Sketchbook: Arne - Retro gaming, concept art and ideas

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  1. #1
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    Arne - Retro gaming, concept art and ideas

    Hi. These are the voyages of the entity Arne Niklas Jansson, a.k.a. Arne and Prometheus|ANJ. Its continuing mission: To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new ideas and imagine whole universes. To boldly... climb the shoulders of giants... and all that jazz.

    There's a bunch of random stuff which I haven't posted sitting on my server. I'll try to write a bit about each image.

    ---

    I had a brief encounter with my Zelda 1 project in March this year. With this rough concept I wanted to explore the stone statues you see when entering the first level/dungeon. Possibly they're meant to look like Zora (looking like the creature from the black lagoon monster), and Aquamentus. I threw in some characters for scale and feel.



    ---

    This was a joke image for a thread about NASA's new space suit design. It's a mix of elements I've picked up from Japanese mecha designs.



    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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    StarCraft. I was always more of a TA guy, but SC had its moments. The sprites didn't quite feel like the characters in the video sequences, so I wanted to interpret them. This image is still a WIP and I'm using ref. Sometimes I keep the ref on the same canvas that I draw on. It's a good idea to get ref showing many angles, animations, etc. This way the average look can be approximated.

    The Dragoon was fun to use because I don't like micromanaging and prefer 'fire and forget' units. I tried to match it primarily with the sprite which looks quite bulky to me. The Goliath seems to be a mix between ED-209 and a beetle (I liked the beetle look). Messed up the feet placement. The Zealot appears to have a long alien skull of some sort on the sprite. The details on the body are kind of haphazard, but since I didn't really like how the Zealots looked up close so I wanted to try a different approach. Since the units are seen from above, I chose to put some brown team color on the shoulder arcs.

    The Marine is one of the best designs in StarCraft. I think the red version appearing in the Ghost trailer is very nice looking with the simple barrel arms flowing nicely into the shoulders. I didn't really do much redesigning with my version.



    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  6. #3
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    Panties! Cool stuff dude, great to see them up here finally

    Moar!

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    aaaaahhhh yeeeeah

    solid work, the nasa suit is great, i specially dig
    the design of the shoulder and extra arms, very
    space like, altough a helmet mounted
    like the space marine would be more nasa like for me.

    The zelda work is awesome those statues have great shapes
    is solid!! even the amount of distribution of the color/value/saturation
    choices in the design patterns is pleasing to see.

    always enjoy your artwork and posts

    more posts please :-D

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  9. #5
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    Yeah, the helmet should have been a black bubble or something.


    I drew something for the penis thread. I prefer working with layers now. However, it's hard to adjust and lasso move/transform around the image in multiple layers in PS5.5, so I usually flatten after a while. It's important not to let anything get in the way of concepting. It should be fast and efficient to make things work, otherwise it's a bit like writing text and getting to the edge of the paper, forcing you to make a stupid compromise like bending, shrinking or chopping off what you wanted to say.

    In short, my process is generally: Ink blob to find good masses. Scale up and redo with thick lines preventing me from getting too detailed too early. Then thin lines over that. I used to start to render at this point, but I think that was a big mistake. When I render it takes more strokes to define details than when I do line art, so I get sloppy and I end up with either bad details or no details, or a nasty organic feeling where it's not suitable. My Concept art process thread has more details. It's kinda annoying working in several layers, but there's some good advantages too. It's really easy to play around with color schemes.

    Generally, I prefer to think that concepts are pictures that belong in a context, works as a part of a group, and have been explored properly. This walking penis was just a single random drawing which just came out, so I wouldn't call it much of a concept.


    Here's a PSD, right click save, 1.7 M, it shows my process because I kept the layers intact. I got a PS macro which scales down and sharpens for me. Usually I have to up the contrast to make the colors pop, especially with human skin tones. When 'sculpting', all the color mixing can gray them a bit, and I'm often a bit wimpy with the saturation.


    One thing which I discovered recently is that I see skew. When I flip a drawing it's leaning worse than the tower of Piza, and I absolutely can't see it unless I flip. I had to put up a note on my wall which says 'FLIP & FIX'. Now I've made it compulsory to make a selection, flip, transform skew/rotate because I know I have to do it regardless of how correct I think it looks.

    Fixing is harder, but it's almost always worth it. Building up the courage to fix an annoyance, kill that darling and change the design can really make a lot of difference in a concept. I don't like looking at stuff I know I could've fixed but didn't and the concept ended up unusable. Render flaws can get to me too, but not as badly as concept flaws which were kept because I foolishly thought that the time I had spent rendering the flaw was worth anything.

    ---

    Speaking of flaws and lazyness, here's another retarded pinup. I really need a larger library of poses. I hardly ever do any studies. The character is from Noitu Love 2 which is an indie game. I made it for a joke thread. I followed my process, but used the airbrush more than usual. The airbrush is good for gradients, sometimes I waste too much time doing them with the sharp brush. It's true that the airbrush can be kinda dead and boring, and that chiseled strokes can have more character, but when time is short the airbrush can be a real savior. It's always possible to go in afterwards with the sharp brush and give the gradients a treatment.
    Sloppy hands/arms/shoulders, eye to big.



