Team CHOW II: The Happy Little Trees - Page 2

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  1. #31
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    Dont get me wrong, im not at all against using the base framework, just a little cautious about trying to be 'ironic' with stereotypes instead of like..actually trying to change them, or thats the impression i got? I've tried that before and its bit me on the ass.

    TBH im struggling like crazy to do a knight here. I really wish i could come at this with a clean slate, but its only been a month since i finished Tweetlord, and i was overworked on it so its still all in my system. Instead of a world of possibilities i just see a bunch of walls, jamming my flow. Its really hard to distance this particular high fantasy from that particular high fantasy even if this is miles apart in terms of style...and im not even that big a fan of high fantasy ;_;.

    I wouldnt have signed on to the CHOW if i knew what the topic was beforehand, but im still up for the challenge and so long as i distance myself from bloody medieval armour things should be ok.

    As first i claim mage/spell caster/potion brewer. Wether s/he will be human or not im not sure, its something ill have to play with, but s/he will hopefully be some degree of crazy and possibly semi nude.

    EDIT- its likely whatever i do will change from base mage btw, i may crossover into something like creature handler/summoner if thats an acceptable variation? Anything to avoid treading over old ground. If anyone can actually think of a relevant class for me which is NOT warrior/thief/ranger/cleric/mage it would help a lot.

    Last edited by ALH; August 3rd, 2009 at 02:52 PM.
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  3. #32
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    Yeah, go crazy on the sub-class. As long as magic/voodoo/mojo is their primary means of support I think you're fine. Just try not to overlap into healer territory to much.

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKLamb View Post
    Just try not to overlap into healer territory to much.
    Oh dont worry about that, im a fighter not a lover

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  5. #34
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    blackcherry- I think you're next, fighter, thief, or healer?

    BTW-MSN: lambck@yahoo.com

    Last edited by {CKL}; August 3rd, 2009 at 03:42 PM.
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  6. #35
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    On the subject of stereotypes, I donít think we should TOTALLY avoid them as I think including some elements of a stereotype image help to successfully portray messages about the character to the viewer, whether thatís through expression ,colours, clothing, features and other elements.

    Iíve downloaded Skype now. My contact name is: jellybeanleo (yes there was some on my desk at the time!)

    Iíll add everyone now so we can communicate.

    Iíve also started on the knight. Sketched him last night, going to scan my drawing in now and go from there so Iíll post more on that later. Looking forward to seeing everyone's work. I like your CKLamb, its very different to mine. This could be interesting!

    Iím all for making a start on the actual thing soon, as Iím travelling to visit family on Friday and may not have continuous access to a computer for a few days, though I will definitely have my sketchbook and I will be able to keep up contact over them days through the forum but itíll be off a different computer so there probably wonít be msn or Skype.

    I should get the bulk of the drawing done in that time so when Iím back I can get them on here for you guys to comment and go from there.

    Aside from that, any thoughts on a common theme/setting for the characters? On the subjects of characters Iíd be interested in exploring some spell casters, Iím thinking along the lines of wizard Ė Necromancer to start with and... fairies maybe? Depends what sort of overall theme weíre going for I guess.

    Oh yeah, another thing I was wondering about the whole good-evil thing. Is it a good/evil version of the particular character or of the type of character? Does that make sense? This may have already been answered so I will check the brief again also.

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  7. #36
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    I believe it is a light/dark version of the same character. I'm approaching it as if these characters had a defining moment in their lives and the portraits depict the two possible outcomes.

    BTW: Blackcherry is on the healer class.

    Nim- Fighter or Thief?

    ALH- Don't get to high strung on it, you'll get yourself into a creative block. Just do what comes out natural and you can go from there.

    Last edited by {CKL}; August 3rd, 2009 at 04:24 PM.
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  8. #37
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    Fighter please, unless you have a strong preference to that class yourself?

    Ill get my progress posted asap, spent most of the day stuck in traffic trying to get to the airport :/

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  9. #38
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    Alright, that makes me the stinky thief. Sweet!

