View Full Version : TEAM CHOW II :: Team Lego Lickers
July 27th, 2009, 02:28 PM
Here we go... let's get on this.
So far we have jdeegz and Matte_art and Earendil and Sketcheth
We'll consider these a referenece dump for a little bit until the topic is announced. Time to fuel the fire! :D
July 27th, 2009, 02:29 PM
Team lego lickers!
July 27th, 2009, 05:07 PM
http://orcbruto.deviantart.com/gallery/#Orc-Stock-Guerrilla here's an interesting stock photo group for some 'larger' possibly post-apoc ref.
I'll just start tossing up refs like crazy in here.
July 27th, 2009, 05:40 PM
A few of my fave themes are of course, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, punk, steampunk...
Realistically, we could go with anything for now, I'd suggest just posting like crazy ref after ref anything cool you can find for now.
I'll start dumping post-apoc and punk type stuff as soon as possible :3
July 28th, 2009, 04:17 PM
What we DO KNOW:
TEAM CHOW SIGN UP THREAD
Here we go again!
Now that Newborn is coming to a close, it's time once again for team chow! If you didn't participate last time, or have no idea what this is, check out the previous team chow threads - it's pretty awesome!
We all know the competitive nature of CHOW, but this is different!. Here we focus on team work.
This will be a one-month contest. It will run alongside the regular chows, so if you aren't interested in participating, you don't have to feel left out of the regular activity, and if you'd like to do both, you have plenty of time.
Here's how this is how it's going to run:
- Please use this thread to sign up and find a team. If you would rather be assigned a team rather than find your own, please post so here, and I will make up teams out of those that ask. I will not add to teams already created, just out of those without a team.
-Teams will consist of 2-4 people. How this works is up to you, and how many people you want to work with. You may not play by yourself, you must at least have a partner. If there is a group of 5-6 people that wish to participate together, you may PM me with why you want such a large group and I may let it pass.
-Sign up will take place over the next week. You can still sign up later in the contest, but this will give you a week to coordinate with your team members and brainstorm for the coming contest. In order to sign up, each member must post in this thread that they wish to participate. When those members decide to form a group, ONE member must make a new post with each of the group member's names and the group name. (ie. The Hound Dogs, or similarly dumb things like that).
-When the teams are submitted, I will edit the following post with all the teams. If I happen to miss your team in the thread, just send either me or Poshspice a gentle PM and we will correct the error.
-In ONE WEEK I will announce the rest of the contest. Aka, you will know what you're going to draw. I will however, tell you the basic idea so that you have time to brainstorm:
You will get FOUR TO SIX CHARACTERS that your team must design. The characters will not have a genre or time period associated with them.
You will have to work together to come up with an over-all design, theme, genre and time period for the project. You may start on this now. But you will not know the exact characters you have to create until next week.
If you participated last time, you may chose either to stay with your team or create a new one. If you stay with your team you do not have to stick with the same world/genre/period, but you are free to if you'd like!
When you have found a team and confirmed it here, please create a Team Sketchbook thread here in the Team Chow forum.
That's it, Folks. If you have any comments, questions or concerns please post them here. Along with the character guides, in a week I will also publish the more specific rules for submitting your work at the end of the contest.
That's it! Good luck!
Guys, it looks like I have something really really awesome to pull out of my hat for you guys on this one, but it means that there might be REALLY large format changes come Aug 1st's contest announcement.
Without giving anything away, I should let you all know that you really will have to roll with the punches on this one and that you should focus your pre-contest work on learning how to work together and getting a good workflow going, rather than preparing too much stuff in advance! ;]
This is going to be awesome, folks!
Thanks for the concern Jessi, but they've already contacted and cleared it with me, so it's no worries. :]
The new structure this time through means that the workload will go up if more people are added to a team, but it shouldn't give them an unfair advantage.
All will be revealed on Saturday. :]
Maybe this is what she means?
TEAM CHOW II: GOOD AND EVIL
This month's Team Chow is going to be a little different! This time, we are creating fantasy portraits for player characters - with good and evil versions! It's both a wide open brief and a very strict one! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a random team from the options given to you below, and to create 4-8 fantasy portraits that read well together and still look awesome separately. Thus, as a team, you must create a compatible 'look' for your characters.
ConceptArt.Org is going to be running game design activities and it is our hope that some of these characters could really inspire people doing activities on the other parts of the site too! Fuel for their fire so to speak. :]
Also, Jason has allowed me to offer you some fabulous prizes!
The winning team will get four downloads of their choice each and a pass to an upcoming live streaming course right here on conceptart.org!
Also, individuals within teams are also up for a prize! These will be given for leadership, and for extra effort in making great characters. This prize will consist of four downloads and the pass to attend ca live streaming event.
On to the nitty-gritty:
Here are the rules!
1. Teams of two MUST create at least 4 portraits, teams of three or four need 6 and teams of five need 8. You are perfectly welcome to create more images that the requirement if you feel your team is up to it.
2. You must take a random selection of the choices below. Please don't do 4 elven fighters, or only orcs, for example. Please take a randomized selection. If you would prefer me to give your team a specific assignment, I will generate the selection for you. If I see teams doing more select parties, then I will request you to change to something more random.
3. You must follow the format provided. See it below, please!
4. You must do a LIGHT and a DARK version for each character, please! This means that for each character you need two portraits.
5. You must submit a paragraph about each character. Do a short write up for each character you create. I want to see some interesting, stereotype-breaking stuff here, folks!
PLEASE SELECT ONE OF EACH CATEGORY FOR EACH CHARACTER.
Gender: Male / Female
Race: Human / Elf / Half-Elf / Dwarf / Orc - (and anything else you can think of!)
Class: Fighter (Barbarians, Knights, Dark Knights, Brawlers, etc) / Thief (Assasins, Rogues, etc)/ Spell Caster (Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids, etc) / Healer (Priest, Cleric, White Mage, Medic, etc) - (feel free to make up something for this, too)
Alignment: Good / Evil (please do both for each character)
YES, THESE LOOK LIKE STEREOTYPES. IT IS YOUR JOB TO BREAK THEM. I want to see some really interesting, kick ass stuff! :D
Okay, NOW GO!