    ---

    Here's something from another joke thread. It's a mix between Samus from Metroid and Naija from Aquaria (indie game). Not much to say about it, it's another sloppy picture with no real thought behind it. The creatures are Metroid based.



    ---

    This was made for a IRC speed drawing session a while ago. The topic was Alien garbage collector or something to that effect. I rushed it but it might be possible to develop the concept into something.



    ---

    I did a Dominance Wars 3 entry but didn't submit because I got distracted and I realized that I didn't have the time to polish as much as would've been needed.

    http://androidarts.com/dw3/

    ---

    I did a little 40k Slaanesh page and planned to do one for the Orks too, but changed my mind. I should spend time working on my own universes instead, put my ideas into that pool.

    http://androidarts.com/40k/gw.htm
    http://androidarts.com/40k/

    Last edited by Prometheus|ANJ; June 30th, 2008 at 08:04 AM. Reason: Typing
    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  11. #6
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    that penis one is great, wh 40 K stuff is cool love that stuff. awesome stuff everywhere in here. can't wait to see more.

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    Oh Arne, how I love thee. I've always enjoyed your retro game redesigns. I'm curious if you've ever been able to get any indie game projects made, I'd love to check them out. Capcom seems to be playing around alot with both 3d retro games (megaman powered up) and now full on 8bit retro style games (megaman 9)... hopefully that kind of thinking becomes more popular. Did you ever play much cave story or knytt stories?

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    Did you tried an adjustment layer on top of everything?
    those things are usefull, that way you dont have to wait
    to merge and play with the contrast/curves and color balance.

    just turn it on and off like a layer, making a hue/saturation
    one with 0 saturation helps to have an instant grayscale version preview
    of your painting .. . btw i dunno if you already tried that.

    Awesome DW3 entry thanks for sharing the link those demons are cool
    i love it :-D and great post dude we all enjoy reading your comments
    and looking at your artwork, keep on!

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    awesome work, can't wait to see more

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    I know about Adjustments layers, but I don't think PS5.5 has them. I wish I could selection transform through several layers too, but no worky.

    A Saturation layer might work though... I never use grayscale previews, maybe I should. I suppose it's more useful when you do scenes and enviros, because then you have composition and weights to worry about.

    Megaman powered up looked somewhat faithful, but everything felt huge and claustrophobic. Most modern platform games are too concerned with looks, so the characters are too big and you can't see ahead.

    I'm working on some indie games but I'm having trouble finishing stuff...

    ---

    Alien Syndrome is an old Arcade game based on Alien. There's a few ports and sequels, but the arcade version has these odd pastel colors which clash with the horribly-mutated alien theme. I thought it would be fun to play around with that. None of the sequels did.

    I can't say I'm excited about the game though. There's an endless stream of aliens which just teleport in from the screen edges, and then there's a stressing time limit. Time limits are a sign of weak game design I think. They seem to be used when there's no practical reason (within the game world) for the player to 'move on' or whatever, so an artificial incentive (God is counting) is used. This kills immersion for me, and I'd rather see a properly devised foundation for the gameplay instead. RPGs irks me the most, especially MMORPGS where the primary game mechanic isn't to keep players entertained, but to keep them playing & paying. This results in a lot of stupid rules like "You have to be lvl 40 to wear these boots because otherwise someone could just give them to you when you're lvl 1". It's like some cosmic nanny is slapping my fingers.



    ---

    The recent news about Megaman 9 being NES style made me want to return to my MM project. I've been experimenting a bit, trying to find a scale and style which works, but it's difficult. I'm not a fan of the cone legs seen in the X series and later. Here's the standard Chibi approach with stick legs. I prefer a pale yellow face rather than a skin colored one. Also, the power pellets should be in the style of the first game.



    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  17. #11
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    fantastic stuff prom, this will probably be my favorite thread on ca to check every day :p

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    amazing stuff prom, really cool dezings

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    Thanks.

    Here's a rough Megaman cover (or poster). I really need to practice scenes and composition more, because right now I'm a monkey with a typewriter.

    Anyways, I wanted to see if I could do something similar to SMB1's Japanese-European cover. It was kinda cute and packed with tons of little things to look at. To end up close to the feel of Megaman, I had to...

    Pick a level from the game and use its architecture and enemies for the scene. I always liked Iceman's level. Those green robots are awesome. I want one as a toy.
    Keep Megaman's chubbyness. His limbs are kind of even-thick, not the cones that you see in the X-series
    Use a familiar pose, the jumping one works because it's recognizable and has an action feel.
    Use the ingame logotype.

    Edit: Update


    Last edited by Prometheus|ANJ; July 3rd, 2008 at 03:31 AM. Reason: Updated magaman image
    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  21. #14
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    awesome stuff prom! thanks for sharing

    cheers

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    Hmm, Megaman is kinda detached from the scene. Doesn't work.

