Sketchbook: Methods and Madness - Page 14
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Thread: Methods and Madness

  1. #391
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    NickyBeats: Thanks man, I really appreciate you feedback.

    Crimson13: Yay, you are posting again too! I am hoping to do a sketchbook full of the houses to sell at the Austin Comic Con. When I do I will send you a copy.

    So here is the next prop I am working on, a bowler hat thing for some eventual environment that uses a chair and a bowler-hat

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    There's about 450 different kinds of awesomeness going down in this SB. Please keep posting liking all the work a lot.

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    5 stars! Merry christmas! *****

    MY DAILY SKETCHES

    If you can read this, I gave you 5 stars
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  5. #395
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    It has been a while since my last post. Here is the update. I finished work on Darksiders 2 then lost my job during Vigil's big layoff about 8 months ago. I spent the next 6 months working on a solo project. It was initially intended to be an online card game, but I recently took a job at Riot Games and due to their non-compete I am going to be finishing it up as a conventional card-game. The game is called Gruff and it is based on VirginiaColeman's monster goats. I am doing some paint overs of them to help finish off the game.

    here is a WIP example
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  7. #396
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    Here is another example

    Name:  GoatPaint_SmartyPants_Lores.jpg
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    Last edited by ForScience; January 2nd, 2013 at 08:01 PM.
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    Welcome back. Really cool you worked on Darksiders 2. Are you allowed to show the work you did? Would be very interesting to see.

    The card game creatures looks pretty interesting. Can you show an example on how the card as a whole would look? If you want critique on how they work in their context that is.

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    Sure here is an example of the cards as a whole. Any feedback I could get on a Graphic design front would be awesome because it really isn't my forte.... That being said I feel like a pretty novice painter as well so any feedback would be nice.

    Name:  Goats_Spincer_001_Lores.jpg
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    I'll put some more Darksiders 2 stuff up when I have a it more time, here is a little bit though

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  12. #399
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    Sure here is an example of the cards as a whole. Any feedback I could get on a Graphic design front would be awesome because it really isn't my forte.... That being said I feel like a pretty novice painter as well so any feedback would be nice.

    Name:  Goats_Spincer_001_Lores.jpg
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    I'll put some more Darksiders 2 stuff up when I have a it more time, here is a little bit though

    Name:  tumblr_m2014pjsQi1rsijodo1_r1_500.jpg
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    aaaa you are back awesome!!! Thanks for sharing these stuff mate. Sorry i cant offer anything for graphic design i am also trying to get better at it. I am glad to see you again

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    So here are a couple more images from Darksiders 2. My job title is World Builder which basically means that instead of creating individual assets or textures, I compose rooms out of existing assets. It is a pretty wierd gig if you think about it. It is basically playing with a really fancy set of legos all day long.

    One of the biggest challenges that you face in this job is how do you take an asset that the player has seen 100 times allready and present it in such a way that they will think it is the first time they have seen it. In this room I tried to solve the problem with lighting. I combined natural directional light from the exterior and added an upward light from the lava pits below to create a warm/cold relationship that would (hopefully) make this room feel different from the other rooms in the game. (also I don't mean to imply that this kind of work is exclusively done by me, this kind of thing is very very collaborative, there are at least a dozen guys involved in putting a room like this together in one form or another)

    Name:  tumblr_m1scak1wiw1rsijodo1_r1_500.jpg
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    So here are a couple more images from Darksiders 2. My job title is World Builder which basically means that instead of creating individual assets or textures, I compose rooms out of existing assets. It is a pretty wierd gig if you think about it. It is basically playing with a really fancy set of legos all day long.

