I really enjoy doing concept art, and the environment in game companies in general (at least in this one).
More on it when I graduate I guess =)

Hi-Rez, day 10

Again, day 10 was just Vivi and me. Jerry was very satisfied with the piece so far, and as I had very little left to do on it, we chose what character I was going to work on next at once.

I then went to my workstation and finished the previous drawing. It mainly needed some last touches of color and textures. Adding photo textures to a concept is a great way to give clear indication of the type of material, so that the modelers that come after have an easy time figuring out how to model them. It's also fast, so that you don't lose too much time on that concept (and time is money...)

When I was done I started researching a bit about the character I was going to concept. It's an existing character, not an original one, which is why I needed to do some research. It has already been done multiple times so part of the challenge was giving it an original twist that would belong to the particular game, instead of the classic, anonymous look that is seen everywhere. So as I was concepting I wasn't only thinking about what looks good, but also about what I haven't seen.

I also look at a lot of reference, I can't really get ideas from nothing, so I pull a lot of ideas from many different pictures and places and put it together into something new that looks original.

And that was pretty much my day, looking at pictures, thinking of ideas, and most of all drawing concepts.

Hi-Rez, day 9

So... I know I'm pretty late with these posts, and I will have to make the last ones all together. I'll still make a different post for each day.

Hard to remember everything that happened two weeks ago. I went to Hi-Rez with Vivi only, as Leandro is not available on Thursdays. As I arrived, I went to Jerry to get his opinion of my drawing in its current stage. He wasn't there the precedent week, so I hadn't had any feedback from him last time. He was very satisfied with the drawing at its current stage, with some minor details to fix.

I went back to my workspace to fix those and worked on color studies for the character. I always like to make many of those. Even when I think a color combination won't work for the character I put it down, because you never know what might come out of it until you see it, and it takes away frustration from thinking about it. In this stage is when knowledge about color theory is very useful, as knowing what colors go well together is very helpful when putting them down on a character. I make combinations until I can't think of new ones that could fit. The best one is either one of my first ones, either one of my last ones, so it's always good to put down as many as I can.

Once I was done, I went to Jerry to discuss which one was the most appropriate. We didn't like the same one and we both had valid opinions, so we decided to go towards one while using other things that worked on the other one. Once the colors were decided I went ahead and started painting everything. It's time-consuming and I got pretty far with it. We stayed longer than usual as we were both into our work, but I still wasn't able to finish that day.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


More art stuff from classes

Done on scratchboard this time. Another process that's too time consuming for a medium result (at least for me). It's was enjoyable though.