Thursday, 1 June 2017

A Braver Prince

Using all of the illustrations I made before, the Braver Prince game is almost finished. What's left to do is to refine some parts of the layout, as well as make prettier buttons.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A Prince in the forest

Finished most of the workload on Braver Prince, my new choose-your-own-adventure comic/game. This weekend I managed to build a quick pc version of it, with lots of work still to be done. The prototype needs to have an official start screen (not a 30-second doodle start-screen), as well as some fancy transitions from panel to panel. This will be done in parallel with the main project, which is to put all pages on a huge illustration with little paths going to the different plot lines. This of course won't be as scary as it may sound... :)

Friday, 5 May 2017

Royal Playtime

I started working on the pages of my choose-your-own adventure comic, "Braver Prince". The wildest part will be in picking the colour schemes, since there will be lots of elements that need to fit together well. For the sake of the composition, I chose to keep the palette of this first shot simpler by using the same base colour on the crown, castle, frisbee and picnic table (which would also mean they are made of the same material. Weird).

I decided to keep the prince red because of how it would complement the environment, instead of what colour would best characterize him. Since he is young and care-free, the most philosophical choice would have been yellow or light orange, but it looked bad in the environment and red would be the second best choice.

The same rules apply to the puppy, but I didn't want to make them the same colour. As a result, the dog's colour became a variation of the prince's colour, and it also fits the character very well.

For this project, I want to push the art-style to something more strong than subtle. With this in mind, I will need to remind myself to crank up the saturation on that lime green while still keeping the colours in balance...

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Beginning of a Prince's Quest

The legendary College Final Show is approaching and ambitious projects are being prepared... For mine, I knew I wanted to make an awesome illustration, but this might mean that my game-design side wouldn't be exploited at all... so to solve this I will be making a Playable Illustration!!

It does sound funny more than it sounds fun, but the recipe for it will actually be quite easy. It will be a choose-your-own-adventure game, in the form of a comic with multiple paths. Since this will have a lot of little narrative branches going in different directions, it will all be laid out on a really big poster.

The art-style of this project will be simplistic, with the biggest focus on Shapes and page composition. The colours will be bright and punchy in order to give an impact. I won't reveal much of the story for now, but the image below showcases the main character and a couple of usable ideas for the world.

I will post all concepts and work in progress over on my Instagram @andreas0express, so you can keep in touch with how this develops.

The big updates will also be posted here, so I'll see you next time... :)

Monday, 3 April 2017

Happy Astronaut

I almost finished colouring all of the pages for my comic-game Astronawoot. It was a bit challenging to take on the total of 56 pages, but it was also really exciting.

 The best practice was to set a minimum number of pages to colour per day, in my case 4, and do more when possible. This made it into a total of 12 days of colouring, including the big finale tommorrow...

To keep things simple, my art process only contained choosing and applying flat colours to each area, then use a transparent black on top for shadows. Here is one of the pages I made today:

After all these are done, I'll go back to the file of the black&white project and replace the pictures, as well as add more features...

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Fast comic page colouring - A brighter astronaut

I started colouring up Astronawoot, an initially black and white game I released online in february. It's a comic-based choose your own adventure game, with the original still playable here

The trickiest challenge in this was to find a style that would look pretty from further away (due to how the panels are built), as well as allow me to draw it really really quick, so I can cover all of the 56 pages by myself in less than a month (it's not as scary to do it than it is to say it). 

With those in mind, I managed to find the best style quite accidentally, while painting a shape with a darker colour. Seeing the strands of colour next to each other, I knew I hit something precious. Also in order to make the effect applicable to any area, I paint with transparent black, this way not having to constantly pick a darker shade of the current colour. I started getting the hang of it, so I'll be back with more... :D

Friday, 17 March 2017

Game Exploration - Polytopia

With Polytopia, I felt that simplicity and joy of game-making present in indie games, combined with the wish to show the world and its history in a new light.

How it all starts

You find yourself at the top of your little town. Proud Leader of a tiny 1 square world. There’s also that feeling of something hidden from you. Beyond the visually-satisfying low poly white Fog, there is an echo almost screaming “More”. “Explore Me”.
The call is answered.
And there’s so much to do.

Game Elements

You notice the great Resource. It’s portrayed as a little Star, because it will help you reach them. Metaphorically. You are ok with looking at the sky, but the Unseen is what excites you more. Time to go beyond the Fog.

Faced with such a big task, help will be needed. Using the Resource, you summon a fellow townsfolk to help you explore. It’s great to use it for things like that. But, looking in the corner of your vision, you notice something bigger. Something way more vast than your understanding.

The Tech Tree

Oh. This is certainly new. Everything. Well, you are an Oumaji, so riding geometric Zebras is a piece of cactus cake, but fishing?? You always wandered what those little underwater fellows are used for.
For that purpose, you use the Resources of a new day to learn this wonderful art of Fishing. With that done, opportunities open. Your whole town can benefit from it. But the local glory can wait… it’s time for the Unknown.

Conquering Villages

Breaking through the mythical fog, your view becomes blurred by the wonder. The flora is amazingly different, and the ground is covered in a cold white thing. You also notice a settlement. A tiny modest village, lacking its own identity. A thought crosses your mind. The Oumajis would be capable to survive here. And prosper.