The Final Burning Thread will go up ONE WEEK before deadline. The deadline will be August 31st, at 11:59 pm GMT - 4, Eastern Daylight Time. I will accept submissions as long as it is August somewhere in the world, but after this I will close the thread. I am going to give myself 1-2 days to then sort out the poll and the voting, so please be patient.
1. One team member will be in charge of submitting the final entry. How the entry is presented will be up to you, but keep it consistent and coherent.
2. Remember that you will need to submit wips. If you decide to make a group sketchbook for this activity, a link to that will suffice.
3. Also sumbit a list of Team Activity. I want to see how well you worked as a team - who was in charge of what and what each member did.
4. All other ChoW rules apply. If you are not familiar with the usual chow rules, please read the guidlines thread sticked at the top of the subforum. Including, 3/4ths rule, no paint-overs, etc.
5. Please submit files with this naming convention: TeamChow_TeamName_Image001.jpg
6. Please keep to the format of the image below. We're gonna be a little bit more strict about presentation this time - each portrait should be portrait-aligned, like so, and the figure about as big as the one you see below. Full bodied figures, please.
And thanks so much to Zhanglu of Massive Black Shanghai who created to help get this contest get off to a great start!
Thanks, and Good Luck!
July 29th, 2009, 12:06 AM
aye, we should do a practice character or somthing, i dunno ;x
August 1st, 2009, 01:49 AM
Well I figured I'd do a bunch of thumbs for no reason since we have no brief yet!
August 1st, 2009, 02:12 AM
Woot, how interesting, definitely some usable in there! :D
If for anything else than for awesome... topic should be announced any moment now 0.o
August 1st, 2009, 04:14 PM
Topic has been announced, and here are some fast ref boards for you guys:
(Assorted artworks, let me know if you want any of the individual pieces, I claim no ownership)
August 1st, 2009, 06:48 PM
So i had some time to think, well a lot of time, it is summer after all.
I did some horrible, i dont even know how you could even benefit from them, though i could, thumbnails.
I also wrote down a random word list, though far from complete. It was helpful in that it allowed me to get all of the junk in my brain down, and maybe see where we can go.
I also have a few questions/propsitions for the group as to a direction we could jump into.
1 )Does 'stereotype' mean the 'role' certain races/sexes play in the world of fantasy? IE- orcs: brain dead battle machines, or High Elves: annoying goody too-shoes.
so could we just reverse those, and have high evles be the gritty warmongers and that is breaking stereotype, just what does Dae mean?
2) Should our characters have somthing in common?
could all of the characters be of the same origin, IE all orcs from the mountains of hell
could all of the characters be of all the same race, though differ in motive and alignment
3)What if our 'fantasy world' was divided good/evil based on the characters sex. IE girls = evil witches, men = loyal and resilient.
4) What if we were to display the working class of our fantasy world rather than just the typical 'hero or heroine' - the unsung heros essentially.
5) what if we wrote astory of one hero, backed by five other 'working class' supporters.
If anyone has seen the movie 'A Knights Tale' with Heath Ledger, sort of like that.
We have one warrior/wizard what ever 'hero' and then we have the black smith / armouer, the care taker who looks after the animals, the physician, ect ect.
5b) how about two heros, one good, one evil, and then two side kicks/minions/workers.
yah, some some stuff, rambling on is good at this stage, but we do ONLY have ONE month so we need to get our direction down asap so we can start working on our illustrations!
August 2nd, 2009, 02:38 AM
You make some great points... I would suggest though that we think about ways that we can unite an entire world together, for example:
In every city, there are both good and evil, intermingling in many different ways. I think if we were to somehow convey that through our backstory...
What I would also like to approach like jdeegz suggested, is the fact that not everyone should be a hero / heroine. I think in ours we should approach this on a different approach. Having a blacksmith type of character would be very interesting, as most people lump blacksmith's into just being shop owners and sword menders; I suggest we toss a character with actual character. Like say this blacksmith has another agenda, but just so happens to be a blacksmith as well. I mean, he may be bulky and all, but he could always smash some folks with that giant, crude-looking warhammer behind his counter. Or maybe he's on a quest to find some ultra-rare gem / mineral? I dunno, just some thoughts to get some backstory flowing...
I would suggest that we kinda start tossing character ideas / archetypes out there now. I've actually started to write a list of archetypes and will be submitting them soon. As of right now, I'm mainly in research mode for the next couple of days...
August 2nd, 2009, 10:22 AM
ill do some moar sketching and see what comes up!
August 2nd, 2009, 12:18 PM
so i was sort of rambling through this idea of having the working class, but at some point, whether it be at night time, when it rains, what ever, they transform into some other type of being.
so they are the greatest of blacksmiths and armorers, people cannot resist trading for their high quality prices, but are afraid of seeing the true side of the village. If you're caught in the village when the other side is showing, there is no going home. hahaaha
August 2nd, 2009, 05:44 PM
I love this discussion so far!
About the stereotypes and what you guys have been saying about them--
I think that's one way to approach stereotype, in terms of character and motive, i.e. the warrior-blacksmith. But the stereotypes we need to evolve our characters away from might be more simple. The blacksmith in is every story is a dirty, gruff, bulky man. Mat, with that movie you referenced "A Knight's Tale" the blacksmith character was female, thus breaking the stereotype.
That is what we should be pursuing. When you're contemplating a character, acknowledge the first thing that comes to mind and then do the exact opposite of that in every way.
Could the blacksmith be a child? Could the blacksmith be a neat freak? Could the blacksmith be a poet?
You might dismiss these ideas as implausible at first, but this is fantasy. So, while saying a child couldn't be a blacksmith because a child is too small and weak is perfectly fair, it creates more interesting avenues for creation when you think about this question:
What it would take for that character to work?
Specifically, jdeegz, I think your idea about reversing the typical gender roles is gold. We could come up with some awesome stuff this way.
Dae specifically mentioned making sure our characters were different races so I don't think we can make them all orcs or anything...and I think the point of the good/evil is that we take the same character and really throw them down two different paths. Like Molyneux's "Fable."
I think it'd be interesting to see how the characters might change physically, not just in clothing, but their actual bodies. Like someone might become really fat if they're evil or vice versa. Or they'll have extensive piercings/alterations/mutilations done to their body!
