Vehicle Design Project
Creating A Bridge
Pride and Joy
Creating and Inventory
Anatomy and Portrait
Throughout the second semester, I have been working on a mini brief of improving my anatomy and facial expression skills. To do this I have been drawing myself in a mirror, as well as my friends a couple of times every few weeks. The main goal I was trying to achieve with this was to find a likeness. To be able to tell that the drawings of me were actually me. The way I did this was by practising with the facial shape as well as the shadowing that makes certain areas more visible, such as the cheek bones. I also did a fair few portraits of celebrities from a list. These celebrities had unique facial shapes and features which made them instantly recognisable, It was my goal to come make this happen with my drawings.
To experiment with a range of media I decided to try using different methods and see what the effect did on the final outcome. Some of the methods I used included charcoal and a brush pen. When doing this I found that the charcoal was best used to create the shadows on the portrait as it was easy to smudge and blur. The brush pen certainly made all the detail stand out more but it also gave the portrait a different style. The bold borders gave it that comic book character look that appears defined.
I decided to also have a go at drawing one of the celebrities from the list that we were given. I chose the actress Wai Ching Ho as she had an interesting face which would be easily recognisable. For her, I used a mixture of pencil and charcoal to create the shadows of her face. Once I was done I decided to show my family and friends the portrait and had them guess who it was. They were easily able to guess who it was which is good as it meant that I achieved my goal of gaining a likeness in the drawings.
To increase the detail on these portraits I also added colour to them in photoshop. The main reason was so that I could easily add highlights and shadows to certain areas of the face, for example, the nose, to make it look realistic and not flat. reflecting on this I realise that by doing this it also will benefit me in the future when I create character concepts as I will be able to create them to more realistic detail when in photoshop compares to my previous character attempts. My first attempt at this went away from the detail and refined outlines as I just wanted to experiment using the burn and dodge tool to try to create skin tones. I feel like this isn’t bad for a first attempt however the shading needs to be more consistent so that the features of the face such as the cheekbones and the nose appear more defined and not just flat on the face. The second attempt took this on board but also did the outlines as I felt like the first attempt looked sloppy and as if it was rushed. I wanted to spend a little more time on it, trying to make it look closer to a finished concept.
The aim of this project is to design an inventory. this includes that actual item the player carries around, for example, a rucksack or satchel, and also the inventory itself.This includes what it looks like and how it works. The final outcome will be a rendered 2d Image that shows how it could be used in a 3D or 2D game.
Since I am currently working on a group project on a game adaptation of the children’s book, the wizard of oz, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to link to that and create the inventory for the main character, Dorothy. My initial Idea is to have a satchel that hangs to the hip of the character however, this could change after my research and initial drawings.
To start off this project I looked at inventory from multiple different genres of games. This would help influence me with my design as well as the possible way in which it could be used as a mechanic to benefit the gameplay.
Skyrim has an inventory which is not visible to the player but can be accessed through the menu. This is the same when the player is inside of the inventory. There is no visual which gives an indicator of what the inventory might actually be, whether it is a pouch or rucksack. The Inventory has a unique mechanic which is weight. Each item in the game weighs a specific amount. If the player’s bag limits exceed its limit then the player either moves slower or doesn’t move at all. This is an important mechanic as it forces the player to only carry the most useful items for that one quest. This also prevents them from being ‘overpowered’ as they can not carry all of the best equipment at once. This then plays into another game feature which is the skill. When the player levels up their character they receive points which they can spend on various different skills. One of these skills is weight. When the player upgrades this skill it increases the max weight limit, meaning that they are able to carry more items.
Similarly to Skyrim, Star Wars also has an inventory system which is not visible to the player. However, the mechanics of it are different. Instead of having a weight system this inventory has a limited number of slots. Each item takes up one slot and no more items can be acquired once all the slots are full. This is a common inventory mechanic used in MMORPG’s as it allows the player to carry the relevant items as well as a high amount of items such as health potions. The player is able to increase the number of slots in the inventory by spending the in-game currency which they acquire from completing quests and selling items. Another gameplay element feeds into this as players are able to become what is known as a ‘subscriber’. This is a common thing used in nearly every MMORPG and in this game it automatically gives the player more inventory space, therefore adding the pay t win element into the inventory mechanic.