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  10. #39
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    No worries, ill bitch and moan til the cows come home but still keep at it, and end up talking myself into having some fun too.

    Rough one, saved it when it was small. I would usually do a bunch of variations, but i've had to get myself over the 'omg not fantasy again' hump today. Actually looking forwards to exploring it again now


    We are the beast knights who say NI!

    Warming to this kind of character, thinking of changing from mage to barbarian version of steve irwin- punches bears out cold, puts a harness on em, rides into battle and uses their babies as a pullover.

    edit. ok. his legs are like..yeah. gonna tweak him, i was going to leave it as crappy since its 'just a warm up' but thats no excuse, it should never be an excuse.

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    Last edited by ALH; August 3rd, 2009 at 05:54 PM.
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    ALH- Sweet looking design! I know you might be itching to switch up primaries, but that might make things a bit confusing for the rest of us. Does that mean Nim has to do a Spell-Caster now?

    Let's try to stick with our current classes/archetypes, and if you want to try something in addition to it, by all means go for it. Just make sure your primary gets finished.

    I guess we need to figure out how we want to approach the overall grouping, are each of these characters completely unrelated or are they part of a larger over-arching story or narrative? Being that the assignment is to create both a light and dark version of each character it might be hard to create a coherent narrative. Perhaps we could take a group of adventurers and place them at a turning point in their lives. So your description could cover a history and present condition of your character while the portraits convey where their lives could take them, depending on their decisions. Hopefully that made some sense....just a quick thought.

    Edit: We should probably set up an IRC meeting for tomorrow.

    I found a picture of our "mascot":

    Name:  Bob_at_Easel.jpg
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    Last edited by {CKL}; August 3rd, 2009 at 07:23 PM.
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  12. #41
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    Tell you what, ill stick to what i said, else by this time next week i'll change my mind AGAIN.

    "Perhaps we could take a group of adventurers and place them at a turning point in their lives. So your description could cover a history and present condition of your character while the portraits convey where their lives could take them, depending on their decisions. Hopefully that made some sense....just a quick thought."
    Awesome. I expect we'll all be doing base 'neutral' versions of the characters anyways for the sake of development, right? its good to get your starting point down.

    Would the turning points be global, with each character responding to the same event, or more individual? eg global- as a group they encounter a dragon, with a distinct outcome- win or lose, town is saved, town is burnt down etc - and decide how our characters would react to this - each bearing the scars/victories of the same battle.

    Or individual- A character chooses to save/ignore a drowning princess, and later on in life they meet the other characters to form a team of heroes/villains ?

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  13. #42
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    Had to be done.

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    First off I love our new team image! lol, especially how ALH has edited it! Awesome!

    Also I love your knight ALH, it's looking very cool, makes me reluctant to post mine, as it's nowhere near as good or as finished. I'll still post my progress before I call it a night though.

    Oh and if we do decide to go with it just say so I can divert my attention to researching some reference for my chosen class of character and start some designs etc. Until then I'll hack away at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALH View Post
    Would the turning points be global, with each character responding to the same event, or more individual? eg global- as a group they encounter a dragon, with a distinct outcome- win or lose, town is saved, town is burnt down etc - and decide how our characters would react to this - each bearing the scars/victories of the same battle.

    Or individual- A character chooses to save/ignore a drowning princess, and later on in life they meet the other characters to form a team of heroes/villains ?
    I think there needs to be something that ties our characters together, a certain event that would affect the outcome of their role, or the choices they make as a result of a certain event. Either way that seems like a great idea. This wouldlink them under a common theme then, which if played in a game would be a cool concept as it could be the choices you make for your player character which would affect whether they became good or evil.

    On the subject of theme too, what sort of overall look and feel are we going for? Is it going to be classic fantasy? more modern? etc.

    I've juse re-read the brief too and it says:

    "fantasy portraits that read well together and still look awesome separately. Thus, as a team, you must create a compatible 'look' for your characters."