Fun stuff ahead, guys! And I dig the sketches! I'll be adding to this soon!
August 2nd, 2009, 09:36 PM
This is just a bunch of random things I saw today. Nothing follows any trend necessarily, but maybe we can grab things from it...
August 2nd, 2009, 11:10 PM
male succubus.... lol..
August 3rd, 2009, 12:50 AM
One intiial thing we might have to consider before proceeding, is the old adage, location, location, location.
We'll have to sit down and discuss what kinds of areas we are creating for initially so that we have an idea of the clothing of each character, and perhaps the hairstyles, etc.
During our initial creative process, we should definitely consider the world as a whole (even though it will be a made-up world, we have to consider it as though it were a real world being created). Thusly, I suggest we make, if even a small area, of towns to consider, or caves, or forests, or mountains, etc.
Just a quick thought, I will add more productive things tomorrow: More reference, more ideas.
August 3rd, 2009, 09:42 AM
male succubus.... lol..
This is also known as an incubus :)
August 3rd, 2009, 10:27 AM
Alright, so here's some thoughts that I have...
The attached image is a proposed plan to try and get this stuff taken care of.
Hopefully we can make our best attempts to follow the tenative schedule. Of course, I understand, things happen, but lets make an attempt at least...
I would also suggest, that for the finals, we try to get all the portraits to fit in a 4x6" (1200 x 1800 px) size.
If possible, I would also propose that we do a 80 x 120 px "headshot" photo... this way we can use them for a thumbnail shot of each character. Just a thought at least, but it keeps it in line with the whole 'RPG game' aspect :D
Also, here's a quick brief of a possible character type:
Unflinching clergy, whom are neutral to all. This order roams the world purely to exact justice on all. Unbiased towards good or evil, these "clerics" are powerful and discreet. This order, being the largest in the east.
They care not for material possessions, thus only carry what they need. Most would not dare stand in the way of their target, as to oppose, would surely mean a swift death...
The order itself has the ability to scry on almost anyone on the planet, so they can search out exactly whom has wronged who.
Upon initiation, they shave you bald, castrate men and women, and force all initiates into one year of solitude. No contact from anyone, and just barely enough food to keep a child alive. The purpose is to "cleanse" the intiate into this new lifestyle. Most that make it through, end up being just sane enough to hold themselves together, but a majority of them end up sewing their mouths shut so that they may never express their opinion again...
You may not like it, but it was just a very very fast idea that I came up with last night... of course, the idea can be changed as much as needed, but it was just a thought that occured...
Hope to hear from you guys soon.
August 3rd, 2009, 01:54 PM
Here's another concept I was working with:
Here goes another idea: Once a great swordsman <name> now travels the country side as a merchant, but more often than not, ends up being the savior in most cases. He has more than once had to fight off a goblin horde, maurading bandits, even a dragon once... He still tends to have much modesty when it comes down to talking of his exploits. Most people just see him as a helpless wandering merchant, so the evils tend to think him easy prey.
Loyalty runs deep with <name> though, so if he befriends you, you might as well consider him a friend for life!
"If money didn't exist, I guess I'd be out of a job... well out of one of 'em anyway."
"You don't have enough money for that? Well let's see... what do you have? ::looks over:: Well... we'll see what we can work out."
"Back before the war, things were different. You didn't have people gallavanting, trying to turn a buck offah everyone."
The opposite spectrum:
<name> knows nothing more than complete and unbiased greed. Everything can churn a profit, it's just a matter of how far someone will go to show it. There was one case where he sold the knives and arrows to a gang of bandits, only to head to the assaulted town and sell them armor and weaponry. He has learned early on that greed is the only way to true happiness in this world, so why not exploit to it's fullest?
"Everyone needs something, sometime!"
"Hell, I'd sell my mother if I knew the ugly b**** would sell!"
"Quit lookin' and start buyin'! I don't have time for browsers."
August 3rd, 2009, 01:56 PM
Here's lots of thumbs for you guys too! If you like one, feel free to play with it :3
August 3rd, 2009, 03:00 PM
i like those a lot matte!
the 1st post, 2nd guy, with the face, is great. the first guy has a stiff appearance around the legs for some reason.
August 4th, 2009, 11:57 AM
dunno, just.. pooping onto my canvas.
August 4th, 2009, 01:44 PM
August 4th, 2009, 02:48 PM
I'm liking where this is headed...
Here's another from that clergy description above.
He's not a very nice person :3
August 4th, 2009, 02:52 PM
looks more like a punk thief. haha :D
August 4th, 2009, 03:01 PM
I think we should not spend too much time on each individual sketch but just get the idea across. Let's just get ideas down so we can pick a direction and then we can solve problems with perspective/anatomy/lighting. Simple and clean.
I'm interested in exploring our earlier native american influence, so the question that I'm trying to answer in my thumbs/design is: What would Native American cultures look like if they had developed to the same level of tech/society as the Romans/Byzantines?
August 4th, 2009, 05:36 PM
I just wanted to doodle some things based on some of my thumbs...kind of elaborate on them more I guess... I guess this is like a mage of some sort...a priestess...and a fat man. Brawler type fat man.
I'm posting up more rough thumbs later, I think?
Sorry Earendill if I'm getting too specific. :P I'll keep it loose from now on, I promise.
August 4th, 2009, 06:13 PM
defining a face.
August 5th, 2009, 03:57 PM
Sketcheth I seem to have trouble following my own advice. Not happy, I cant' seem to get simple and clean yet into these drawings. When we're nearing the end of this phase, I'm going to put all of these images into one PSD file w/layers, so we can easily play with every thumb that was created, and start our chars/illo from there.
Muck. The scribbles say "Doesn't read!" and "ceremonial?" and "explore spiritual shapes!".
August 5th, 2009, 05:47 PM
So Matte_Art and I just had a great chat, which resulted in some interesting ideas.
So, we were thinking about a basic/general idea of the world our chars are in. The chat log will be posted on the Box.net account for your perusal, but I'd like us to meet again ASAP to try and get some of these questions hammered out.
1) What are the rules of magic, and how does this affect our chars and what they can do?
2) What is the world, and how does this affect the chars?
So the idea we came up with was a town that was cursed, where the heroes were actual everyday citizens in some way. We initially thought that during the night, their evil self would take over, but then we turned that on its head, and though it might be more interesting if the evil versions of our characters we bad during the day, and became their good versions at night.
