For the past couple of weeks I have been working in a group of 5 to produce a small environment that contains a character sat on a throne with a wall and floor based on the title ‘King of the Dead’. The idea behind the brief is to produce something original and to a high quality in the limited time.
To produce original ideas you have to lay all you cards on the table and iterate on them as much as possible until you find that killer one that you can push forward and work towards an end goal with. This was easier said than done as due to the majority of the members of the group over willingness to just agree and follow any given direction and not put forward constructive creative input it made iterating idea’s and progressing the project more difficult than it should have been.
One of our very early ideas was on a toy style character and environment was finally pushed to our end result of a realistic marionette theatre art style but based around the Aztec god of the dead ‘Mictlantecuhtli’. Once we decided the given art direction the use of a short piece of documentation that gave the group a set outline to work from so that everyone was working towards the one vision, which in turn left us with a coherent look and feel to the scene.
Concepting and feedback where the weakest stages of the project as we didn’t seem to iterate on the initial idea as much as what we could have. Not having a huge range of ideas on the table gave us less room to play when concepting and in turn restricted the final design decisions. I am pleased with the final outcome but I feel the overall idea could have been a lot stronger from the start.
One thing we did do to help iterate on the idea we did have was to get everyone to do research on colour, composition, mood, poses etc. but using a completely different subject as reference. For instance I only used ‘Barbie’ related images to get inspiration. This worked extremely well as it brought a wide variety of ideas across from many different areas that we previously wouldn’t have had.
Everybody worked well in producing their given aspects of the project. In particular Karol’s concepts fitted the art direction brilliantly and made it easy to work from and produce the final character model.
I personally worked on modelling, unwrapping and texturing the character as well as putting everything into engine and building the materials, scene, setting up lighting etc. The character didn't need rigging as it was made in sections and could easily be posed without rigging and skinning it. This gave me more time to work on the engine and get the lighting and mood of the scene setup at an early stage of the project so that it only needed tweaking later on once I had added everyone's assets.
The overall feel of the final renders brings across the atmosphere and style that we had decided on and has left us with a strong end product.
I am Elliott Pacel, a Technical Artist at Reflections, Ubisoft.