    So judging by the work I've seen from all of us so far, the look of our characters are pretty different. Not sure how everyone wants to combat this? Guess seeing the knights would be a good start. Here's mine:

    Name:  knight_wip.jpg
Views: 471
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    Not finished yet. Would like to have spent more time on the drawing but with needing to have it done soon and colouring being of my weaker areas I figured I'd better put more time in there. I'll get some more hours in tomorrow. Oh, and any tips, pointers on colouring are always appreciated!

    Last edited by blackcherry; August 3rd, 2009 at 11:12 PM. Reason: attaching image
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    Actually, I think the fact that we are kind of spread out stylistically might be a boon. If we can blend the graphical with the natural in an interesting way, our work could really stick out. (Hopefully in a good way.) That and it will get us all out of our comfort zones.

    Maybe the conflict could be global and personal? Perhaps this band is united through conscription into an army, set forth to battle some seemingly unconquerable force that is threatening their world/land. And, let's say two of the four grew up in the same city/town/village. (Cliche Warning) Those two happen to be a boy and girl... boy loves girl...girl doesn't love boy back his whole life, instead she falls in love with party member 3...if boy can't get over it maybe it consumes him and twists him into something vile and hateful...if he can then maybe love is still out there waiting for him. So you could see how easily this war could be fought both on a inter-personal level and global.

    Last edited by {CKL}; August 3rd, 2009 at 10:07 PM.
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  17. #45
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    Not as far as I wanted to be but since you guys have already all posted I guess it would be rude not to show my hand on the knight:

    Team CHOW II: The Happy Little Trees

    My idea (which brilliantly, I haven't managed to lay out all that well yet) is that the good and evil side of the knight is always there. The armour itself is a cage for the demons that consume him, with restraint he keeps them locked up within the armour and they are visible as a sculptural element. I am trying to make it the armour also look as if it is a cage for the knight himself too.

    On the evil side, the armour (er, the idea sounds lame when I write it but meh) is more of a living entity, with the demons coming to life and attacking everything around him, friend or foe.

    In my head this could allude to two different stories. If we are to take CKLambs (mind if I call you Corey?) idea of good and evil being two different outcomes of an event, the good side could be a triumph over his demons and they are locked away forever and the evil side is when the demons win. Or it could be that the good and evil sides are constantly conflicting and the evil side can come out at any moment.

    Anyway, ramble over, where do we go from here? I think we need to decide on some sort of time period that can help bring certain visual elements together, I like the renaissance idea that was being thrown around, could lead to a lot of nice sculptural elements and small details? Are we decided on classes now or is that subject to change?

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  18. #46
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    'The armour itself is a cage for the demons that consume him, with restraint he keeps them locked up within the armour and they are visible as a sculptural element. I am trying to make it the armour also look as if it is a cage for the knight himself too.'

    Loves the idea of his armour being a cage rather than protection, i was looking into this myself but didnt get very far with it.


    As for era- daestwen has knocked back everyone who asks if they can make it modern etc-

    high fantasy tends to be around late dark ages / early medieval [...] there are lots of other cultures that had 'middle ages' that weren't in europe. :] I think as long as you stick to the same level of technology, regardless of culture, it should be fine. Just think of the "Men from the East" in Lord of the Rings. :]

    We need to read up on the era tbh, and see what was REALLY going on then that has been overlooked or romanticised since then. I saw a documentary on st patrick which gave a pretty good summary of what happened to britain in the dark ages -

    Everything had order in England, we had roads, forts, christianity, protection by the romans. Scotland was walled off to the north, Ireland was full of druids ( who st patrick introduced to christianity )

    Then things got bad in Rome, the soldiers were called back, and people had no protection from barbarians etc. Paganism crept back in full force in England and there were a bunch of invaders, angles and saxons etc, who brought their languages and cultures over. St Patricks cronies started their own crusade via the west coast of scotland, and he and his monk bros used the tactics St P developed in converting the irish celts ( integrating the pagan festivals with the christian easter etc) to take on the picts.

    From there they travelled downwards, slowly trying to take the north east, setting up camp on holy island- an island off the coast of Northumberland which is only accessible at low tide. They build a bigass monastary- the ruins are still there today- and recruited monks to further their message, in a somewhat safe location.