Our intention was to get away from stereotypes, and get really interesting chars, while still having the fighter, theif etc, classes from the brief. I think this was already being explored, I know sketcheth and jdgeez posted up there. Let's meet and explore this more!
Until then, I'm working on shape thumbs, reference gathering etc.
August 5th, 2009, 11:16 PM
1) What are the rules of magic, and how does this affect our chars and what they can do?
2) What is the world, and how does this affect the chars?
I think these are definitely some of the key points we should be trying to address absolutely as soon as possible! We should make that a focus at the meeting tomorrow. It seems like we need to tighten the reins on our creative horses for a bit and funnel that energy into conceptualizing for some specific purposes.
I like the ideas that are flying around a lot! Let's keep them coming guys!
These are just two more small thumb pages...I want to realize some of these on a bit bigger scale so you guys can actually...understand some of my thoughts. I tried going straight from the reference of the stereotypes and tried to get creative with them...they'll make more sense large scale, I promise!
August 6th, 2009, 01:55 PM
Oh man, great stuff is brewing up! For sure!
Okay, here's s'more thumbs and a character design really fast.
August 6th, 2009, 02:11 PM
Quickie! The brawler child...
and his alternate?
August 6th, 2009, 04:47 PM
promising! good work guies :D
August 6th, 2009, 06:07 PM
Ok, so Matte, myself, and sketcheth had a very fruitful meeting today. I can't speak for the others, but my brain is officially full! :D, and I will be re-reading the chat log once it is posted up on the Box.net account to make sure I didn't miss anything. I've also created a folder for inspirational/idea generating music for peeps to ingest. Matte I believe is posting a collated page of ideas and things that were discussed.
Here's some more thumbs, this time trying out shapes/silhouettes. I'm really pumped from today's brainstorm! Go team!
August 6th, 2009, 08:50 PM
sketch, do you have the skillful hunter book? :D
August 6th, 2009, 11:19 PM
sketch, do you have the skillful hunter book? :D
Haha, yeah I do. Why, can you tell? :3
Earendil: The thumbs keep getting better, man! You should consider doing them a little bigger so they're easier to read, if you can. Unless your compy doesn't allow you to. :) Anyways, I like what I'm seeing. And thanks for the inspiration music in the box!
August 7th, 2009, 12:11 AM
Just browsin, looks like ya'll are on a roll, some pretty interesting ideas and thumbs. Just wanted to say good luck and it'll be cool to see where yas go with it. We'll be watching (oh creepy)....
August 7th, 2009, 08:26 AM
yeah i can tell haha. it isnt a bad thing though. i like the pose of the 2nd brawler the more than the first. in the first, i think the pose needs work because having the arms in the same position makes it look a bit flat and stiff.
August 7th, 2009, 12:57 PM
Hey dudes, so reptile / lizzard man.
Evil : escaped prison convict, his past. Unknown. He is bandaged around his face, aside from his eyes to hide his race. He has escaped, but still has shackles on his wrists. I think his character reminds me of the way Sasquatch is unseen, but people believes he exists.
Good : I liked the idea of a life giver, who seemed to float in air, above the ground, but that may conflict with our other 'character #1'
so i was thinking of a good Samaritan. someone who's giving lollies to little kids, and building houses for ones that got destroyed from storms that pass through the city.
any further ideas of what symbols i could add to my characters to push their motives, and their believability.
August 7th, 2009, 05:35 PM
I like the way you're blocking in shapes! Keep it going, I'd like to see you try to use more quick details in the thumbs to suggest the kind of clothes/armor they've got as well as just plain silhouettes! More concepts! More! Also maybe on the heads it would help to just have white where the eyes are supposed to be so that we, as the viewer can see more into the designs. I like 'em so far!
August 7th, 2009, 06:30 PM
Alright, here are some concepts from today's OC session with Sketcheth and myself. Would like peeps to try working on the characters we've discussed so far. jdeegz, awesome stuff! Moar!
These are concepts for the Child Healer/Assassin character. I'd like us to finish our Design Document so we can post char briefs for folks to see. Let's try and hammer that out by next week eh? :yayca:
August 8th, 2009, 01:47 AM
Ok, more concepting for the Healer Child char. Trying to think of everything, and remember everything I've learned. :)
August 8th, 2009, 08:53 AM
i really like the floating, non-human from the oc. the aura around him, though probably just to pop the white coloured head out, is great.
i like that pose a lot too.
August 8th, 2009, 11:30 AM
looking to do a lizard honourable as his good version.
was also thinking of some type of super hero assassin, which do you think would be cooler?
August 8th, 2009, 12:02 PM
August 8th, 2009, 05:25 PM
August 8th, 2009, 10:48 PM
i need to hold somones hand, im tryin to cross a busy street with this dude!
August 8th, 2009, 10:55 PM
reconstructing the anatomy, its pretty far off!
August 11th, 2009, 12:42 AM
Sorry for lack of crits and things, about to post this, and then Im headed to bed.
Sketcheth and I had a sketch session this weekend, so we started exploring shapes.
Plus a quick sketch for this fishergirl we are doing, more info later on that ;)
August 11th, 2009, 07:20 AM
Nice work jdeegz. I'll probably tell you this over IM anyway, but oh well. I'm interested in what he would look like without those chains etc. Or maybe he created a weapon out of his former shackles, that could make for interesting design. Yeah, your perspective and anatomy is way off. I'd say keep working on it, but I think we should save stuff like that for the finalized char drawing. Focus on design/costuming etc. I'd like us to lock in the designs, and be preparing our finalized drawings by the end of this week if at all possible.
Matte & Sketcheth, great to see more OC stuff. I like your thoughts for our fat mage lady. ;) Some of the thumbs remind me of the witch from Howls Moving Castle, but I think if you tweak enough we can avoid similarities.
And now, I have the first draft of one of our character's short story writeups. Let me know what you think.
"An Evening With The Duke"
A platter, made of silver and filled with various drinks, sat unmoving in the air.
"Some refreshments Sir?"
Giray looked at the waiterboy, then at the assortment of offered drinks, and selected a small, square glass of Relban Brandy. Expensive, but nothing less than expected at such an affair. It was said the Duke always threw great parties. Giray hoped he'd be able to meet him before the night was finished.
