Practice Character – Woman with a Gun

As part of the summer break, I have decided to take the time and work on my personal skills designing and developing characters, while also trying out some different ways of creating characters.  While this is the second character I have worked on so far, it is the first that I have actually finished.  Originally intended to be an idea generated for my final major project, I have decided to class it as my second practice character because of how I tried out a different technique to make it.

The technique I used was inspired by the video ‘TOP FIVE TIPS for Digital Drawing and Design’ by the YouTube channel ‘Draw with Jazza’ where he detailed some of the steps he took from other artists to create a final product.

silhouettes.png

I started by creating a bunch of different Silhouettes and deciding which I preferred.  I found numbers 1, 3 and 4 to be the ones that court my eyes since they were all fairly dynamic and showed the personality of the character a lot better than the rest other 3.

character_designs_1.png

The next step I took before deciding to try out the technique I later used was to create a bunch of identical line drawings and to add colour to them.  However, once I did this I decided to change techniques to see how fast it was to create a final piece compared to work I had done previously.

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silhouette.png

I started by taking a silhouette I liked (silhouette number 3) and placing it into another file.  Afterwords I drew a line drawing over the silhouette to give an idea of how the features of the image should look such as eyes, nose, mouth and bow.  I also decided to alter the image so that the character was holding a different weapon to the one that silhouette previously had.  Afterwords, I started to apply different shades of grey over the silhouette to try and define the characters shape and to add additional detail the silhouette.  Once I was happy with shading, I started to place colour over the image and then applying a linear burn.  Finally, I added some some shading to the background to cause the character to stand out.  Practice_Work_1

Personal Reflection and Going into Year 3

Overall, I feel that the work produced this year has been to a better standard then what was produced last year.  My skills with creating characters has definitely improves, so has my use of character silhouettes.  I also feel that if I was to put more work into my level designs, they would look much better then they currently are.

One major aspect about this year that needs to be improved is my time management skills.  A large portion of my problems coming from this year is a lack of planning when it comes to creating artwork for games.  While I say this every year when it comes to time management, it may be useful to set up some kind of document to help manage the amount of time spent working on an aspect of the project.

Another major setback for this year was the lack of home access I had to vital programs such as ZBrush.  With how much time I spent working on the character models and not on the level, I wasted a good few weeks not doing anything constructive to the level work.  This is something that needs to be resolved going into Year 3

Something else I need to start doing is frequently uploading my work to my social medias to expand my audience reach.  It may also be a good idea to actually work on ensuring that my personal development blog is continuously updated and worked on.

Plans for Summer

Given we have around 18 weeks or 126 days, over the Summer break it may be useful to work on some of my skills for next year and to teach my self the software I will need for the project I am planning on.  Some of the tasks I need to do next year are:

Practice Conceptual art for characters and environments

While I am mostly interested in the character aspect of game design, it would be useful to be able to design environments too.  Some of my plans as to how I could improve both of these are:

  • Draw characters with randomly generated character descriptions
  • Draw real people
  • Draw real landscapes
  • Draw character T Poses

Overall, by practicing over the holidays, I will hopefully improve on what I have already done this year.

Practice modeling characters and environments

It may also be important to work on my 3D modeling skills since it seems to be a requirement for the job that I am planning on doing in the future.  This may mean that I will have to buy ZBrush so I have been looking around for the cheapest price for the program.  So far, I have found it going for around £345 for an Educational License and £550 for a Personal Licence.  Getting ZBrush will be useful since I could also use it to help create assets out of classes since that was one of the major setbacks I had this year.

Learn more Unity

While my plans for the future aren’t going to involve much use of Unity as a program, it Character_Ideawould be nice to know the program so that I could create something to display any work I do next year in, rather than just having a static model for people to look at.  I could do this by looking up tutorials on the internet and using them to help build better characters

Work on my ideas

Overall, I don’t have much of an idea of what I would like to build next year.  I have something in mind but nothing concrete just yet.  That is another task I could spend the holiday doing; refining the idea that I currently have.  I have already worked on a little bit of art work based around the idea but aside from that, I still need to work on it.

