Friday, 15 March 2013

Further Alien Development and Start of Prisoner Uniform designs

Here is the development for the first Alien prisoner. I decided to make him more panther like with similar muscle structure around the legs to suggest he is a fast runner. I also wanted to give him an opposable thumb on his feet in order to suggest he is able use his feet to similar effect of his hands – I was thinking along the terms of prehensile but I believe that applies to tails lol.
I actually started sketching this picture via pencil in order to try something different and then used a digital camera to take a picture for painting over in photoshop since I dont have a scanner. In retrospect I could of saved an hour or two by sketching in photoshop.

With the costume I am thinking along the lines of a graphic design approach of 4 simple tones and geometric shapes. My idea was some kind of suit that has the 3 injections they give death throw inmates built in. Therefore if the alien prisoner is unruly/violent etc he can be given each of the injections in turn. In the second thumbnail I played with the idea of a bomb detonater attached to the handcuffs so that if the alien tried to raise it arms to attack a guard etc the pins would come out and thus blow the alien in half. I plan to design the the costuming more fully indepentelly later. For now it helps me to think of how they fit on the form. Each of the aliens are on separate layers so its a case of simply playing dress up doll with them lol

Here are the second and third Alien designs and a line up of all the designs minus their costumes. Ive decided to just stick with 3 Aliens 4 seems unnecessary since each of these aliens is completely different from the other.  With the second Alien design I was thinking along the lines of a squid like creature with sharp claws and possible clawed hands. As such with the prison uniform I was again thinking along the 3 injection idea but also now with a lean towards some kind of mobility infringement in the design.

Ive carried this line of thought to the final alien design whom is a translucent creature based on a deep sea shrimp creature that I saw. I thought it would be interesting if he had a somewhat translucent suit as well, perhaps anything the alien where is like that? or because he has some kind of chemical reaction in his body that needs to be monitored visually. I was also thinking along the lines of a skin tight suit that when triggers constricts cause loss of circulation, mobility, pain, etcetera

I’ve decided that because these are all unique creatures they would have different constraints placed on them to deal with their various traits. With the next designs I plan to take these initial ideas and thumbnail unique constraints for all of the alien designs that all hopefully appear as a set designed by the same prison. Which is sort of what I was doing with the graphic design approach to the initial thumbnails.

I decided to go with a high viability jacket design which I will have the constraints showed in a previous post over them to create a layered look to alien prisoners given them some uniqueness/personality as well as unification in their design. Since the forms of the Aliens are different I decided it would be best to pick a few colours and keep the patterning relatively similar throughout the thumbnails which will hopefully keep them feeling like a set.

Further development of prison guards and the start of the Aliens

Here are my final concept sketches for the prison guards with a line up to see how they all fit together.

The executioner – with this one I decided to make him more heavily armed, and stand out a bit from the others because of his main role of executing prisoners. My friends suggested I add some form of respirator to the designs or some sort of equipment due to bacteria infection from the Aliens. I decided this character best fit this in the sense that when they have this spectator sport they would be in the Aliens own atmosphere perhaps due to some kind of 1 sided battle. I was thinking along the line of the cells having specialised atmosphere for the particular species of alien so the guard. Another reason for his coverings is due to all the blood flying around, which would make sense he wouldn’t want it in his eyes or mouth.

The New warden – I decided it would be more interesting to make this character a strong female instead of another male as it was getting a bit boring line up cast. I didnt realise until after I had finished this one shes actually meant to be a he in the brief, oh well hopefully it wont matter too much. Will have to read more carefully in future. I wanted to try and make this character parallel the Head warden posted previously with a strong pose and a commanding presence.

This one is a watch tower type guard, I wanted him to be a fairly standard security guard look minus the high powered rifle. So perhaps this base design could be used for guards with various duties/grunts. If it was for a video game they would be the base character essentially for the player to overcome.

And here is a line up of all the characters. I tried to keep the characters looking like they were in a similar firm by having a standard logo on the uniform and keep the designs fairly similar in terms of how the clothing is designed. The colours are different and some of the characters have different items like furry hats or basecaps etc but hopefully they all look like a group.

In terms of size I wanted the head warden to be slightly bigger than everyone else due to his importance and to make him more formidable. I wanted the new warden to be of similar height to the other characters so she didn’t seem weaker and I matched the pose btw of the warden to give her a confident and strong feeling to the character. I felt the executioner would be better suited to similar height to the head warden but more lanky to suggest agility and slightly shorter as he isn’t in charge. Whilst I felt the watchtower guard should be the shortest and bulkiest as he is essentially a grunt.

