Bridge Development Sheet
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 help with the experimental stage of this project I decided to go into photoshop and experiment with different tools, creating simple that concepts. When doing this I didn’t add any detail as the purpose of these was just to give me an idea of what could possibly be my final bridge idea or even what I could use for the narrative.
I used the lasso technique while also adding simple colours so that I had a visual for one of the concepts. As well as this I tried a new technique called Photo bashing. What I did for this was add a bunch of photos into photoshop and then try to position them to gain an idea. I had the idea for this concept that the bridge was made up of a bridge from a crashed plane which gave the narrative of possible a dystopian time set. Therefore I added a chasm with mountains and a skyline in the background. This gave me the information that I needed for a basic concept and I then decided to lasso over the top of this as all of the images made it hard to see what I wanted the final outcome to be. Just like the other concepts I didn’t bother adding any detail since it had already given me the idea of the crashed plane bridge. One of the concepts I gained influences from the jungle piece that I looked at in my research stage.
After finishing my research I decided to start drawing some initial sketches that will help me to gain a final Idea. At first, I wanted to familiarise myself with the different types of bridges, specifically the ones that I found the most interesting. II drew my own version of each of these bridges, trying to consider what visual element made them that type of bridge. For example, the long pillars and support cables clearly indicated that the bridge was either a suspension or cable-stayed type depending on if the cables were curved or straight.
I then moved on to designing my own type of bridge. Just like with my other projects I decided to use pareidolia scribbles as this would give me unique shapes. If I were to just start drawing to come up wth my initial ideas I would probably be heavenly influenced by popular bridges and bridges that I see on a day to day basis, such as the Humber Bridge. When drawing some of these bridges I could see lots which I felt could be further developed and add more detail to them.
Using all of these sketches I then developed some of the pareidolia sketches. I did this on the ones that I felt had potential and some of the other designs were abandoned. For example, the ‘cage’ looking bridge which is obviously a truss bridge I felt like it didn’t look unique and just looked like an already existing bridge, perhaps influenced by the research that I previously did. When developing my sketches I tried to create alternate designs so that in the future I can then expand on them further or possibly combine the designs and so that I could implement the different bridge types into my designs. Just to help with the next stages I also annotated my sketches so I roughly knew what each piece of the bridges was and what theme and time set fitted them the best. This would benefit me when applying a narrative and a background to the final concept.
Next, I will take these sketches and experiment with them in photoshop adding various different colours to fit the theme and the narrative. As well as this I’m going to make a real model using various craft items so that I can visualise all angles of my bridge and how it will work. This should lead me to my final idea
Bryan Marvin is a character designer fro the Philippines however, has indulged into environment concepts as well. One piece of art that he has created struck out to me due to how he has implemented bridges into his design. Looking at this piece I can tell that the structures are meant to look crude and simple as if they were put there by ancient cultures or that with primitive technology. This can also be seen with the bridges which are placed so that the society can easily pass across the river/waterfall. To fit the theme of this concept the artist has made sure that the bridge is also crude. This can clearly be seen by the ‘wavy’ flow of the bridge and un-sturdiness showing that the culture there gave little design when using wood to put this bridge together. It also seems like the artist has thought about the age of the environment as well as it appears as if the power from the water and the debris that passes through it has caused damage to the bridge. This maybe another reason why it looks crudely put together.
Wanbao is a concept artist from China who previously worked for Webzen. Looking at his portfolios I found multiple pieces that have incorporated bridges into the environment. All of them seem to be in a ‘medieval’ style. The way this theme has been shown within the design of the bridge is by having them appear huge. This is showing by the large supports repeatedly shown on the underside of the bridge as well as by showing the entrance to the next scene at the end of the bridge. The repeated spikes along the bridge help it to fit within the ‘demonic’ theme of this concept as they appear to make the entrance look more intimidating. On one of Wanbao’s other pieces, he has incorporated the bridge into the story of the concept. Since the concept appears to show a wizard like character fitting a dragon Wanbao made it so that the bridge is half destroyed with the character stood on the edge. By doing this it gives a backstory to the piece and implies that the character has been fitting the dragon for a while resulting in the destruction of the bridge.
Neal Liu is a concept artist that works within the games industry and the film industry as well When searching through his portfolio I found a piece that showed a bridge in a completely different way t the previous artists that I have researched. With the other artists, the point of the bridge is to complete the scene and add a realistic sense. However, with this concept, I feel like it is more of a focus since it is the largest structure and ends at the front of the image. This feels to me like the point of doing this is to try and make the viewer imagine themselves within the painting, looking onwards to the rest of the bridge and what lies at the end of it. The theme of this is also different from the others as it looks more modern, futuristic as the purpose of the bridge is to be a fly over rather than something that connects over a gap. It is hard to tell if the bridge is floating or not since the pillars appear as if they are intersecting with the roads below and cutting them off. This gives me inspiration on what I can do to show that my bridge is the modern/futuristic theme by using technology such as lighting and curved shapes. However, it also gives me information on something I feel like I shouldn’t do and that is to have parts of my bridge which don’t seem to fit. This concept may just be a photo bash but I feel like the pillars intersecting the city take the immersion from the concept as I feel like it doesn’t make sense.