    One of the biggest challenges that you face in this job is how do you take an asset that the player has seen 100 times allready and present it in such a way that they will think it is the first time they have seen it. In this room I tried to solve the problem with lighting. I combined natural directional light from the exterior and added an upward light from the lava pits below to create a warm/cold relationship that would (hopefully) make this room feel different from the other rooms in the game. (also I don't mean to imply that this kind of work is exclusively done by me, this kind of thing is very very collaborative, there are at least a dozen guys involved in putting a room like this together in one form or another)

    Name:  tumblr_m1scak1wiw1rsijodo1_r1_500.jpg
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    Hey man I really appreciate it that you'd take the time to post on my sketchbook. I actually have a lot of ideas rattling around in my head right now, I'll write them down and attempt to record them. This site really blows my mind. I had created this account in February and left it dormant till the 12th of December and it wasn't until then that I really saw what this place has to offer. I feel very privileged to have received all the advice I've been given. Thanks

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    Hi mate and really thank you for visiting my SB! I appreciate the time that you spend on see other's works despite of your commitments and your family. I have a desire and a passion only: to became a good environment artist, and to do it in the best and pleasant way. I saw your sketchbook from the first page till the end, and for every page a saw I lingerd on every sketch, watercolor painting, 3d production... Saying only WOW!
    I admire your passion. If you have time, I'd like to have all of your advices that you can give me. Your contact is saved, I surely return at your sketchbook to see how can be inspired.

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    Dichotomy- Happy to help, that is what this place is for right?
    Lucarky- It is great to see an aspiring environment artist, I will try explain my thoughts on Environment Art a little deeper in my next couple posts
    KingKostas- No man thank you, you have turned into quite the badass of the last couple years. What did you end up doing professionally?

    So this environment is one of the biggest rooms I have ever built and was lucky enough to be able to get a lot of my own input in with regards to it's initial design. World builders can sometimes just be used to make something pretty, but the real art is being able to magnify the strengths of the design, in some cases, that means heavy revision to the initial design to get it perfectly married with the visual and narrative components of the environment. At the end of the day your environment has to deliver on all of these fronts to be successful.

    I want to give a special shout-out to Phu Gaing who did the concept for this room

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    Well to fix the double post I might as well add another environment

    Name:  tumblr_m1sbmnlOXU1rsijodo1_1280 (1).jpg
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    Last edited by ForScience; January 5th, 2013 at 03:13 AM. Reason: I am always double posting for some reason this site has gotten pretty buggy
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    yep something's going on with the site, it also gives me a warning for some malware or something.Anyway they will probably fix it soon
    Its great to see these works, its refreshing.I think you did a really good work here.
    Well after university, i had to go to army for 9 months and now i work as freelance concept artist for a tabletop rpg by hyacinthgames [wreck-age]. At the london workshop i will try to find some studio work to further expand my experience and knowledge.
    Lets keep up

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    yep something's going on with the site, it also gives me a warning for some malware or something.Anyway they will probably fix it soon
    Its great to see these works, its refreshing.I think you did a really good work here.
    Well after university, i had to go to army for 9 months and now i work as freelance concept artist for a tabletop rpg by hyacinthgames [wreck-age]. At the london workshop i will try to find some studio work to further expand my experience and knowledge.
    Lets keep up

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    Thank you for sharing information and the advices Mr Critchfield. Useless to say that your environments are beautiful as always.
    I wanted to ask a few things. Yesterday I went serching for some bookstore that may have books related to digital painting. Seven bookstores, nothing! I'm surprised that in Italy no one has books related on digital painting.
    Only on the net I found different manuals, like Gnomon publications, or at 3dtotal shop. I search for environment digital painting, but I wanted to look at the book if it can be of some help before spending money. So, considering that I can't hold it in my hands to get an impression, can you recommend some books or other publications, or any advice for your experience and studies that can help with my comprension of this field.
    Thank you in advance, and sorry for bothering you.

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    hey man your work is really awesome! i'd really like to hear more about how you go about approaching level design. i guess i am in the opposite boat as you, where i work in 2d but i would like to know the mechanics of 3d "world building." keep up the good work!

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    KingKostas- It sounds like things are going really well for you I hope to be at the London workshop too. If I do we should meet up.

    Lucarky- I would be lying if I said that there was a text book on Environment art or Worldbuilding that I actually use, but there are a couple books that I love. James Gurney's book "Color and Light" is valuable for everyone. The Art of Final Fantasy 9 still has the very best layout work for environments. And Raph Koster's "A Theory of Fun" is the best primer on understanding game design. Also James Gurney's blog http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/ is phenominal.