This game has a similar inventory style to Skyrim in that each item has a weight which affects how many items can be carried. However, the main reason I choose this game is because it has a visible inventory for the player. Since the player starts off with no equipment everytime they enter a game they have to scavenge it from buildings. The default inventory is only small until they pick up a backpack. The design of the backpack has been done to match the battle royale style of the game. When the inventory is opened the player sees a basic menu system that displays the character as well as all of the equipment they are wearing and all surrounding them. This form of inventory certain gives a realistic feel to a game as it physically shows where all the equipment is being held. It also adds the gameplay mechanic of wanting to find a backpack as the player will not be able to get many items that allow them to win if they do not. The final element of this game is the skins. H1Z1 is known for having skins that change the appearance of armour and equipment, they can also be applied to backpacks. This gives a unique feel to the player and makes them separate from the rest.
This game is very similar to H1Z1 but the inventory has another gameplay element. This is level. IN the game the player has to find a backpack, just like in H1Z1 however, these backpacks are a different level. Each level of the backpack has its own design meaning that they can be easily separated from one another at a distance. This is not all that it offers as it also increases the inventory space of the player. Level 1 backpack can only carry a small number of items but the max level, level 3, can carry a lot of items. This adds to the gameplay as it makes the player continue to ‘loot’ for equipment even after they have acquired a backpack. It also gives them an advantage as a higher level backpack can mean that they can carry more health kits and ammunition, benefitting them in a gun fight. This has given me inspiration on how I can design my backpack to have multiple levels which affect the design as well as the capacity. For example, at level 1 the backpack can be worn and crudely held together with tape, whereas level 3 can be elegant and reinforced.
Starting from the design I used my usual techniques of pareidolia but controlled so that the outcomes looked like they could work as an inventory. I also practised drawing different types of inventory options such as a backpack, a satchel, and a knapsack. This helped me familiarise myself with them and possibly gain influence on how I could go about achieving my final outcome. I also experimented in drawing some of the different possibilities for my HUD of the inventory to get a sense of what would look and work the best.
Before going further with any of the initial sketches I thought that it would be a good idea to give the lasso technique another try and see if this would benefit me in this project. This helped with giving me an initial shape for some idea, however, I found that the pareidolia was more beneficial as it was quicker and allowed more fluid shapes, nevertheless, I am glad I did this as it helped me create more designs before developing them any further.
After developing some of the sketches further from my pareidolia I was able to come up with a final design that was in the form of a satchel. I felt like the satchel was the best option as it best fit the character, Dorothy. When doing the development I was influenced by the research I did into Battlegrounds and Decided that there would be different designs for the final inventory. These would act as three different levels, granting more inventory space in the game. The design would also be different for them as the bag would look stronger and more elegant as it increased in level. At the first level, it will look like it is crudely held together with pieces of tape and patched to hide holes.
My final idea for the Hud was to show the inside of the inventory as it is unique and I have never seen it done within a game before. The ‘flap’ of the satchel would act as the interaction menu showing the different slots for the items. These items would then be shown stored in the back, slightly visible at the bottom of the screen. In most games the character can be seen on one side so that the player can see what changes have been made when they use an item. Instead of this on the right of the screen would be a pouch with a plastic doll of Dorothy inside. This would then change when the player uses an item making the game feel more immersive and unique.
With my final Idea now ready I went into photoshop and added different colours to show the materials as they were not obvious before, for example, the duct tape on the level 1 bag. I also wanted to have each bag a different colour so that it represented the strength and elegance of the bag. For example, the level 2 bag would be green to show that it is for practical and outdoor use whereas the level 3 is brown so that it looks like it’s made of leather and is tough but also elegant.
After finishing the final concepts for my bag I decided to create the Level 3 version in 3DS Max. This would allow me to visualize the final product in 3D form and what it would possibly look like within the game. This was fairly easy to model as it it was simply boxes beveled. I feel like this design looks even better as a 3D Model as the details, such as the straps are more visible and give more depth to the design.
The final concept for the inventory turned out exactly as I imagined and I feel like it fits in well with the style of the Wizard of Oz game. My main concern when starting this project was that I was worried if the final outcome didn’t suit the character, however, I feel like the satchel suits the character and looks like it belongs to them, no matter what level version of the bag. By having three different levels to the back it adds another gameplay mechanic into the game as the player is forced to search for a better big so that they are able to carry more items.