Links to Artists Portfolios
Bryan Marvin P.Sola
Wanbao Sci-fi and Fantasy
Neal liu Portfolio
Ming Fan Portfolio
Ming Fan is a concept artist that typically creates environment concepts based on fantasy worlds. Bridges can be seen in lots of his work but the one that interested me the most doesn’t actually have physical bridges. The concept simply shows a forest filled with different animals and plant life. But what caught my eye was the way that Ming had designed the trees in this concepts. He made it so that the trees had branches stretching widely which in my eyes acted as bridges, leading from one tree to another. This may not be a man-made bridge but it still connects one place to another, making it a bridge. This certainly gives me lots of inspiration as this technique makes it so that the bridges are subtle and not obvious to the viewer. Only by looking at it multiple times did I realise that these where bridges. It also gives me inspiration on how I can design my bridge as I don’t have to make it obviously man made. I could have it just as nature or something that has incorporated nature into its design.
Starting this mini project I wanted to look at what the different types of bridges are and how they are classified as that type.
The first type of bridge is an arch bridge. This is probably the most traditional type of bridge and is usually used on a smaller scale, for example just as a river crossing. The reason this is called an arch bridge is because the underside of the bridge which gives it support is in a curved shape adding strength at either end. These bridges are not only used across rivers as they are also used to cross chasms or gaps between mountains, especially with for the use of trains.
The suspension bridge is probably the first image that comes into anyone’s head when they hear the word bridge. A suspension bridge is where the main platform of transportation is held by cables that connect to pillars in the ground, hence the name suspension bridge. The most iconic suspension bridge would be The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, however, there is also the Humber Bridge, here in Hull. Looking at both of these bridges it is easy to see the similarities in the way that they are designed. The cables that hold the bridge balanced appear as if they aren’t actually doing anything as it looks like they are loose as they curve down rather than tightly held in place. Some of the first ever suspension bridges ever made were not steel but in fact made from twisted grass. Just visualising this seems a cool concept that could be used in all different types of environments.
The beam bridge is the simplest of all the types of bridges and is also known as a ‘girder’ bridge. This bridge has a box-like shape usually with large diagonals railings on either side. These bridges are usually to cross large rivers and have been designed so that they can raise to let boats pass by. As well as this the main reason these bridges exist is because the box like shape allows them to support extremely heavy weights as the middle is designed to dip inwards to compensate for this. This gives me an idea of what this type of bridge would look like if were destroyed or untamed, dipping in the middle and possibly bending out of shape.
A Truss bridge is a type of bridge which that has a ‘wavy’ like the pattern and has a very rigid structure. It has been designed like this so that the weight load of what it is carrying is spread out to te entire bridge so that it con contain an extremely high amount of weight. These used to be very commonly used bridges before the industrial revolution and were mainly made out of food. These are extremely cool looking bridges and in my opinion look extremely modern. I feel like they would look good in a fantasy style of game.
This type of bridge is basically multiple truss bridges that are connected in the middle with something called a ‘cantilever’ These are often the largest of the types of bridges as its width span can be over 1500 feet. As well as this is it obviously extremely strong since it is designed using the truss bridge. Since it usually has a high span you would presume that it doesn’t have a high weight. The design of this bridge is simple to that of the Truss Bridge if not a combination of that and the Suspension bridge, however, I feel like It doesn’t look as unique and interesting as the other types.
The cable-stayed bridge has a very simple design to the suspension bridge and even a very similar appearance, however, there are differences between the two. This bridge has one pillar anchored into the ground which is usually centred. IT then has multiple cables spanning to either side of the bridge. These cables are not slack like the suspension bridges but are extremely tight. Looking at some of the existing bridges of this type they appear to be extremely modern and look the most unique of all the types. One bridge which I found appeared to a curved pillar at one side with the cables then stretched to the opposite side. This is a very sci-fi looking design which gives me lots of inspiration for my bridge.
For Creative Futures we were given a mini brief of designing a bridge. The only requirement of this bridge was that it is an actual physical structure with the purpose of making a crossing over a gap or allowing access to a reachable place. The final piece can be in the form of a 3d model, a 2d concept, a 3d concept, or even an animatic.
I annotated the brief, breaking down each segment so that it was easier for me to have a step by step guide of how I should take this brief on. As well as this I also wrote down things which I feel will help me in the upcoming stages of this project. For example the different type of bridges that I know from my own knowledge.
My first step in this project will be to first look at the different types of bridges around the worlds and what makes them bridges that type and how they relate to one another. Using this I will then look at the work of others and what they have created and how this has had an influence on their outcome no matter what theme the bridge is in.