He thanked the boy, noting the foreign features above the Hilean garment. The City had it's fair share of travelers, but not many these days since the _____ of __. Commerce, travel, had all but been eliminated, with only a few daring ships a year. Provisions were tight, and new methodologies had to be constructed to combat the overall shortage in resources.
Giray watched as the waiterboy gracefully and swiftly weaved through the hubbub and the crowd, offering all manner of liquids to ease a Noble's spirit.
"Stuck with the rest of us." he muttered, and took a large sip from his glass.
Around him the party was in full swing, literally. From end to end of the large banquet hall, acrobats swept above the tables of the party guests. Near one corner, a slender man dressed in a tight, lizard-skin suit, contorted himself into the most grotesque shapes imaginable. In another corner a magician delighted (or horrified) guests as he appeared to melt into the floor. Giray took another sip, smiling. There hadn't been magic in ages, but parlor tricks could still amuse and entertain.
The musicians onstage played a rowdy, upbeat tune, as people danced nearby. A blue-haired acrobat swooped down and stole the decorative headgear from a nearby Nobleman, who feigned protest and surprise between his laughter. It was a short separation, though, as it was plopped back on his head when she swung around again.
"A happy ending." Giray smiled, and finished his glass.
"Would you like more of the same Sir?" the waiterboy said behind him.
He turned, about to accept the offer, when his arm knocked one of the glasses off the tray. Before he could even exclaim, however, the boy had caught it and placed it neatly next to the others.
"Or perhaps I should cut you off now Sir?" he said, grinning.
"Well handled, but no- I'm not that easily swayed by brandy, Relban or not!" Giray laughed.
"Very well Sir." the waiterboy bowed, and disappeared again.
Carefully, Giray struck a path around the animal-masques and the glittering shawls, over to the eastern fireplace. and settled himself into a large, opulent chair. Sitting there, it occurred to him how fortunate he was, and a warm bubbly feeling crawled through his body, as he continued to take view of the festivities. He never imagined being surrounded by Nobles, let alone in a party hosted by The Duke.
The bubbly feeling again. Perhaps the expensive liquid was affecting him more than he thought. He chuckled to himself, beaming with contentment, and watched the blue-haired acrobat perform a backward flip off her trapeze.
Parties were fun.
He sat there for a while drinking in both the brandy and the scene, when there was some sort of commotion near the entrance. Twisting around his chair, he saw the Duke and his entourage had arrived, and the Duke himself was shaking hands with the evening's participants. Giray's palms started to sweat. He was going to introduce himself and shake hands with the Duke!
His glass was empty. Giray looked around for the waiter-boy, but quickly decided that in this case, less was more, and would help him make a better impression. He stood to leave, but noticed the Duke onstage, preparing to address the partygoers, and fell back into the comfortable chair. Maybe could find a used chair like this one somewhere...
"Noblemen, friends, and honored guests!" the Duke began. The general noise died down.
"I have only a few words for you, for the night is young, and we have much more fun in store!"
The Nobles cheered and applauded, while the musicians struck a few chords.
"I know that this past year has been hard for us all. But tonight dear people, is our answer to such hardships. Like this party -" he paused, casting his gaze about the hall.
"- we will keep this city alive!"
Suddenly, the blue-haired acrobat flew onto the stage, narrowly missing the Duke as she folded like a ragdoll into a crumpled heap. A few of the guests screamed, and everyone drew back in shock. The poor girls neck had been slashed, and half her face was skinned. Blood pooled around her hair.
Giray watched horrified, as a small dark figure dropped onto the stage next to her. What the devil was it? The features were masked by some kind of animal skull it wore, and along its body were pieces of dark, wicked-looking armor. It turned slowly towards the Duke, pulling a slender, curved dagger out from behind the back.
"He's after the Duke!" someone cried, and at that moment, the figure leapt. It moved fast.
One of the guests threw himself in front of the Duke. The small figure ran up his chest, and kicked his nose, breaking it, as the man howled and fell backwards. The Duke threw up his hands and cried out. The knife flashed - and stopped.
A high-pitched giggle rebounded in the hall.
Giray suddenly felt a strange sensation in his chest. A crushing dread. He tried to get up from his chair, but only succeeded in stumbling to his knees. Looking around, he noticed others were just as frozen, their eyes wide with terror. It was as if a curtain were lowering over his spirit.
Giray's eyes whipped back to the stage, as the figure grabbed the Duke by the throat and slammed him bodily onto his back. The Duke gasped for air, blood beginning to seep from the gash in his head. It giggled again, and Giray watched as the Duke began screaming and convulsing. The thing giggled uncontrollably now. Above it, a strange symbol appeared glowing, bathing the hall in red light. The Duke's face began to melt away, his screams becoming distorted as his windpipe and chest caved in. It was a horrible, alien scream that rang in Giray's ears.
The figure stood up, the remains of the Duke nothing more than slop. It hopped of the stage, giggled again, and slashed a woman's cheek to the bone. She screamed, but remained rooted to her spot.
It was getting near him now.
Giray struggled to move, his body refusing to answer to his mind. Fear gripped him as it walked right by him, heading towards one of the large windows.
It stopped. Slowly, it turned and looked right at him.
A world of panic erupted within Giray, as the figure walked right up to him, reached down and giggled.
"Would you like more of the same Sir?" The figure held up the square glass, unmoving.
Giray let out a croak of recognition.
"Or perhaps I should cut you off now Sir?" The voice mocked him.
Even with the mask, Giray could see the boyish grin.
He never saw the knife.
August 11th, 2009, 09:40 AM
HAH! i KNEW it was the waiter all along! :D
August 11th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Indeed, this story gives some very nice insight into how cold and calculating the boy is. :)
This would make for a very good storyboard and animation if we really had the time to go for it, but instead we'll have to do like our original plan and include the backstory in the final, almost like you're reading a book :)
August 11th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Silcha 'BLUE SCAR' Drago
The ruler of the city has hired top notch warriors to escort, and guard him while living his daily life.
This Erania Justice force is often bombarded with assassination attempts and death threats by the unruly public. The emperor has been ruling with an unjust fist and his council is powerless to remove him from the throne.
