Friday, April 19, 2013

Responsive Brief - Ideas and Feedback

For our new brief we have a lot of control over we want to do. We will be creating our own project and writing a document explaining how our creation(s) would be transmedia. 

For my project I thought about working in 3D for digital modelling, but after some thinking I've decided to focus on creating character and conceptual art, as this is what I really want to develop. I think this project is a great opportunity to focus my attention on learning all aspects of creating conceptual illustrations, from studying the methods of painters/illustrators from history to examining the digital painting techniques of modern concept artists.

Here's a presentation I made to explain my intentions and show the 'mood' and atmosphere I'm going for.

I think it's important when creating concept art to look beyond the work of other concept artists. Examining illustrations and paintings from different eras shows an interesting range of aesthetics and styles, helps to inspire a variety of approaches and prevents you from just rehashing old ideas.

I am particularly inspired by the work of artists who worked in the 'golden age of illustration' (from the 1880s until after WW1). Artists like Arthur Rackham, Howard Pyle, Frank E Schoonover and Kay Nielsen all have distinct approaches to depicting people and environments in a manner which evokes a narrative and 'mood'.  

In terms of creating new races, I'd like to avoid those which are most commonly associated with the genre, like elves, dwarves, etc. I also want to avoid the warrior/race/ranger character tropes. There will be no clear good/evil characters, but each race will have characters with their own strengths and flaws. 

Although I think some of the races I create will be very similar to humans in many ways, I'd also like to work on less typically 'human-shaped' ones and consider a range of animal references. I'd like to think a lot about each race's unique history and culture, and also their biology and how it has been effected by their environment.

The environment, as I'm thinking now, will not be based on any particular era of Earth. There will be a mix of medieval-style settlements, but also large cities with some form of advanced technology. I'm thinking that there will be a presence of magic but it has largely diminished over time, and the people have reacted to this by attempting to create their own alternatives.

The target audience for this fantasy story/game would be young adult/adult (late teens to mid-20s). I want it to be quite dark and have an almost 'post-apocalyptic' fantasy vibe, and to explore more mature themes including power, morality and loyalty, yet the sprawling fantasy world should still be quite escapist and enchanting to audiences.


In our group feedback it was suggested I look into mythology of different cultures, such as Japanese, to gain inspiration for interesting characters and stories. It was noted that on my character inspiration page they all looked fairly intimidating, and that the world looks like it will be quite gritty. This helped me to realise I want to push the bleak, gritty 'feel' to show that this is a flawed world just like Earth.

I mentioned creating a map to show the world, and I got some positive feedback for that so I'd definitely like to work on this. It will help to establish the world and how different areas have effected each other.

It was asked what era that this world is based on, and that it looks similar to Skyrim. I need to think more about the level of technology and the political/social situations and make sure that, even if it's not based specifically on a time on Earth, it remains logical and consistent.

It was also suggested I work in different mediums, such as paint, to show a variety of approaches and colouring styles. I'd like to work on a painting but I don't really know anything about it on a technical level, as I've focussed a lot more on digital art. I will probably end up only creating digital-based artwork for the final pieces as it's a lot easier and makes it possible to edit/move sections of a painting without having to re-draw it.

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