Character and Level Hand-In

Overall, my opinion on my personal development throughout BAGA 201 and BAGA 202 has been alright.  Not good, not bad but a plain alright.  My problem with both level and character is that I tend to have a ‘if I can do it, I’ll do it now and if I can’t do it, I’ll do it later’ attitude to my workflow.  This is evident in most of the work that I have done throughout the course of this year.

Character

Model_render

Generally, I like the work that has been produced in character.  I feel that the amount of time I spent on it has shown in the quality of both the Princess and Main Character ZBrush models because of the amount of detail that is contained in both.  Unlike level, I spent a long time working on looking at different items of clothing, working on character concept art and making the models which shows in the final models of the characters.

Final_Renders

However, if there is one thing I have to say I dislike about the characters I produced, it would be the texture work on the main character in that it took too long to finally texture the model meaning that I spent more time on that rather than working on other projects.  I think it would be useful to try and get use to making models have a lower topology in ZBrush over the summer break simply because spending weeks just working on one model is not something I want to do next year.  It may also be worth buying ZBrush to ensure I have the program at home for ease of access.

Level 

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I am quite ashamed and disappointed at how level ended up.  I just felt early on that I couldn’t work on level concept art so I didn’t work on the level, which then lead to me working up until the deadline just texturing the level rather then having it done a week in advance.  This is something I definitely want to improve going into next year.  This is not to mention my lack of level fly-through because of both a lack of time to make the fly-through and a lack of knowledge on how to do the fly-through.

I think putting some time aside to learn perspective and how to photobash may be useful over the summer break.  I should also make time to learn more Unity just to make sure I have some understanding of the program so that next year, I can at least try and have a level done for the end of year show.

More Level Work

So, because of the deadline coming in fast, I decided to make a Google Doc to keep an eye on how many days I had until the deadline so that I could have some idea of what I needed to do for all of my projects.  I did this a few weeks ago but neglected to mention it because I forgot.

Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mw3CXb5WxWOUbDhH0HxJgoCc0523f6t7txuJoMXtJjk/edit#gid=0

I am basically treating it like it is some kind of tick list to ensure that I know what I need to do and to hand it in.

That aside, I have done some more work on the level this week.  I was having issue on deciding how the level should look, especially with trees.  In the end, I decided to do some additional sketches for the level.  The first was a paint over of the overall level to give a strong idea of how the level should look.

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I did this in Photoshop as a way to ensure that I had an idea of how the level should look atmospherically.  Overall, I think the concept art looks a lot better then I initially thought it would.  The only things I would change is the texture on the rocks and the Ferris Wheel.

Building_Designs.pngBuilding_Designs_(2)Building_Designs_(3)

This is some of the designs I did for the building in the level since I needed to have some kind of idea of how the building should look before it is finalized, textured and rendered out.

More work on Character Models and Level

Main_Character_Low_polly_render_FrontMain_Character_Low_Polly_Render_Side_(2)Main_Character_Low_Polly_Render_Back

Since the last update, I have started work on the second character simply because I need to get a move on when it comes to creating the final character models.  This character is based around the concept art I did for the main character.  These are the low poly models of the character.

I have also taken the model into ZBrush and worked on it to make it higher poly and to add additional detail to it.

Final_Render_For_The_Day

So far the modeling process is going well, with the amount of detail in ZBrush having improved since the last model.  My only major problem is with the coat.  I  would like to change some of the ways in which it has been designed simply because of the lack of buttons used to close the thing.  This would mean removing on of the pieces of triangular fabric going down the coat.

Main_Character_Face_Render_(1)

This is a render of the characters face that I did.  I still need to make some improvements like defining her jawline more and adding a few little details such as scars.  I am also not too sure about her lips.  There is something about them that seem ‘off’ to me.  I would also like to add more detail to the characters hair.