One of the escorts, Silcha Drago, called BLUE SCAR by the locals, gambles on a regular basis. Accompany his bad habits with a short temper, and bad things can happen.
Naturally this position of protecting the emperor is given a certain amount of power and command. These officers should be respected and cared for by those who worship the ruler. But when they abuse the power, they make innocent civilians miserable.
Silcha 'BLUE SCAR' Drago
Silcha is a decorated protector of ____ city. His work is revered by the public for his courage, and leadership.
Raiders attacked the city, but it was met with heavy defense. There was a rat on the inside, who took Silcha as a captive. He used the cuffs and chains of the city to take Silcha to a makeshift prison.
The raiders were looking to ransom the guard off for a fortune, knowing his worth, and his well-liked personality. The emperor would be a fool not to try and recover his most beloved protector.
The makeshift 'prison' was weakly fortified, and while the raiders were sleeping, Silcha was able to wedge himself out. Now he is seeking the leader of the raiders, taking revenge into his own hands, and trying to protect the city from any more future devastating attacks.
August 11th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Yeah, jdeegz, it's a challenge not to give it away. It's like in those Alien books, the author tries to sneak in something like "We shouldn't jump to conclusions about anything," Webber said, coughing slightly<<<ZOMGS CHESTBURSTER INCOMING! :)
jdeegz, some thoughts:
1) The judge dude we discussed in the chat was a much more f'd up dude? He seems tame now. I think you hint at it with the "abuse of power" etc. but where'd the other guy go? :P
2) Working towards a more cloistered city would allow us to focus better, instead of expanding the story world to include raiders from outside the city.
3) Is Drago a temporary name? It's way too typical for a lizard char.
4) Overall, I think we're aiming for an Order vs Chaos polarity, not Judgement vs Revenge. Maybe a judge/guard could represent order/law, while the escaped prisoner chaos/rebellion.
Keep up the good work team! Woo! *lego signs*
August 11th, 2009, 06:27 PM
my idea behind the 'judge' was that he needs to appear to be a tame man, in order to get the position of power he has. so for him to be a sexual leather freak who is at the same time a masochist, there is no way to have the type personality in that position, unless its kept hidden from the public, thus he wouldn't really be a chaotic dude.
whats there to focus on other than our 3 characters? saying he got captured isnt adding another layer of stylistic and design details we need to consider.
im kind of partial to his name :D
sorry im being so defensive, just letting yah know where I stand, and my thoughts on the dude.
August 11th, 2009, 06:46 PM
and i just wrote judgment / revenge becuase those two words came to mind
the order would be the escaped prisoner person
and the chaos would be the d-bag guard for the ruler
meckman12 (6:32:18 PM): well, I guess the question becomes, what are we presenting to the viewer? important question!
well i wanted to present a sort of dirty, drunk / gambling guard, but at the same time publicly presentable
i was thinking the convict would bring order because he is a highly praised character of the city, and hes out for justice on the raiders that took him captive, and killed his fellow soldiers -- so i wanted to present him sort of struggling, but at the same time not a bad guy, but a good guy, almost like a super hero
so basically the 'good / evil ' is describe by my two illustrations by two men in the same position (guards for the king) where one is abusive and perhaps corrupt, and the other is sacrificing himself for the greater good of the city
August 11th, 2009, 10:03 PM
Character sketches for Fisherwoman. Gotta push it moar! Rar! Gotta draw it larger too if I'm trying to show hooks in the skin. Advice appreciated! :D
August 11th, 2009, 10:38 PM
Quick change in gears. Some sketches for our Scribe/Scryer/Mage Lady. I like working in value, but drawing forces me to improve on perspective, understand of form etc. EDIT: Actually, my drawing could use more hatching/value anyway. Hmmm must remember this..
August 11th, 2009, 11:13 PM
Earendil : I happen to notice that you approach these as a painting, blocking in shapes first. I've never known how to do that...
We need to get you some refs though for these images. :D
I'll get ready to dump my refs images on the box account to help us get more cohesive and maybe start making a mock up of the poses.
August 12th, 2009, 03:22 AM
Yeah, refs would be good. I'll dig through my stuff. Meanwhile, here's another quick bunch. EDIT: Oooo, idea!
August 13th, 2009, 12:32 AM
Tonights OC session focusing on The Fisherwoman and Healer Child. I'm really happy I got the pose I was looking for in the bottom center. Sketcheth suggested tilting her head a bit further up, and I agree, as then she can look down/at the viewer with CRAZY eyes. :)
Let's keep up the good work guys! Go team! :legosigns:
August 13th, 2009, 02:19 AM
Blah! Here's some of the healer concepty stuff I've been doing. I've tried to keep some of the design stuff the same but still mix it up in each one. **shrug**
And this is a enviro concept? nothing final, but just to kind of give the characters some sort of context. Open to discussion, please!
August 13th, 2009, 02:24 AM
Bring back the Y-Wing! ARGH! :D
Nice! The enviro is along the same lines as my thoughts. The windmills help add that wild west back in there too.
I like the side healer one dead center. I think it fits the enviro, while looking foreign enough. It's similar to a thumb matte_art posted, I'm going to try and combine the two.
August 13th, 2009, 06:24 AM
Here are some costumes based on some earlier thumbs by Sketcheth and Matte_Art. It's basically setup like a doll in Photoshop, and what I'd like folks to do, is take the PSD (which will be available on the Box account), and add their own layers, designs. I'm going to be gone this weekend, but I'm going to try and create a PSD like this for the remaining chars. Don't worry about pose or face, just try and get the basic body type, use thumbs from earlier if you want, and just play around with shapes, etc. It's looking more and more like we're not going to have these chars finalized by the weekend, so let's shoot for Monday.
I guess that's a good question, hmm, if someone isn't available, does the rest of the team have to wait on them in order to decide on a design? I say no, as it can be a major bottleneck. So in my case, if you guys decide on some designs etc while I'm gone, then I don't have much (or any) say on the matter.
On the other hand, this may just be a reaction on my part, as I really think we need to decide on a deadline. We cannot stay in idea-exploration mode forever, and decisions need to be made soon about our characters. We're nearing the halfway mark, and we haven't locked any of our chars down, and I think that needs to happen soon so we have another 2 weeks to solve composition, pose, lighting, anatomy issues, etc. to present the best darn images that we can.