    Here's a simple clarification to a section of my art tutorial. It's pretty simple stuff, but when painting it's surprisingly difficult to keep track of shadows. I hope I got it right.

    Yeah, there's ambient light too, which is a bit like a zillion lightsources, in a way forming lots of overlapping shadows, or something to that effect.

    And then there's light shifting color depending on it's angle in the atmosphere (Martian sunsets are blue). And light bouncing off particles and moist in the air causing diffusion (there's hardly any shadows cloudy days because light is coming from all angles), and light bending around the edges of stuff, and the tricky 'slit' experiments.

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    Last edited by Prometheus|ANJ; July 3rd, 2008 at 03:05 AM.
    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  24. #16
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    Damn, what a struggle. I did make a little progress on the technical side though. Separate everything into layers so it can be moved and scaled around. Saves a lot of time and makes it easier to experiment.



    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  26. #17
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    so shadows overlap if there's multiple light sources? but never with only one?

    [
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    Of course they do not overlap when there's only one light source, because if another object blocks the light that would reach another object, how could that second object also cast a shadow? When there's multiple light sources, each light...lights the other light source's shadow, hence the apparent addition, which is actually the place where all light is occluded by the object. I hope I made some sense here and sorry for the intrusion

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  28. #19
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    I think the problem is that when we decide to add shadows, we sometimes do them in multiply mode. This can give rise to unnatural double shadows. The same thing goes for traditional media. If we have a leg already shaded in watercolors, and then decide to add a shadow across the leg, we get a double shadow on the shadow side of the leg. It's pretty hard to do all of the shadow sides and casted shadows all at once. With watercolor you sometimes have to do it with one stroke.

    ---

    Here's a robot. I might use it for an Ant Attack clone. I did the black one first (without any thumbnail exploration) but it ended up too detailed (internally and externally) so I thought a simpler one would be better. I decided on a gray, slightly retro-ish robot. Bit of a Gort feel to him, ne?


    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  30. #20
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    All your designs are so interesting, I will defiantly be dropping by here often!

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  31. #21
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    arne I LOVE THE PINK DALEK in your avator :d

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  32. #22
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    great designs!

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    I'm really enjoying your sketchbook, thanks for sharing

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    Thanks.

    I'm thinking of buying a new machine and software.

    The specs say:
    iMac Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz 24" med 500GB samt NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512MB
    It has a 24" flatscreen. I'll also get Adobe CS3 and a new Intous 3 A5 Wide. It'll cost me some 6k, but I think it's worth it since all I do is draw. Now I have a old Dell, without any real gfx card, 17" CRT at 1152px, half a gig RAM, Photoshop 5.5 and an Intous 1 A4. I redefined the drawing area of my A4 tablet to A5 to get a feel of the size. It felt too speedy first, but I think I can get used to it. Anyways, it'll be quite an upgrade.


    ---

    I've been watching some anime lately. My designer eye is always scurrying around looking for details... to the extent that I get excited and can't concentrate on the video (and I keep pausing to make notes). I randomly stumbled on Päman the other day and remembered my Balloon Fight project.



    I can't decide on a beak, and I'm not sure about the blue and cyan...relation. This is the 4th-5th time I've returned to these characters (every 2 years), but I still don't like what I've got.

    Last edited by Prometheus|ANJ; July 13th, 2008 at 04:16 PM.
    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  37. #26
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    Dalek Slyther pet

    It's from The Dalek invasion of Earth, but didn't get much screen time. Actually, they barely showed it at all, so I just tried to do something based on the mood and setting. I'm 3/5 happy with it. I think I missed the target but maybe I'm on a pointless 'mental image' wild goose chase.

    At first it was just grayish, which was too uniform, so I made the eye stalks darker on the ends, and gave him some green fungus hair. I think that helped to break him up a bit where necessary.



    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  39. #27
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    My Dalek redesign is coming along though. I've written a blurb about my Daleks earlier. Here I used the classic gun-metal + silver and the blue bumps. These were never actually seen in color on TV of course, because they filmed in B/W.

    I'm not sure if they had any shields in the older series. Since mine can hover they might be able to create forcefields or local gravity distortions, but they act more like tanks (armoured behemoths breaking through walls). The suction cup is like a very advanced 'gravity gun', allowing them to move and manipulate objects, even at a microscopic engineering level.

    Three tube legs can come out from the base, giving support or mobility.



    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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  41. #28
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    Great updates Prom!

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    Dude,
    I always looked up to you. So good to see you having en exclusive SB.
    Thanks for all those little lessons, man.
    Best regards,
    Khan

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  43. #30
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    can't get enough of this posts

    specially the Dalek Slyther pet
    and the female megaman you did on June 30th,
    i think is really good design
    very nice paneling and graphic detail on that one
    i know you like the low panties on your female characters
    but that one in particular would have more impact without them,
    more slick design, imo

    keep posting dude :-D
    really awesome work

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