To add a definitive narrative to my boxer character that I created in one of my earlier projects I wanted to create an environment that showed both of the characters in. Since I had decided my characters where sensei and training robots I already knew that I wanted some sort of dojo within the background of the environment. I had the idea of showing the character on a courtyard, training, with mountains in the background. Along one of the mountains would be a staircase that led to the Dojo on top. I gained inspiration for this Idea from the building that houses the League of Shadows in the movie Batman Begins. By having it surrounded by mountains and trees it shows that it is remote and cut off from the world implying that few people know about this place. This then led me to sketch out a rough version of what my environment would look like.
With the environment, I went into photoshop so that I could refine the design and add colour. This also allowed me to add the final concepts I did of my character to complete the concept and show the final narrative.
The aim of this brief is to create either a hanger, a garage, or a dock with a relevant vehicle shown taken apart, being repaired. For example, for the change, a jet would be a good choice. As well as this a pet must by shown near or on the vehicle, awaiting the return of the owner. The environment must be cluttered with things found in that place as well as show the personality of the owner and as if it has been life half way through repairing the vehicle. The final outcome would be in the form of a 3D model. Not only was this project about expressing my perspective skills but also about give a narrative to a piece so that it gives a backstory or a reason on why it is designed that way.
To start off my sketches I drew small little thumbnails of different ideas for this brief. This included different environments as well as different vehicles. I also wanted to try drawing different perspectives. Even though I can change the perspective when on the 3D side of this project I felt like doing this would give me a better understanding of how I wanted it to look as well as what items looked best where.
Final Idea and Sketches
These thumbnails gave me lots of different ideas which I could then use to start my initial sketches. I decided that I wanted to proceed with the garage task for this project and started drawing the different props commonly seen in this place as well as the possible vehicle that could be placed in the garage. I went out and got the reference from my garage of what the environment would look like when it has not been kept looked after. I finally decided that I wanted a Baja as a vehicle in my garage and that it would be on a car lift so that it was more convincing and that parts could be removed from the vehicle.
I also decided on a perspective for my final render after drawing multiple different angles of the garage. This would then be shown in the final render of my environment. When deciding my perspective I took the rule of thirds into consideration. I know that my Baja would be in the centre of the garage meaning that the final render had to be from a diagonal so that it would position the Baja at one side and still show lots of props.
To help me visualise my final outcome I went into photoshop and made a photobash which included the basic elements that would make up my garage. I tried to do this in the perspective which I had decided upon so that it would give me a clearer understanding of how the final render would look and what props would be visible. When doing this I found that I had to change the shape of the garage as the shelves could not be seen, therefore I moved them on the back wall so that they could include more props.
Before creating my 3d render I went into SketchUp and blocked out the environment including where I would roughly like the props to go so that the filled out space. As well as this I was also able to use the label tool in Sketchup so that I could easily see what each prop was meant to be and where it was meant to be.
Using my sketches I then went into 3ds Max and began modelling. I started off with the vehicle as this is the largest and the focus of the render. I created all different props which would be commonly seen in a garage such as a workbench, a toolbox, and storage boxes. These props would also be duplicated to fill out more of the space of the garage. The pet I decided on was a cat as they are known to linger and considered loving. This would help with adding to the narrative of my piece.
For my garage I wanted it to appear as if the owner had been working on the Baja but was unable to complete it and had not done for some time. Shown by the accumulation of different tools and boxes. To help with this I added a plate of food half was eaten and a drink to show that the owner had suddenly left and never returned. This is further shown by the cat as he appears to be laid down under the Baja, waiting for the return of the owner.
When adding the props to my environment I noticed that the position of some of the objects had to different from my grey blocking so that they were either visible in the final render or so that they looked like they belonged. I decided not to include some of the props such as the lights and the generator as the position of them would not be in the final render. Also since I knew that I wanted the render to appear as if the sunlight was entering through the garage door I felt like I didn’t need to make the light as it would not be on. I also used a debris maker script so that I could include leaves which appeared to have blown in from the front door. Making the garage look dirty and unused.