So, let me throw this out there, and you guys can let me know if I'm crazy or not. :)
World/Story: We have a world, a general set of rules for magic, and a general backstory event which the characters all share, and what causes the mirrored characters in the first place. A location along a coastal/canyon setup, very rocky, barren, coastal, quick to dry out, quick to get wet kinda place. There's still a question to answer here:
1) What exactly was the event that granted magic to our characters and in the process created their mirrors? We had a few ideas, but we as a team haven't decided per se.
2) We were going to tie that event with some symbols worn by all our characters/mirrors, as a way to unite them visually. We just need to answer #1 in order to answer this question. :P
As far as characters, in order of most explored/closest to getting finalized:
Assassin/Healer Child - (close to getting designs, basic chardescription/story for assassin, verrry basic story for healer)
Fisherwoman/Mage - (Fisherwoman designs exploring and looking good, maybe done by Friday? Mage still needs a bit more exploring character-wise, but some designs have been done, and ideas are flowing. Story idea: When she hears of the assassination and decides to flee.)
Lizard Guard/Convict - (jdeegz has been fielding the majority of the art for this, with some ideas from us. Are we going to input design work, or let the lizard be jdeegz baby the whole way through? I'm open to anything) :)
Is this a simplified but accurate picture? Again, maybe it's just me, but I really feel that we should be making our final decisions about certain things very soon, so we can move on to the next phase of production.
Oh yeah, here are those costume variations for the healer.
Go team! :yayca:
August 13th, 2009, 09:10 AM
i know the roman-esque armor is out of our story, but i was just doodling, do you like the guys body type? i can make them look more like thier characters if you guys dig em.
August 13th, 2009, 10:52 AM
Just as a note: This is a possilbe of what we are shooting for.
August 13th, 2009, 02:54 PM
jdeegz, that also brings up a question we should answer as well. Are we aiming for a more animated style, or closer to the zhanglu image?
If the former, your lizard body type works great, if the latter, it's a bit unrealistic.
Great work either way. I would say, whatever style we go with, your beefy body type there works great. Maybe start honing in on clothing styles. How could Roman style work for our world :) Keep it up guys!
August 13th, 2009, 05:40 PM
Alright guys, gathered up stuff we have so far, and just tossed this up as a tenative 'thoughts' board.
Let me know what you guys think:
August 14th, 2009, 03:08 PM
August 14th, 2009, 04:36 PM
August 14th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Slowly working out more on the fisher girl...
jdeegz: I really like where this is headed! Your sketches that you've shown me are getting closer to something really interesting :D
Here's something quick for the fisherlady that I was working on this morning :D
August 14th, 2009, 08:08 PM
Hey, quickie before I'm off. I thought it'd be really cool if she was actually pulling her smile/head up via the fishing pole. I think it could make for an awesome compositional tool with the tip of the pole and line directing the eye. Could also help her with balance or something since her legs are crossed.
deegz, you're rockin it!
Have a great OC session tonight guys!
August 15th, 2009, 12:08 AM
Open canvas grp craziness based on the mage lady we were working on.
August 15th, 2009, 12:10 AM
Whoa, looks like things are kind of shifted around a little crazy with the layers being as they are! Thanks for posting it though, Mat!
August 15th, 2009, 12:12 AM
Yeah, I think regardless it was meant for us to jam out individually, but it helped to get our ideas concrete :D
August 15th, 2009, 01:13 PM
yo workin on my evil lizard.
i think i like my original pose the most at the moment.
then i did some real fast lizard head studies.
August 15th, 2009, 04:08 PM
Duude nice work on the sketches. I like the variety and the way you did some studies...they seem like they're going in a strong direction. Consider employing some more of those. An iguana could make for a face with loooaaads of personality. Consider some reference!
I did a quick sketch of an iguanaman. Perhaps this one is too skinny, though.
August 15th, 2009, 10:48 PM
August 16th, 2009, 11:28 PM
i want to push the chained lizard as more of a lizard than human.
and visa versa for the drunk bastard.
i want him to be more human than lizard.
August 17th, 2009, 03:04 PM
A somewhat finalized healer maybe? Anxiously awaiting opinions! :D I think tweaks are definitely needed but it's getting somwhere maybe?
August 18th, 2009, 12:43 AM
Based on the sketches that we did on oC, I decided to take a stab at going further with the mage sketch. :D
sketcheth : I'm liking the beginnings of what you got here, but there is something strange about the arms and legs. Although poofy is definitely something worth looking into, it has this odd look to it. I would also tone down the mask a little bit, perhaps adding dreadlocks or something of that sort? I dunno just figure we should approach him in an exotic sense. :)
Anyway... just some thoughts. We'll have to talk more about this guy. :D
jdeegz : The bottom three lizards are coming along really well! I would suggest though, that combine the clothing style of lizard number 2, with the pose of number 3! :D
Very interesting design thus far on that guy.
As far as the slothful lizard looks, the left one looks like he's got a good pose. We need to make him more evil. Perhaps a fist on the other side and froth flying everywhere from his drink. The lazy pose and angry expression fit very well. I'm thinking that he should be much thicker though. This guy is supposed to be a very large lizard methinks.
Great start on these, I'll be happy to talk more about them and try to flesh out as much as we can. :D
I'm curious about some feedback on mine... here it is:
August 18th, 2009, 01:17 AM
jdeegz> I love the fat lizard drunken abusive guard guy! I love that he's fat. I really think it's fine that they're both lizards, maybe just make the convict lizard have a more lean and defined musculature than the guard. Great mage lady sketches too! I think we're honing on it her very nicely.
sketcheth> Had some stuff from OC, but didn't save the event file, so here's your final couple examples of possible headgear. Thinking of changing the headgear up so the face is visible. We're getting close on this guy too I can tell. :)
Matte> You followed the design/feel well, I just think the heavy fur cloak doesn't fit. Maybe something lighter? Also, I'm working on the fisherwoman's story, and the mage is next, I think she's more of a...rowdy character than we imagined her. I dunno, I think she's more absentminded than naive. What do you think?
August 18th, 2009, 07:57 PM
Here is the fisherwoman's story bit. Let me know what you think.