    Eightball- Thanks! I am going to do some posts in the very near future that illuminate my process a bit. Basically World building is about Getting Aesthetics, Design, and Narrative to all work in service of each other. You cannot be so focused on any one of the 3 pillars that you lose sight of the whole. Later today I will break down how I actually do that in the concept or a Darksiders 2 environment.

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    here are a couple painting doodles that I did today. I will post some more DS2 stuff in the morning.Name:  face 002.jpg
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    Hey man thanks for the advise in my sketchbook! your stuff is incredible i love how loose you draw im envious! I need to take some more time to flip through this!

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    cool environments nice to see some 3D as well

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    Thank you very much mate! I'll look for them for sure. Already studying James Gurney. Real good stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForScience View Post
    Sure here is an example of the cards as a whole. Any feedback I could get on a Graphic design front would be awesome because it really isn't my forte.... That being said I feel like a pretty novice painter as well so any feedback would be nice.

    Name:  Goats_Spincer_001_Lores.jpg
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    Wouldn't say I know much about design but here's my 2 cents.

    To help you out, if you haven't already you should check out other card games and see how they do their layouts. Personally, my strongest reference is from magic the gathering. One big difference I noticed there is that the illustration takes up about 50% of the card and text-content is considerably smaller.
    I think you should go the same rout and give the illustration as much room as possible, thinking of the non-mutation card in particular. It would be a waste of hard work not to let the images shine, and really they are the main selling point for the whole game. I would never have picked up magic if weren't for the pretty pictures catching my attention.

    Regarding the layout. If all the card-types are supposed to be mixed in the same hand I think it would be a good idea to have the same layout for them all. I don't know how the game plays so I could be wrong on this but that's my view on it.
    For the creature card, those stat bars are taking up way too much space, and having the fat-meter turned just make it messier and take up a lot of space. You could stack them on top of each other and put the attribute name next to the scale to save vertical space, and if those number bards don't have any practical function in the game you could save a ton of space by just showing the set value.
    For the mutation/action card. I don't think the image should be covered by any text. I assume those are placeholders for illustrations illustrating the mutation or action. Putting text over them might make them hard to read unless you do some kind of gradient but again, give your art room to be seen.
    Come to think of it I think there's a reason why cards have their text-block at the bottom instead of the top. I've read in terms of composition that an object planted at the bottom feels solid while something place at the top gives the feeling of falling down. So I would suggest to use a similar approach. Make sure the weight is put at the bottom. I think it will be more psychologically pleasing for the person holding it, which usually is at the lower half.

    Okay so that was a wall of text. Hope you find it useful. Looking forward to see more illustrations.

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    Ok, I have been saying for a while that I would post a breakdown of my World-Building process so here it goes.

    1. The environment itself is put together in a really loose form that just expresses design. Sometimes this is called holodecking, greybox, whitebox, or bluebox. They all mean the same thing. Sometimes I will be the guy to put that together, but usually that is done by a dedicated level designer.

    2. The environment "gestates" for a period of weeks or even months. This is probably the most important step in the process because it gives the team time to play the pre-art room and spot any design concerns and make revision in a really low impact form. If you don't do this you will find your team hemorrhaging time, reworking ideas that should have been settled prior to the creation of art.

    3. The art style and construction method for the art set are proven in a vacuum. This is called a "Vertical slice" or a "proof of concept" on Darksiders we took to calling it the "One Good Hallway" or the "CAT" room. In a game like Darksiders we took this stage to construct all the modular elements that could be recombined into.

    4. Play through the greybox room and the surrounding rooms to build a sense of context. Try to understand the room's 3-fold purpose meaning Aesthetic, Design, and Narrative.

    a) Aesthetic- In the case of Darksiders 2, we were always asking ourselves how can we make this environment feel different from the surrounding environment to prevent visual exhaustion. I would also ask myself how this room could serve the surrounding rooms best. If the next room was a huge open point-of-interest room, then I would try to make the adjacent rooms tighter and more intimate so that the next room would pop better when you walked through the door. Another question that you constantly need to ask yourself is "How do players maintain their orientation in this room, can I create a visual detail that will help them get their bearings, Or is there a way that I can break the symmetry of a space so that players do not get lost.

    b) Narrative- Environmental narrative is more about establishing cultural context than telling a specific story, but I like to take it as far as I can. I will often invent elaborate stories about how a given space would be used. I like to start thinking about this during my first grey-box tour of the space.

    c) Design- Obviously this is the most crucial consideration. As a World Builder I try to make design as clear as possible to the player. So in this stage I am primarily thinking about how the player will determine his objective in this space, and how to make that visually clear. There are a lot of other considerations here.