My final render used lights to give the effect of sunlight entering from the exterior and was then rendered using a camera positioned in the place I decided in my sketching stage of the project. This also helped give light on the props at the back of the garage which are less visible The final render ended up being a slightly different perspective to what I originally decided upon as a realized that a lot of the props and the door could not be seen in that view.
With my final render, I wanted to create a presentation sheet, similarly to what I have done with my past projects. This will allow a viewer to easily see how I got from the beginning to the end of this project. It also showed everything neatly and only contained relevant information, including what added to the narrative.
For this project, I paced myself well making sure I had the relevant sketches completed before moving into the 3d so that it would make it easier for me to imagine the final render and know what would be in my final environment. This is certainly one of my favourite pieces that I have done so far, as I have paid more attention to detail making sure that it contained lots of props that filled out the entirety of the area yet didn’t look out of place. Even tho the final piece of this project was a render I’m glad that I created a presentation sheet as it matches the recent projects I have done and helps me to maintain a theme. This is beneficial for me in my portfolio.
The aim of this project is to design two different boxers. These boxers have to contain a narrative as well as a use of how hey could be used within a video game. The narrative could possibly be shown by a pose that they are placed in. As well as this one of the characters must be human, the other can be whatever I desire.
Arnold Tsang is a character concept artist from the United States mainly known for his art on Overwatch. Looking at the different pieces that he has created i is clear that his style is cartoon/animated rather than realism. Using bold black lines to highlight specific features of the character. A big inspiration that I can gain from this concept artist is they way the characters are designed. Each character has been designed so that if they were just silhouettes they would easily be recognisable. For example, the character ‘tracer’ could easily be recognised due to her long spiky hair and ‘McCree’ could be recognised because of his large western cowboy hat. When I starting my sketches this is something I need to think about.
Marco Nelor is a character concept artist that has worked on successful games such as Mortal Kombat X. I thought that it would be a good idea to research a fighting game character artist as these characters will be the most similar to the ones that I create as the boxer would most likely in a fighting game. Looking at the different pieces that Marco has created it is clear that he goes for the realism style, making the characters look as close to real life in possible in terms of the characters figure and proportions. Since this is a fighting game, all of these characters have a large figure with extremely defined muscles so that it is obvious that they are a warrior. I feel like this makes sense but makes all the characters too similar. None of the characters is skinny or just larger in body fat. However, one piece of inspiration that I can take from this artist is that the clothes the characters were given a narrative and backstory about the character. A good example of this is a piece showing a female character wearing dog tags and military equipment. This obviously shows that this character has a military backstory but also that they are a diverse range of characters in this game and not just ‘ninjas’. Another good example is a concept of the main villain of this game. The clothes of this villain appear to by of ancient fashion due to the colours and abnormal shapes of the shoulder pauldrons. This then gives the narrative of this character making it appear that he is possibly magical and thousands of years old.
Starting off this the design stage of this concept I began drawing simple ideas for my characters. immediately knew that I wanted one of my characters to be a robot as this would give me lots of design choice and they are rarely seen in fighting games, or just as a playable character in games in general. looking at the techniques I have learnt in the past I found that one of the most useful for designing my robot was the silhouette technique. This was similar to the scribble pareidolia, however, the shapes are more controlled and can be more like characters. The pareidolia technique would be better if designing a prop or vehicle. When doing this I took my research into consideration and tried to give my designs key features that would make them stand out.
For the human character, I came up with my idea using a different technique. I began using a program called ‘Sculptris’ and creating shapes giving very little thought to what the final outcome would be. After a good hour using this program, I could see an idea within my working. An old man with a long thin moustache, reminding me of the Sensei from the kill Bill Movies.
With my sensei character, I then began sketching using the Sculptris file as a reference for how I wanted my character to look. I used the head and scale of the character off of this but then wanted to add traditional Chinese robes so that it was obvious that he was a sensei. I used reference images found on the internet as a guide to designing the clothes. The key element that I noticed was that the clothes appeared to be ‘baggy’, hanging loosely on the Senseis. I tried to imitate this for my character.
