Friday, 15 March 2013

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.

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