Between The Lines
The rain came down.
Ragged clouds wrung themselves dry against the sheer cliffs of Hilea. In this weather, the upper reaches were barely visible amidst the gloom. Not even the extravagant lights of the Nobles could patronize the lower reaches. Crammed around the bottom slopes of the rock wall, lay the disheveled dwellings of the poorer denizens of the city. Their numbers had grown considerably over the past twelve years. Their aged, weather-beaten, and constantly eroding huts required ongoing replacement. The Nobles could not only afford better materials, but had quickly hoarded the remainder for themselves. The rest of the city had to find other means of protection.
The rain came down.
In times past, rain would have been a welcome visitor to the city, trading its gifts for passage over the cliffs. Now, it brought no gifts, and taxed the city greatly with each visit.
Everyone knew when it started. Taro Month, 4th day, Year 195. The First Scalding.
The day the rain was different.
It swept into the city, eating the land, and the people. Within a matter of hours, there were many injured and in great pain, their skin covered in burns.
At first, it was regarded as a one-time event, but the Second Scalding came a few weeks after, robbing the city even more. Livestock was cut in half, and after the 10th and 11thth Scalding, buildings were severely eroded and whole tradeships were damaged. Over the next year, things began to change for the city and its people.
The rain came down.
And Mekusa loved it.
In the rocks by the seashore, inside the carcass of an old tradeship, she lived in her nest. A dank hovel, open to the wind and rain on one side, and providing meager shelter on the other. Inside was a mess of algae, barnacles, and dead gulls. And fishing line.
Hanging from the ceiling, the walls, bunched up in corners in crazy tangles, it cluttered the abandoned cabin. She sat stiffly, her head lolling to one side, and watched the rain drive tiny rivers of water down the wall. It continued its journey, scurrying across the canted floor, and escaping out of a small crack in the corner. A few poles lay haphazardly along the wall.
Mekusa smiled. It was almost time. Her audience was waiting. They would have to.
After all, it wasn't easy preparation. No, not easy at all. Yards of preparation.
When did it become possible to measure it? It was some time ago. Hm, no matter. Remembering only caused trouble. She had to concentrate on the task at hand.
Around and around, she wrapped up her arm, creating a strange net around her injured skin. Years of living on the water had created enormous scars and burnmarks, and had all but ruined her skin. Around again, this time from the ankle, up past the large scab on her knee. She examined it briefly, then ripped the scab off, and wrapped it with more strands. Little bits of blood pooled between the lines.
One lone hook inserted into the side of her mouth and pulled it back into a frozen smile. Her arms and legs were similarly pierced, and she took special care to thread the fishing wire through all of them.
Satisfied, she picked up a broken mirror and dangled it lazily in front of her.
Perhaps something more interesting. They wouldn't want a dull performance would they?
Taking yet another yard of line, she threaded the two hooks above her eyebrows, drawing them together, then pulling them up, and finally tying the whole thing off around a small metal piercing in the center of her forehead.
A gust of wind rose, and the air moaned above the sloshing waves. With an awkward twist, she jumped up, and dashed out into the storm.
Along the beach she ran, the rain lashing her skin, the wind whipping hair into her face. Towards the town. Towards the amber lights of the city, now emerging out of the fog. Most folks had gone to bed at this time, but Mekusa directed her course towards a quaint little hovel still lit up inside. They were waiting for her! How thoughtful! It wasn't like her to be lax, she thought, as she approached the house.
Or maybe it was, but she stopped thinking about it as she tore two planks away from the window. Alarmed shouts from inside. Mekusa wondered why. Tonight was their lucky night. She dove inside.
There wasn't much to the place, except for the five guards standing by a makeshift fireplace, staring wide-eyed at her. She didn't mind, beauty was distracting by nature. If she wasn't aleady smiling, her glee would have been more noticable.
The larger of the guards grabbed an iron poker from the firepit, and rushed towards her. He swung, nearly hitting her, as she hopped to the side. He was yelling something, but Mekusa didn't notice. There did seem to be a lot of noise though.
Perhaps this wasn't the right audience.
Now all of them were after her. Funny, since that's how it had been before. No need for jealousy, there was plenty of her to go around.
Again, the iron rod swung at her, this time joined by four swords. Definitely not the right audience. Mekusa had hoped for a better reception. One of the swords cut her thigh as she twirled to the side.
She would have to show these men beauty.
Nothing was heard over the windy storm. The light from the hut winked out.
The rain came down.
August 19th, 2009, 09:17 PM
No comments? :) I think I'm going to put these on hold for now, and just give some basic summaries. Concentrate on teh artz.
Meanwhile, now that we're nearing completion of designs, I wanted to explore our final compositions/lighting/values. I had to level adjust, so hopefully these appear correct for y'all.
This first batch is exploring fisherwoman compositions, everything from pose, to lighting, to shapes, value patterns. Let's try and have another meeting to decide on final comps. We have 12 days to pull all this together! Let's doo eet! :yayca:
And here are some for the assassin, and healer chars.
August 21st, 2009, 01:36 PM
1 hr with the fisherwoman. Kind of a difficult pose. hope it reads...does it? Gonna spend some time with the assassin next. I'm interested in what you guys come up with. The PSD is on the Box account so, go ahead and mess around. Maybe save the file differently though, like put "Name - Ver2" or "Ver Sketcheth/Matte".
August 21st, 2009, 08:39 PM
Thinking about colors while doing. Rough pose/lighting. Need to read up on proportions because I don't think it's clear this is a child assassin.
Edit: Thinking some more about color scheme. Bumped the saturation and lower lightness slightly in the background. I think it works better. Cool desaturated light source vs warm saturated shadows. Lemme know what you think.
August 22nd, 2009, 08:26 PM
Cool stuff in here, just wanted to say that the healer guy that Sketcheth made is AWESOME. Really cool design. Can't wait to see your teams stuff finished.
August 23rd, 2009, 03:43 AM
Some time with the lizard char. Changed the pose slightly, tried to go for a good comp. Having trouble with face, clothing, and shadow/lighting colors. Sure a fun challenge tho. I've uploaded my version onto the Box.net account.
EDIT: And the drawing, and the fundamentals, and the pose. Wow, I messed up, and concentrated on the wrong things. O.o Must remember this...