    From there they spread out along the coast. We have a really early nunnery here, and theres another big ruined monastary across the river. I didnt actually know the one we have has so much history until the documentary too, i always dismissed it as just another random church.



    ..I think we should probably ask for the exact dates daestwen is after for these things, so we know where we stand.

    Last edited by ALH; August 4th, 2009 at 08:29 AM.
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    In regards to era, even though it has to be old style does it need to be based on actual factual time periods in our history/worls?

    Lord of the Rings had its own world, history and time scale. Couldn't it be based on something like that as long as we keep it to that sort of theme and nothing sci-fi related wouldn't that be ok. Fantasy afterall is about creativity.

    Oh and what's happening with the knight now? Do we all still need to finish it by tonight or shall we start working on our chosen class?

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    no exact dates, per say, I'm sorry to be so vague. :] More a general idea... for europe i would say about 500 to about 1200-1300 hundred would be fine, but there are some people taking elements from the 17, 1800's and I think that's fine too, but you want the feel of something old and legendary, I guess is what I'm trying to say. :] I'm trying not to be *too* specific for a reason. Just please keep firearms and other modern weaponry to a minimum, and no contemporary references and you should be fine!

    And no, it doesn't have to be directly linked to our world, of course, but lots of people like to use it as a starting point. :]

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  22. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcherry View Post
    In regards to era, even though it has to be old style does it need to be based on actual factual time periods in our history/worls?

    Lord of the Rings had its own world, history and time scale. Couldn't it be based on something like that as long as we keep it to that sort of theme and nothing sci-fi related wouldn't that be ok. Fantasy afterall is about creativity.
    Remember, LOTR was based on old myths. If we look at the same myths we can come up with something original using them as a base, instead of looking at someone else looking at the old myths and trying to reinvent it second hand. (though in the case of tolkien, thats way more than second hand!)

    Theres so much freaky stuff in old myths anyways, the dark/middle ages had some wacky ideas about how the world works, especially the worlds outside 'civilization' and a whole scientific method based on how to test if someone was a witch!

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  24. #50
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    Ok that's great! I like the old and legendary route, that's fantasy to me! Don't like the idea of modern technology for this anyway. Old style fantasy all the way!

    As for looking into old myths, legends etc. I think that would be a great idea. They're always a source of some good inspiration!

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  25. #51
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    Im actually browsing through a book called 'grisly tales and ghostly trails' and its sequel right now to look for some weird old folk tales and myths from the north east. The sequel deals with the whole of the UK from what i can tell, i havent actually read it in that much depth- the first one was my favourite book as a child, and has some really odd stories in it about places im familiar with .


    ..And most of them are deliciously bloody :3

    Theres this one story of a blacksmith on the scottish border who has two sons. Every night a warty old witch snuck into their room and put a magic bridle on one of their necks which transformed her victim into a horse, she then rode around on his back all night. Well, the blacksmith got suspicious, because every morning one of his sons would wake up strong and the other exhausted. So one night he hides in the boys room, and when the witch comes in he grabs the bridle and puts it on HER, transforming her into a horse. He rides her over to the smithy, nails horseshoes into her hooves and sets her free. The next morning they find the old witch lying in a ditch, bleeding out, with horseshoes nailed into her hands and feet.

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    Name:  knights.jpg
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    So we all need to take a hard look at our sketches and see where we should be stylistically.

    My style guide would be as follows:

    1. Close to natural proportions for height 7 1/2 to 8 heads. (unless you're doing a dwarf or other size specific race)

    2. Focal areas like the face, hands, etc. should be fully realized and rendered while the rest blends into a more stylized and graphical style (hard lines and color blocks like ALH's design)

    3. Use slightly exaggerated body shape, like cherry's design, to relay character. Maybe not as exaggerated as cherry's, but enough to notice.


    I personally would like to see, era wise, a play on some medieval/renaissance/baroque/asymmetrical fantasy designs. Also, ALH's design really has me wanting to grab them in cold weather gear: think furs, layers, metal. However, skin can still be exposed as much as necessary, maybe your character just likes it that way.