My initial sketches had led me to come up with an idea for my robot and I began to develop him further creating variations that showed him as a boxer and as a warrior. To make him stand out as a silhouette I decided to give the robot abnormally large shoulder pauldrons, similar to how they do it in ‘World Of warcraft’. This way the silhouette would show a tall skinny robot with out of place shoulder pads. Since the brief stated that the character could not use weapons I knew that the variant showing him with a shield equip would just be an alternate design. For this character I knew that I wanted it to be obvious that he was a boxer, therefore I added boxing gloves to my sketches and make it look like they were crudely attached to the robot using tape. This was so that it appeared as if the robots original purpose was not to fight. I wanted the robot to be related to the Sensei and I came up with the idea that he would be a training bot. Since the Sensei would be in a guild it is most likely that there would be students that needed to train. The purpose of this robot would be to be the opponent of these students. I wanted this to imitate into my design, therefore, I thought it would be good to have engravings on one of the shoulders of the robot that read ‘training bot’ in simplified Chinese.
I then drew my human character in multiple poses showing a stance for fighting and him meditating. I used an image off of google to show a typical fighting pose of a Sensei. The reason that I decided to draw my character meditating as from my knowledge of films and animations that have contained a Sensei, the main thing that they seem to do meditate to try and find piece. A good example of this is Kung Fu Panda.
Finishing off the design of my sensei I then created a robot arm using 3DS Max and attempted to merge this with the existing Sculptris image to create my final character design.
After developing my robot I wanted to create a 3D model so that I could easily pose him. I did this using the drawings I did as the reference for how he should look and stand. I also used a boxing stance reference picture off the internet to help me correctly position him. When creating my robot I had an accident within the software which was that my character duplicated. Most of this looked extremely weird and was deleted however it duplicated the arms and ended up improving the design of my robot. Making the final idea a four-armed robot instead of two like I had originally planned.
Finally, I took the drawing of my posed Sensei as well as the 3D image of my posed robot into photoshop and began recreating them, refining the design and adding colour so that it was obvious what material the clothes of the Sensei where and what material the robot was made out of.
I made a development sheet for both of these characters so that it was easy to see where I started and how I got to the end of this project.
Looking back over this project I feel like there are certain elements where I have exceeded my limitations, especially in the 3D area of designing organic models. I feel like I have researched more than usual into the subject of my project and then used this as inspiration for the final outcomes.Using 3D software for character design Is something that I haven’t done in my past character design projects and I feel like it is certainly a technique that helped me extremely well. It enabled me to pose the designs of my characters easier as well as show them from different angles easily.
I still feel like character design is the subject in Games where I am lacking due to my drawing of anatomy. However, by practising sketching and comparing this project to my previous character project, I can clearly see an improvement in the shape of my characters and how they should be positioned.
To finish off the bridge project I created a concept sheet which showed the relevant sketches that took me from the beginning of the project right up to the final Photoshop concept. This sheet was mainly images with a small body of text that explained my initial idea for this project as well as how it could be used within a video game. To improve my concept further I also adding a ‘band’ which gave the image a title as well as showing that it was made by me.
In 3D I had the task of creating a 3D model based of of a large scale printer. After modelling and rendering I went into Photoshop and created a concept sheet. This concept sheet was done so that the different sides of the model were clearly visible in one image as well as specifically identifying what the model is of with a title at the top.
I tried to use the same style of presentation for both of these concepts so that I can develop my own unique technique and easily identifiable way to see that this is my work.
I feel like creating a presentation makes my work look more cleaner and organised, it is certainly a good technique that I have picked up. It enables the viewer to see the key pieces of this project and how it has developed without having to go through files and folders looking at images and text files.
‘A Pattern Language’ is a book written by Christopher Alender et al and is about the different patterns which show how everything around us has been designed. The book consists of 253 different patterns for specific things which can be found here. The main focus of this book appears to be environments as the patterns are split into sections which are Towns, Buildings, and Construction.
Instantly looking at this list I feel like it doesn’t benefit me for this bridge project as I have already developed a concept for an idea. The second section, ‘Buildings’, would have benefitted me the most as it explains what needs to go into your thought process when developing an idea for a building. This same process can be taken and used for my bridge. One of the patterns within this section is titled ‘Fine tune the shape and size of rooms and alcoves to make them precise and buildable. This has made me think about the immersion of my concept as well as the narrative. The bridge that I designed is extremely large compared to its surroundings and may be considered unbuildable due to the fact that its narrative is meant to be a medieval time set. However, this then implicates a fantasy feel as it is unrealistic, which can add to the narrative instead of taking away from it. A lot of the other patterns in this list
A lot of the other patterns in this list are specific things that make that building or town instantly recognisable as that title. This can be done for a bridge. Making a simple list of the patterns that follow in a bridge they would be this;
1.connect two points
This list doesn’t apply to all types of bridges however these are what make them recognisable. I feel like I have taken this into consideration with my project as I have tried to make my designs related to a realistic bridge.