    5) Meet with the level designer and "Get into his head". You want to get to a state where you understand design's intent so well that you can take the designer's vision forward without objection. Tweeks are going to need to get made to take an environment from greybox to final. If you do not understand why a thing was designed in a specific way you are going to end up frustrating your team as you move forward in a contrary direction.

    6) If you have concept for an environment, meet with the concept artist to also understand her intent. Again this is about understanding intent. A common mistake that games make is that they treat concept like a binding contract. In my experience concept cannot take into account the breadth of the design and narrative concerns and needs to be deviated from slightly in order to hit the best final product. You do not always have concept for your specific room, In many cases you will only have concept for key pieces that will establish the look for your art set. If that is the case, make sure you always have that work handy. You will be looking for key shapes and forms that you can iterate on in your room.

    7) Look for artifacts. Creating a room will often take a really long time, and it will often go through a lot of revisions. Look for artifacts of previous designs and concepts that might be distracting from the over-all goal of the room. Meet with designer or concept artist to have any distracting elements removed.

    8) Establish your vista shots. This mostly means doorways but it can be any point in the environment where the player is going to pause and take a look around. You need to understand where these locations are, then compose for these specific shots. THIS MUST BE DONE FROM THE IN-GAME CAMERA. Sorry for shouting but this pisses me off to no end when you see beautiful environments absolutely ruined by the fact that the world builder was too careless to compose for what the player will actually see during their actual play-through. If you cannot see something in the native default camera (without looking up or down) then you might as well not do it at all. It should also be noted that you only compose for these individual shots, not the room in it's entirety. Once these look good, the room as a whole will feel beautiful.

    9) Define the player's objectives. When a player enters a space he is always looking for his objective. Make his goal obvious. If there is a door he is trying to get to, put a giant beam of light on it. Have it flanked by huge statues anything to make sure that as soon as the player opens the door, he knows where he is headed next. Once the player knows that, he will be happy to explore around to try to find out how to get there. If he doesn't understand his goal he will get frustrated really fast. This objective should be composed in such a way that it is the primary focal point of your vista shot.

    10) Make it pretty. Once you have the groundwork down all that is left is your aesthetic sense and training, and that probably deserves it's own post, so more on that later.


    So as an example here is the opening shot of the Gilded arena. Note that when you enter this room you come in from a very tight hallway in order to make this room feel really epic. The objective for this room is really clear. The door is flanked by huge eye-grabbing statues, all of the lines point to it. And note how the whole thing is framed and set up so that it fits in the player's native camera.

    Name:  GildedArena.jpg
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    From the other side of the room we broke the symmetry so that players did not lose their orientation

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    ok well that is all I have time for now I will go into it deeper later

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForScience View Post
    Sure here is an example of the cards as a whole. Any feedback I could get on a Graphic design front would be awesome because it really isn't my forte.... That being said I feel like a pretty novice painter as well so any feedback would be nice.

    Name:  Goats_Spincer_001_Lores.jpg
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    Love your sketchbook a lot! Adding my two cents to AimBiz's feedback - I second keeping a more consistent format across the cards, but if for some reason you can't, try to at least have the text going in the same direction on the creature card. Maybe mimicking a RPG status screen could work in terms of condensing the amount of space the statistics take? Also, I'd play around with fonts a bit more, that one doesn't scream demon goats just yet.

    EDIT: Also, thanks for that great post on World Building, awesome advice there. You posted it while I was typing so I didn't see it at first.

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    I think I need to show the cards in action, some of that feedback doesn't completely work. In the meantime here is a quick tablet painting.

    Name:  GreekResteraunt.jpg
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    Last edited by ForScience; January 12th, 2013 at 08:17 PM.
    For Science- Sketchbook!
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