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  28. #53
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    That is one weird tale but also crazily interesting! I like stuff like that. It would be awesome to illustrate! I'll have to check out some local folklore books actually, could be useful for future reference if not for this!

    Also I've started putting together moodboards and research for the healer section now I'll post them later.

    As for the knight, I think mine is the weakest of the lot so think I'm going to leave it there rather than spend the whole day painting it when I'm not even happy with where it is now. It'll just dishearten me. I think I'd be better off moving on and focusing on my chosen class, if that's cool with you guys?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CKLamb View Post
    Name:  knights.jpg
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    My style guide would be as follows:

    1. Close to natural proportions for height 7 1/2 to 8 heads. (unless you're doing a dwarf or other size specific race)

    2. Focal areas like the face, hands, etc. should be fully realized and rendered while the rest blends into a more stylized and graphical style (hard lines and color blocks like ALH's design)

    3. Use slightly exaggerated body shape, like cherry's design, to relay character. Maybe not as exaggerated as cherry's, but enough to notice.


    I personally would like to see, era wise, a play on some medieval/renaissance/baroque/asymmetrical fantasy designs. Also, ALH's design really has me wanting to grab them in cold weather gear: think furs, layers, metal. However, skin can still be exposed as much as necessary, maybe your character just likes it that way.
    This sounds good to me! I think I can work to that. Also I love the idea of the whole winter/cold weather theme/look. That could be interesting to explore and would be another way of linking our designs.

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    Feel free to start working on your primary. We need to have initial thumbnails and sketches finished by this weekend.

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    Im in all in for the style guide, however, first thoughts that hit me without working anything up is how well will the full rendered parts flow with the more graphical parts? Im slightly worried that forms might not end up reading as well, can you think of any examples that employ this style or are we trail blazing?

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    1. Close to natural proportions for height 7 1/2 to 8 heads. (unless you're doing a dwarf or other size specific race)
    On that- from what I can tell reading these old myths so far, there are a lot of extremes in the descriptions of mythical folk and heroes, so it would be interesting if our characters are wild in terms of scale to each other (even if they keep the 7-8 heads proportion) One robin hood like character i've stumbled across here is described as being 6'8 tall!

    Elves, in such a contrast to how they are portrayed in todays media that it seems we're all forgotten their origins- are described as being tiny little helpful pixie folk, living in vast underground rabbit warren cities etc.

    It may be worth checking out myths on elves/pixies etc for the healer character, they seem to be a creative bunch, more than happy to help humans, until the humans set dogs down their rabbit holes and slaughter the lot of them, then they either hide away forever or get nasty and cause mayhem.

    Methinks its time we reclaim the tiny elf and get rid of this ' just a good looking pointy eared version of a human' nonsense!

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    Oohh one more thing, we've decided on classes (I think) but has everyone decided on race? We need to make sure we get a good variation going...

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    ALH is offline one of those tiny little dogs rich people keep in their vaginas
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    Quote Originally Posted by nimzicki View Post
    Im in all in for the style guide, however, first thoughts that hit me without working anything up is how well will the full rendered parts flow with the more graphical parts? Im slightly worried that forms might not end up reading as well, can you think of any examples that employ this style or are we trail blazing?
    Its a speedpaint technique, you only render whats important. I see more of it in horror than fantasy though, which (quick concepts aside) seems traditionally much more focused on detail, though i say that as someone who has a much bigger collection of horror images than fantasy :p



    Some graphic stuff -

    http://fiduciose.cgsociety.org/gallery/300381/
    http://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery...eed-paint.html
    http://pspmedia.ign.com/psp/image/ar...16424_640w.jpg
    http://crazypumpkinsnest.files.wordp...-conceptsm.jpg
    http://img.qj.net/uploads/articles_m...jpreviewth.jpg

    Ashley wood = om nom nom nom. Ungodly win.

    http://www.ashleywoodartist.com/

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  36. #60
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    Thank you for the education

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