These patterns will be commonly used in the games industry, especially in large scale games such as role-playing games. A good example of this is ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’ as it has all different types of environments. one of the most occurring is towns. Lots of these patterns, specifically in the towns section such as that shops, roads that loop, gateways, children in the city, are all taken into consideration so that the towns within the game feel full to the player, constantly offering new places to explore, detail to see, and obviously maintaining the immersion of the player. The first two sections are the most beneficial to the games industry. The town section, obviously for designing exteriors, and the buildings section which is about both the exterior and interior. This section would be used to help people in the games industry to design a building that the player is able to interact with and enter.
Looking at all of the development work and ideas that I had gained from my experimentation I was able to decide on a final idea. I expanded on my previous medieval design so that It felt more finished. To help me with the final concept I also did a sketch to give me an idea of the what it would look like. Just in case I also wanted to experiment with the textures as I wanted it to be obvious that this bridge was made of stone, assuring that the theme was medieval. I decided that the narrative of this bridge was going to be that it was an entrance to a castle, possibly with an evil presence. I got this idea from the large intimidating structure of the pillar that acts as an entrance to the bridge. This was influenced by the previous research that I did on Wanbao showing the huge structure towering over the rest of the environment.
After finishing my sketches I went into Sketchup so that I could easily create a simple model of my bridge which gave me the correct perspective of my bridge. In my earlier stages of this project during my experimentation, I used photo bashing and I felt like this would also be a good time to do this. I used this method to gain the shape of the castle as well as the textures for the background items. The reason that I decided to do lava underneath the bridge rather than just water was because I wanted it to feel dangerous and was influenced to do this from my experimentation that I did when I was using the lasso technique to come up with different concepts for the bridge.
Due to the narrative that I decided I feel like this concept could work extremely well in all different types of games, the best being a role playing game. Due to the fact that I made the narrative a dangerous place where evil lurks, I feel like this would be the setting or entrance way to a boss fight. The intimidating structure and ‘trapped’ feel that this gives you, since the bridge is the only way in or out, gives the player an idea of what is about to follow.
In this project, I feel like I have looked more into my subject then I have done in the past and certainly experimented with different ideas before committing to the final idea. For the final concept, I felt like the photo bash and Sketchup technique was the most beneficial to me as it was simple, quick and allowed me to gain the basic outline for my image. Other techniques I used such as the Lasso tool and the drawing Pareidolia were more beneficial in the earlier stages of this project when I was experimenting and expanding Ideas as they allowed me to create Ideas that were unique and not influenced by previous bridges and pieces of artwork that I have seen. The final concept may not be the best that I have created but I wanted to make sure that I used new techniques in this one. The photo bash worked well with gaining the outline of the castle and the grassland, however, I feel like with the lava it looks odd and more like cheese than lava.
To improve my presentation in showing off my work that I create in 3D I practised rendering the model using different approaches. I experimented with the materials, trying to find a colour which made the model clearly visible and eye-catching but still subtle enough so that the details can be seen. For example, I wouldn’t use bright pink as this would be unbearable to view.
I also used various different lighting techniques which involved me changing the position of the lights as well as changing a number of lights on the model. For the background I originally used a chambered cube, however, this showed a crease line, therefore I then decided to use a cylinder as this would give me a smooth background. The smooth background was necessary so that the shadows cast from the model, showing the depth of the model.
Finally, I multiplied the model and rotated it so that I could then create a final render showing the prop in all angles. Then I changed the background colour for this render so that the model clearly stood out from it and so that if I wanted to I could remove it entirely in Photoshop. This was then taken to Photoshop so that I could create a professional design sheet to show off my model.
Practising rendering has given me a better understanding of the better ways to present my work in the best lighting as well as the best materials. Comparing the final render to the first render that I did I can clearly see the different in presentation as the colours appear more uniform and show that the model is finished whereas the multiple colours of the first render make it look like a work in progress piece.