I thought I'll try something different this time. I normally go right into the final pose and work out the composition, color, lighting, character design...all at the same time.
This time I thought I start with straight up character design. If I can get my character look interesting standing straight with a poker face, I think I can make him look interesting with some crazy pose, dynamic composition and dramatic light~~~ maybe not too crazy.... LOL
This is my hip hop inspired elven magician. Apparently... the only thing I know about hip hop is half way down baggy pants with boxer showing and a lot of bling bling....
fluorine: Great design sketches! I like the pants of the first one best and the head silhouette of the third. If anything, the top halves of these sketches look a lot more traditional/tribal and the bottom half look straight up hip hop. Finding a way to mix the elements up might be the way to go. The skinny top versus baggy bottom silhouette is really working for me, though.
Thank you nightblue~
I was actually thinking about the same thing, 1 the top part is a bit too tribal, I think it's the feather and all; 2 the two style doesn't mix that well.
Ok, an update~ more fantasy looking hip hop magician. I only borrow the silhouette of the baggy pants and boxer. everything else is... high fantasy~ LOL.
Last edited by fluorine; January 9th, 2010 at 01:46 AM.
Paging Lancer and Beelow to come out of hibernation Don't disappear! Even if you are too busy to sketch, please do comment so we can bring our visions together.
Fluorine: I really like this new sketch! The design of the pants look great. If you want it to be less tribal, consider getting rid of the feathers on the shoulder - they do add variety to the silhouette but is also pushing it away from the baggy, flowy hip-hop shapes.
Some random pictures:
lunch time sketch - messing with colors. Don't think the mass amt of purple is working. I'll do more color researching tonight.
I think the purple works OK, probably would be a bit stonger if add more red in it. But that's just me... I like red. LOL. The secondary lighting is really good create mysterious feeling. But I feel that the primary light source should be a bit stronger on his face.
I'll work on my mage... I mean, magician~ LOL. I really like the feather, but it indeed pushes the design towards tribal... ... seeing your work helps a lot, we need to create characters that fits in the same "world" so to speak. I think I'll give him some interesting shoulder plate instead. Traditionally Magician is almost always associated with red and white, so guess i don't have much choice with the color.
Another thing we both need to be careful, I think, is the shoes. My elf is wearing regular sneakers and it really doesn't go with the rest of the high fantasy design. I can't quite tell about your shoes, but it looks pretty modern to me, so might want to tone it down a bit.
Last edited by fluorine; January 11th, 2010 at 03:18 PM.
Fluorine, you've nailed the fantasie/urban combo in you're very clear sketch, looks quite promising.
Nightbleu, you're concentrating a lot on the lighting witch results in a nice effect around the face area, but I'm missing the Urban/Hip hop elements yet.
I'm also wondering if Fluorine's Indian and Nightblue's Arabian angle aren't too far apart.
Had a very late day at work today but I'll reinforce the hoodie feel I was initially going for tomorrow I don't think yours would look too indian if you change the feathers... and I definitely don't want mine to look arabian, so I'll mess with mine more, haha! Thanks Tommoy!
Here's a color one, just test out the red/white color combination, harder than I expected. And... I just can't drop the feather~~~ red/white is a bit too boring, so I added some colorful/playful feather~~~LOL, hopefully he'll look more like a magician/jester than a tribal indian sharmen.
Fluorine - The large field of white and striped pants is giving him more of a mime look, which takes him closer to another card - #0, the Fool. My suggestion would be to not worry so much about the color combination that's in the card discription. I've seem many versions of the Magician that do not follow red/white at all. Just do what feels right to you, and maybe add hints of red or white if you'd like
Sorry for taking it easy and/or getting distracted lately. Serious updates coming tomorrow!!! I've said it so now I can't slack of again, haha.
Edit: Do we need a general color/lighting theme? New round of research?
that's good to know~~~ i mean, not to stick with red and white. the stripe pattern is an after thought... his white pants just look too plain, totally boring... And, I just really into those pale white+vibrate color face paint lately... probably not a good idea for the Magician though. And I'm totally not happy with her arm plate thingy. Looks too "robotic". Ah.... so many things about this design is not working for me.
I'll give it another shot tomorrow. Somehow I kind of see him in some more earthy, muted tones... Magician is "creativity", maybe I should play with that idea more.
As for general color and lighting theme... I haven't think that far really... what do you think? since we're doing hip hop+ high fantasy, anything we can borrow from them? High fantasy is mostly dramatic lighting, but hip hop I feel like is more down to earth, like everyday casual (but cool~).