After this I started on the designs for the Aliens, initially doing some more thumbnails that have no clothing on so I can design more suitable costume for them later. I am thinking of either designing the characters in a similar prison suit or give them raggy looking versions of clothes they could of be caught in to suggest they are mistreated perhaps. Ive narrowed down the designs to the 4 at the bottom. I will be iterating further on these designs to narrow down a tighter form and silhouette and then design the costume around them. I decided to do just 4 to match the prison guard numbers. I decided to not make them the same species but have them all evolved from the same aquatic world so that they seem like a set but are all unique species.

Development work – Visual Storytelling

I started off my development with no real idea of where I wanted to go with my project. As such I decided an abstract approach to start thinking of different directions would help. The first picture shows the result of a process where I created abstract icon shapes then sort of Mishmash them together to create something recognisable. I noticed a lot of the initial designs where leading me to think about body armour so I went the rough of making abstract body armour designs with the intention these might be for the Guards or Aliens. I was then planning to break these down into simple shapes, similar to how body armour for mountain biking etc looks.
From here I decided to do some thumbnails for the Aliens, looking at a lot of reference for deep sea creatures. The designs were not really working as there were no real links to the guards, prison, armour and so on which was reinforced after speaking to my tutor. Id essentially gone off on a tangent.
At these point I decided to start the prison guard designs and leave the aliens for later, possibly incorporating my initial abstract designs in some way. I started off by creating silhouette thumbnails for the guard characters which can be seen below. Eventually a few stuck out to me and I started quick sketching inner detail for them to come up with some designs.

 With the designs I was thinking along the lines of mercenaries whom have been hired to work at the prison as specialist guards. Once I had a set of 8 initial designs for each guard character I moved onto creating some concept sketches. I started designing for the warden first concentrating on fleshing out the design. Which led me to the below sketch.
After speaking to my tutor again we came to the conclusion that this character was far to militarised for instance the camouflage of the costume which doesn’t make much sense in a prison setting. And that In general all of my characters where becoming unique characters and didn’t really seem like a unit. As such I have been working on toning down the character to make him seem more like a security guard you would expect to see in a prison. I liked the idea however that they were still reasonably well armed as such I’ve kept the idea of having straps buckles etc attached to the legs with a few side arms and pouches for various things.

This is the current concept for the Head Warden character.

Ive tried to give him more of a set uniform, plain greyish black trousers with a light grey shirt – which ive added lots blues and yellows to because of my background and light source. Ive also added hints of logo which you can see in the original size at the top right hand corner of the page. I converted this into a smart object so that I could distort it onto the uniform without pixelating it. (Wish I had discovered smart objects sooner than this week so many headaches I could of avoided lol) Ive added some scaring on his face to give him some personality and history, as well as making him a bit dishevelled to reflect his unhinged state of mind which I assumed he would be in due to the traits mentioned in his character description. Ive also decided to keep the sunglasses motive as I think covering the characters eyes makes them appear like they have something to hide.
I plan to design the other characters shown earlier in this sort of fashion so that they all seem like they are members of the same prison guard unit – Ive just named them The D.P.D which stands for Diablo Police Department. Diablo off the top of my head is a name associated in movies, television etc with aliens/the unexplained/evil etc so I felt it fit. Id come up with something better but the focus is only on the characters so this feels good enough to design from currently.

The Brief

The Brief

The brief for this module is a mixture of character design and visual storytelling. My main task is to create the following:

1. Head Warden and Prison Guards
2. The Alien Prisoners
3. 3 Key moments
4. Storyboards

Location: A high security prison which holds the aliens. It is an iconic building in a heavily populated area for example Pentoville prison. Executions are held as public attractions. Theres something going on behind the scenes – open to interpretation.

The Character descriptions are as follows:
Prison Governor
Intellectual ineffective leader. Concerned with idealistic issues whilst the brutal reality of the prison seems to be unnoticed by him.
Head Warden
Brutal psychopath. Prone to indulging in acts of pointless cruelty.
New to the job and finding that things are not what he expected.
Efficient and polite (Albert Pierrepoint)
Exotic collection of aliens and suchlike.
Special VIP Prisoner
Hidden away and unseen.

I started off these module blogs on wordpress originally and then transferred them over here. I have tried to consolidate the posts a bit so that its easier to view. For other modules you can click on the links to the right. Ill gradually add more modules as and when I start them. So at the end of the course I should have an easy to navigate collection of my work and learning outcomes.

The Concept Art practice module is a collection of different briefs as its the module where we get industry visits and set live briefs.