Tag Archives: concept art

Making a 5 point perspective grid

5point_grid

From the department for weird stuff you never learned in school comes this monstrosity. A 5 point perspective is basically a fisheye-lens type view. I was curious if I could accurately construct one (most people seem to just wing it with the curved lines). Turns out it’s not really possible on paper because the radii get too big but in Mypaint or Gimp, it’s quite possible to do it with the ellipse tools pretty accurately.

You can actually see the five vanishing points here because so many lines cross there 🙂

In reality, this is really just a 1 point perspective (the center vanishing point) with curved verticals / horizontals. This is apparently pretty close to how the human eye sees things.

What’s it good for? Use as an overlay in a drawing software to create fisheye-lens effects in your (concept) art.


Pole hammers and word monsters

poleaxe_hammer

I was inspired to do this concept of a poleaxe-like weapon after watching a guy talk about a Danish axe on youtube. Yes, I watch stuff like that. I want to keep the Scout’s Journey weaponry halfway realistic (if you count laser pistols and insect-powered biorailguns and plasma cannons that look like half a motorcycle among those) but I get the feeling this weapon kinda stretches it a little. It does look cool, so I might eventually fit it in there. I maybe overdid it with the energy weapons for the Order faction a little, they are some conservative guys after all who value a good hunk of steel, so one of them might step up and adopt the hammer-axe.  Who knows. Then again, I’m still sketchy on what weapon to give my “army of the dead” type NPCs, but does this look like something the good guys would use?

Exactly, it looks like it was made to smash the infidels. So, in the Order pile it goes. It does fit the bill of sci-fi mutations of medieval weapons that I’ve got going on, so it’s probably a contender. Sci-fi inquisition type stuff.

I’ve hit a snag with my script. It really is very close to done now, as I said to my beta-reading author friend Dan recently, I doubt there will be another major revision. Just got to go over it with the fine comb a couple more times. This and that needs smoothing over still. But I might just take a time out from writing and do other stuff again. My fingers are itching for some art. If only it was easier to find beta readers. Is reading some kind of lost art? You only need to wave a couple-thousand word document around and people scatter in all directions. What the heck. Makes me wonder how people react to books these days. You know, those 300-page monsters made out of dead trees.

The horror, the horror.

 


Phase-in.

spacefighter_marker_sketch

spacefighter_marker_lines

spacefighter_marker

Well, works too.

Mypaint, markers & ink from Concept Design brushset, ballpoint brush from Deevad set.

Hope you enjoy!


KAPOW.

spacefighter_pencil

What’s up, friendly people. I have been liking to draw spacefighters recently. They’re a nice test case of hard surface lighting and contrast. I’m mostly content with this example, which was done in Mypaint with Ramon Miranda’s pencil brushes and some Bob Marley playing in the background.

I think I somehow leveled up in hard surface drawing, perhaps because I really invested the time to shade all the greeble and put in the highlights and deep shadows here. I did some actual lighting on the wings and cockpit. I’m quite happy with it.

I multiplied the layer with a copy of itself at 50% opacity. This keeps the hue better than doing it in Curves and creates nice dark shadows, which you usually won’t get with graphite shading due to the nature of the brushes and the material they imitate.

Now to take things into perspective.

draft_to_persp

Yep, perspectivic transfer using grids. Automatic foreshortening. It’s another thing I’m trying to get good at. I do character studies too, but as always I could probably do more.  Oh well.

I wish everybody a happy spring equinox if that means anything to you (it gets warmer hopefully.)


New Mypaint checkout

mypaint_diagrams

I pulled the latest mypaint from git today and did a build, just to see what was new.

The flood fill tool is very good now, with variable sensitivity and option to sample from all layers, as you can see it produces nice results. There is also a tool to draw clean lines and directly manipulate them afterwards similar to a Path tool or bezier curves. For those obsessive compulsive people, probably (I hear there are a few of those among artists), if you want 100% control of your lines! This is for you. Another thing I noticed was a new (to me) history tab showing recent colours and brushes. Nifty. Finally, there is a fullscreen mode that hides all controls, in case someone wants to only use hotkeys and maximize screen space.

I got into perspective construction again for a bit (still have to finish that Scott Robertson book) and mypaint has everything you need for that, too: Fine control over line angles (snapping at 15 degree increments) and ellipse shapes (also snapping.)

Together with the proven solid and flexible brush engine, the awesome brush sets available, many layer related functions and a lot of usability features this makes for a hell of a digital drawing package. I’m still impressed with the software.

Mypaint doesn’t do selections or snap-to-grid, nor does it provide effect brushes and image filters. It’s just the basics, everything needed for e.g. concept art or comics, no bullshit and nothing in the way. It exchanges .ora format with the GIMP seamlessly if you want to use that for postprocessing. The “one-two punch” of free and open source image editing.

Excellent work by the authors.


Our heroine has a face

scout1

Had to be done one day. It turned out better than I thought it would; I’ve been dreading to draw these guys – Scout, Esperanza, and the other main chars in the game. I’ve seen them before my inner eye for two years. This isn’t anywhere near good, but one has to start somewhere. Iteration will probably improve these character portraits. I’ll just have to draw them again and again in different poses and from diferent perspectives. And I need to look at reference more.

Drawing a character from your imagination and nailing it is very hard.

She’ll have a helmet that she can wear in the game as well as various body armour that can be looted from the factions. This light armour vest is just her starting gear.

Not all characters in the game will be Northern European, there are Hispanic, Yoruba, Chinese and other chars in the game. Modern, near-future Europe, if you will. A rich cultural diversity.

Scout is not a beefcake space marine by any measure, but she is quick to think and to adapt and reasonably good at exploring unknown worlds. She is not able to carry terribly much weight, but she is competent with what she can carry. Movement speed will be realistic but Scout can sprint of course.

Since she’s no tank, there is the need to handle confrontations in an intelligent manner and be ready for a tactical retreat if things get too much. The opponent will almost always be stronger than Scout except in the late game after her skill tree gets filled out. She is better at shadowing and eavesdropping on people as well as using social skills to get to where she needs to be.

Scout will definitely talk in the game, she’s got an opinion and she’s not afraid to say it, but she won’t be melodramatic (I’m looking at you Tomb Raider, what did you do to Lara.) She’s naturally good at making friends but her biggest strength – which she wouldn’t guess herself – is inspiring others. This will feature in a big way in the game.

Man, I’m still thrilled for this game.


Nu-Moat

catacombs_mill_bridge

The centerpiece of the third level solidified enough to commit to a layout. I’ve been wanting to do this earlier, but changes in the storyline / in the main questline kept popping up so it was pretty hard to visualize the whole thing.

This used to be the moat area of RMQ e1m3rq. Suffice to say, it changed a lot. There are now two faction camps and a boss fight in there. Various cutscenes are also set in this area.

I’ll probably be able to reuse some of the dungeon areas from the RMQ map, but the centerpiece just wasn’t good enough, similar to the outside area from the second level.

I won’t be able to block this in with BSP brushes, so I guess it’ll be done completely in Blender. I did use BSP for the Temple area when I made that, but brushes have reached the end of their usefulness here.