Today is the 12th, we still have roughly 2 weeks to play around with ideas. I think we need to come up with a character line up with a unified style/color/design no later than the 24th (Sunday), that'll give us a week to finish up the final pieces. Considering we're both working, we might actually need more time working on the finals. remember how we were last time, coming up with frames, presentations at the last minute.... let's try... not to do that... (Although I had a feeling, we probably will end up the same way...LOL)
Hey there guys! Very sorry for the absence, I've been very... distracted lately. (That, and I haven't been getting any notices from this topic? )
I've been working like a madman on mine, but I don't have anything to show for it besides a ton of failed images. I finally think I'm on the right track now though, so I'll post what i have later tonight when I have the chance.
@Nightblue: I REALLY dig the layered jacket, very cool and ornate... I do agree that the hood reads more as an arabian head covering than a hoodie, though. And I don't think the purple is working too well either, but you probably already know that. ^^;
@Fluorine: I personally like the feathers as well, haha. ^^;
I'd agree with nightblue and say that you shouldn't be worried about limiting yourself to just red and white. maybe changing his skin tone will help a bit?
Second fluorine's notion about no failures! Post what you got Lancer and we can all bounce things around. I also agree with fluorine on borrowing lighting from either urban or fantasy theme - somber, realistic lights versus dramatic, colorful lights. Here are some combinations I think will work well for us:
A. Overall clothing silhouette and colors- urban, accessories and details - fantasy, lighting - urban
B. Overall clothing silhouette and colors - fantasy, accessories and details - urban, lighting - urban
C. Overall clothing silhouette and colors - fantasy, accessories and details - urban, lighting - fantasy
Any thoughts on this?
@Nightblue: That looks a lot more obviously urban, but I do miss the layered jacket of the first design. I think adding the baggy pants was a good decision, though.
Regarding the lighting and stuff, I'm not really sure what you mean by it? I mean, urban and fantasy are both such diverse genres - I don't find myself associating specific lighting or colors with either of them. I mean, there's plenty of colorful urban stuff (graffiti?) and plenty of somber/realistic fantasy stuff, haha.
I don't even know what direction I plan to go in right now, I'll have a better idea after I do some color tests...
Anyway, after a few more hours of getting nowhere, I got fed up with photoshop and just penciled the dang thing like a sane person. And what do you know, I had all my problems resolved in less than an hour... figures. There's still some minor anatomy errors to fix (making 6 legs work is a lot harder than I thought), but it's a lot better than what I had before.
I tried to take Nightblue's suggestion of making it more of a character than a creature, but it might need some more work before it reads as an individual...
LancerMoo: nice design, I like the flow of the lines, and the dynamic pose. But at this point, he's more on the creature side then character. It is rather difficult to have a non-humanoid character, how do you show the audience his intelligence and personality? When look at something new, the first thing we do compare it with the things we already know and find similarities. that's how we process new information.
For example, in the movie avatar, when the new hummer head creature running out, the first thing the audience might think is:" hey... these alien creatures looks just like Rhinos, I know rhinos!" That's why when you create something new, you always based on something already exist, it's a lot easier for your viewers to process the new information.
So for your character, the first thing I think is a tiger. A tiger is generally consider a creature. So in order to make him a character, you have to give him something "human" for your audience to compare to. The best way is to create humanoid face, eyes, expression, or attitude. Once Chow did a dragon round, you can check that out and find some inspiration. You can also go see the Lion King, Disney is actually really good at making animal "characters" instead of "creatures".
I hope this helps.
Urban Hip hop= Ball Caps, Chains, baggy clothes, blunts, swisser sweets, black and milds, mo chains, pankay rangs, hoodies, J's, skull caps, braids, dreads, white tees, watches, spinnin rims, gold or platinum grillz(teeth), afros, low cut fades, watches, sometimes tight fitting clothes(seems to be the new in thing, mainly east coast, west coast thang). Just look up rappers.
big booties, tight fitting clothes, big hoop earrings, braids, gucci, coach, prada, clothes, anything with text graphics on it anything that represents africa, or black panther and hair weave.
Just some things to consider when designing your characters team if you are struggling with the theme of hip-hop a bit. I am just looking at what I and my chick wear since I am familiar with the theme.
Be careful flourine that you do not stray to far away from the theme. It looks more native american than hip hop. Keep at it. Looking sharp.