Final_Renders.pngFinal_Princess_DesignsI have also finalized the Princes characters model by adding some additional detail to her gloves such as the tape in the original design and added creases to the gloves to make them look more like fabric.  I am quite proud of this effort.  As a first time character model in ZBrush, I think it looks pretty good.

 

 

 

Something else I have been working on is the designs for the level.  I have, up until this point, neglected to do much with the level.  So to get started I worked on the level Greybox since I was having a little trouble trying to create a piece of concept art for the level.

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I also added lights into the scene to give myself some reference when it comes to creating concept art for the level.  So far, the grey box looks alright and can be used in future development to create a much more detailed version of how the level should look.

 

 

 

More Work on the Princess Model

Dress_Render_Front - Copy

This is the work I have done on the princess model since last week.  I have added a lot more detail onto the dress by giving it the additional lines to show the cloth folding.  I have also added lines going around the bottoms of the segments of the dress.  Aside from that, I have also sharpened up some of the dresses sharper edges.  It took a lot longer then planned to do this but in the end, it looks like it was worth it.

‘Protecting Your Creativity (IP)’ (3E’s)

An IP, or an Intellectual Property, is usually a design that has been registered in a way that stops people from intentionally and unintentionally steeling a piece of work done by someone.  There are two different ways in which an IP can be protected, either through Coppyright or Patent.

What is a Patent and what are the conditions for a Patent?

A Patent is focused around technical aspects of IP’s.  In the UK, you can patent anything so long as it is new, not obvious, and has a useful application.  You can not patent procedures, scientific laws, discoveries or procedures, rules for games, computer programs or anything else that could theoretically squash competition or further development into specific fields.

A patent is important when it comes to technical things to help establish who has created what and to avoid someone from straight up ripping off someone else’s design without paying royalties.

What is a Copyright and what are the conditions for Copyright?

A copyright is another field of law that protects someone who creates something that could be stolen.  Copyright is a little different in that it protects a name or design and allows the Copyright holder to have complete control over how their copyrighted work is used.

Generally, all work is Copyrighted for around 15 years after the creation and without legal backing surrounding it.  Creators can then extend the time past that point to around 25 years.  There is also the ability to extend that time further by renewing copyright.  Not registering an IP can have issues since none registered IP’s are harder to protect in a court of law when working to protect an IP.

Also, the creator doesn’t always have control over an IP.  IP rights can be transferred to the people that commissioned the work due to how some contracts surrounding commissioned work are written.

Overall both Patents and Copyright’s are there to protect an IP from being infringed upon since someone steeling a design can have negative consequences on the IP holder.  For instance, if a company started selling Batman themed objects for cheep and some of these objects break, that would look bad on the behalf of Warner Brothers who own the rights to Batman.  This then infringes negatively on the Batman IP and could scare away investors.

Working on the 3D Model for the Princess Character

Since I am coming into the final months of the course, it may be worth working on some of the 3D modeling work I need to do for the characters.  The first character I am going to do this with is the Princess.

Basic_3D_Models.png

These are the low poly base models that I exported as an OBJ and placed into ZBrush to then be altered by adding more polygons to the model and sculpting onto it.  By the end of the week I had already done this:

Work_In_Progress_Renders

This is the mode that I have done of the character and her dress.  Overall, I am pleased with it however, I kind of want to add some extra detail to the model such as giving it more depth when it comes to the way that the cloth is folded around the character.  I also want to add more detail to the characters gloves.

‘Bartering for Success’ (3E’s)

Bartering for success basically means that you need to be more assertive when it comes to working on a successful business.  There are many parallel’s between this and the last two 3E’s sessions relating to being confident about your work and showing that confidence in the way you look and the way that you speak.

However, there is one thing that has been brought up in this session that seems important, that being assertiveness.  Being assertive is important since it allows you to negotiate a different way of solving a problem.  If you aren’t assertive then it would mean that only one party involved in the process of running the business will be happy and the chances are, it isn’t you.  In art, this means stand the ground on how you feel that the product you are creating should look rather than just accepting what the client wants.