We have moved to the Northern town called Dundee and started our competition for building the best computer game of Scotland.
Our team has been expanded by an overseas student form Peking University, China. His name is Jason. And as shown by the next drawings we have started with drawing... our team members:
These drawings have all been done by one of our Art mentors, Frasier Maclean. He has worked for Walt Disney and is a great inspiration for designing our game characters and environments.
A few things I have learnt from him already are:
Don't draw for realism, draw for believability (even if you lie about physics, measurability, or the human anatomy)
Don't be detailed about your drawings, draw blunt. Try to capture the 'spirit' of the environment or character, not its belly-button. Big lines, make mistakes along the way. If you want to make an omelet, you have to break eggs.
Do use the same scale when drawing a storyboard. Size does matter when comparing one image to another.
Do contrast your characters from their background. Dark figures against light, light figures against dark. Dark and red is often bad, with light coming from below (hell). Light and blue is often good, with light coming from above (heaven).
Do put the eye of the audience in the place where the events are going to happen, use light and dark areas effectively; stage your scene.
Do keep the (gray) scale values close to another in parts of the image that do not matter. Use more saturation and contrast in places that do matter; it should look like an empty stage, but you expect the actors to be acting in that place upfront.
Don't try to explain the whole backstory of the character in a scene, instead imply. Use geometry, tonal values, staging, and power relationships (e.g. looking from above down on someone) to suggest the characters / environments 'feel'.
Do use shadows and contours to show what the geometry is.
All in all a useful set of instructions. And almost one week gone by already ;o)
Next, I have started a concept drawing of one of our game characters. What is she to wear? Gloves, boots, ... ?
Concept drawing by Willem van Heemstra