Nightblue, just throw a ball cap under the hood and do something nifty with the ball cap. Maybe some fantasy text of some sort on it. Just a thought to get rid of the arabic look if you think its a problem. It can pass as hip-hop-ish feel to it. Looks great.
Lancermoo, I am not sure what is going on as far as the feel of the theme, but beasty looks good in my opinion. It's still to early to tell what direction you are going, but sure it says hip hop. I like your work from one of the chows that you did. I see your influence by the way you deliver your work. It says joy ang and James jean all over it.
Check out some Mike-T to help out with the hip hop theme. The Boondocks cartoon can also help you a bit as well.
Another note, attitude is going sell the hip-hop look. Arrogance, aggressiveness, and laid-backness(if smoke dat dro) are attitudes that you can add to have that impact.
I can throw some names out for you ladies to get more of a feel of what hip-hop is that you can google search:
Lil Boosie, Webbie, Lil Wayne, Bun B and Pimp C(UGK), Eightball and MJG, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Common, Nas, Dave Chappelle, Notorious Big, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Paul Wall, Erika Badu, Alicia Keys, Keisha Cole, Nivea, Superhead(she a video hoe so be careful with her), Mary J Blige, Kimora Lee Simons, Meagan Good, Lauren Hill.
Fluorine: I really like your design except for the feathers sorry but they really look tribal. The tiny dagger things on his chest belt also makes him look more like a fighter rather than a mage. How about experimenting with some magical accessories like potions, bottles, spell components and scrolls?
Lancer's design is looking really cool. The challenge now is 1. how to make it look more like a character, and 2. how to make it more urban/hip hop. I second the notion that the monster could use more human-like qualities, especially the eye. In one of the imagineFX artbooks there was an article on how to make monstes/aliens look intelligent, and human-like eyes or expressions play a very large part. It is just how our mind works - we relate to things that look like us, narrow-minded isn't it As for the hip hop thing, we could all go for urban, somber lighting - as much as I like fantasy lighting, I feel like the more somber, down-to-earth palette might really set us apart, as well as tie our divers characters together in to an unique twist.
Just my 2 cents I've been overwhelmed with both work and... work, lately. Sorry for the lack of updates. I promise it will happen
Thanks NightBlue, the new design come out as a surprise to me as well, I'm hesitate with the feather, but looks like the design it better without~
For your King of Wands, I really like the front holding thingy and all the wands that attached to him in creative ways, offers a lot of interesting details for the viewer to see. However, I feel like the top sweater looks too much like a sweater, i can almost see a zipper. I think it might help the design to make it look more traditional, without the zipper looking closure, and elastic cuffs.
The boots actually look pretty cool even I can hardly tell what it is... Looking forward to see more developed piece.
Here is the Judgement Card that I started. I had more sketches, but Painter crashed on me. Any suggestions, I am open for. Let me know what you ladies think. We have some work to do, hehe.
Queen of Cup, first try.
Well, A lot of things are not working here. first, the costume is way.....way too modern. She's a hip hop inspired queen, not a hip hop queen... I need to redesign her clothing. Second, Queen of Cup is more like a wise, older, sometimes sexual, and motherly woman, I'm not sure if this one quite go with the card. I like the movement though, movement is not really my thing, so I try to push it here.
Anyway, I'll sleep on it, and come back tomorrow.
Beelow: Love the design, he looks like he's enjoying himself~~~ like the Jazz master of doom or something. Really cool.
The only thing I have for the design (and I had the same problem myself) is that it's too modern, too obviously hip hop. I'm under the impression we're going for a more subtle Hip hop inspired high fantasy feel. Maybe the baseball cap and the sweater needs to be tone down a bit, try to make it look more high fantasy but keep the over all silhouette.
But over all~~~ cool design~~~
Just a reminder guys:
1, SIZE. Unlike most CHOW, we do have a size requirement this time: 3.543" x 6.1" 300 dpi or proportionally larger. It's a long rectangular shape, so when doing composition, keep that in mind (note to self as well).
2, TIME Today is the 21, we have 10 days left. We need to have all the characters and composition ready by 25th, reach an agreement on style, background, etc, so we'll have a coherent look. If we're on schedule (we probably won't), we'll have roughly a week to render the 2 final pieces. Keep that in mind, because most of us are a bit behind (which is normal....) .
another Queen of Cup. I like the idea of the snake woman, but feels like she's too high fantasy, not hip hop enough. and the beehive hair make her look more 60's style than hip hop... But the problem with hip hop is that, it's a generally casual/urban style, how could I make it looks regal?