Things were going well. The fresh fish brought wealth to your hometown and its buildings, you advised your officer to conquer a new village found nearby, and you’ve just converted this one… When they showed up.
With pointy horned helmets and dull grey clothing, the strangers present themselves as the Bardur tribe, rulers of the Snowy Lands. Humph. This will not be easy, but at least the number next to their head shows you they are not immortal. And they will fall.

The World is Ours

A lot has happened and there’s still an infinity left. While the tides of War wash over the gates of the Bardur fortress, the cities produced enough resource for a real seafaring experience. After a port was built in your northern city, maybe your Tribe can form a fantastic fleet and crush the rest of the Bardur, however many of them might be lurking in the ancient Fog. There’s an entire world to discover, conquer and experience. And if at any point your empire will fall, or conquer so much that the world overflows in a void of boredom, the Gods of The Beginning will arrange you a new world and a new empire. A new fate.

The Gods of the Beginning

Before the birth of the World, some things have to be decided. A Nation, a variety of Rivals, and the most thrilling of all, how much the Odds favour or despise you. This is a place for new origins, and where this particular story will end. It’s up to you to discover the rest. The ever-changing lands of Polytopia have something lingering in them forever. The Fun.

Short disclaimer: The Battle of Polytopia doesn’t have the amount of cheesiness and sweet words found in this overview. It has its own mystic appeal, but it’s simple, fresh and lovely. Since I believe there’s always something life-related behind experiences like this, I had to write my own perspective on it. Be sure to share this with anyone who loves or would love Polytopia, and enjoy playing life.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Brave Sheep

This is today's doodle, and it's based on a project that kept jumping around my mind for the last few days... It illustrates fighting a conventional fear, something you are supposed to not go against. In this case, the brave little hero UL came to fight the monstrous Wolf King in the name of his entire home village. Having a greater exterior purpose helps with breaking from the inner fears...

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Game Project - Ship Ship

For the game design project, I decided to rely on an idea that has been sitting and gathering dust for a while. I had an idea of a top-down shooter in which the main character would first equip two "modules" that will increase some of its stats. I wanted those modules to be boxes, which didn't really fit with the human-like character (why carry a box on the side of your backpack to increase your firerate?), so for this renewal I thought of something way more functional...

A Spaceship.

With a ship, the dragged-in modules make way more sense.

So I have a top-down shooter game, starring a spaceship, with equippable modules influencing its stats.

After some designing,  drawing and coding:

Although it works properly, it still needs some graphic refinement on the enemies and of course, the background.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Game Characters - The Survivor, The Bandit and OhMyGodThatThingBitMe

I am currently working on a new adventure game, and for that I had to seriously start developing the final look of the characters. Since most of them come in three different levels of equipment, I went and drew the final designs and all of their needed modifications for each level. Further on, I will take this exact designs, scan them, turn them into digital outlines with Adobe Illustrator's autotrace feature, then simply paint the insides. The actual game is currently in early development, but once the pictures are coloured I will be able to implement them straight in the game and things will look quite awesome.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The tale of The Red Eskimo

The cold never got to him. Whatever harsh and frozen landscape he was exploring, he never looked for any warmth. All the power was inside. He was the warmth.

He was aware of how gifted he was... and cursed. There was no need for the peculiar Red Eskimo to seek warmth, but everyone else would risk their life for such thing. Not to mention that in these harsh lands, some entities of the cold would expect way more than just hug him...

He could sense them. Shuffles in the snow. Subtle exhausted snorts. A desperate desire for heat.

Whatever will happen in these moments, he must keep being The Warmth of this world... or The Warmth will be lost for ever.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Across the green snow

After the red Eskimo was done, I started drawing the majestic snowy landscape. Based on a quick sketch, I outlined all of the basic shapes in Illustrator, paying attention to how the layers are structured. For instance, each lighter inside of the mountain shapes is placed in a layer above their respective mountains. Once I got the basic shapes covered, it looked like the following:

It still had the black outline that is not going to be present in the final piece, and most of the shapes were the same colour because of how fast I jotted them down. At this point, the focus was to find an interesting colour tone and make the shapes distinct from one another. After several iterations, it came to this:
With this, I already managed to get a lot of the final piece done. The colours were balanced and the black strokes were removed, while still leaving quite enough contrast. I decided for the mountains to be a greenish turquoise, so the colours would better contrast with the red Eskimo. For the next step, A bit of texture will be added in the mix.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

character development - the red eskimo

For the current concept art project, I picked a snowy theme and decided to do an Eskimo character. It passed through several variations, but ultimately I decided upon this one. The walking pose and the ready spear bring the design to life.

After inking the character and taking a photo with the webcam, I flipped it back to its original position (the one below), and started outlining the shapes in adobe illustrator. Once that was done, I frantically slapped basic colours on the shapes and started iterating, trying to figure out a better pallete. Speaking of which, in the end I used the Palleton website to pick five shades of red and coloured the little dude based on that.
After this, I will focus on adding some volume to the shapes by colouring over. And then... the environment...

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Sketches in the train station

Here are some quick sketches made in Newcastle Central Station. For a challenge, I skipped drawing columns and banisters, focusing solely on sketching people. Also, since I knew how elusive these little humans can be, I did all of the sketches directly in pen, so I wouldn't spend any time erasing and outlining again. I had limited time to lock in a position before the targets resumed moving, so there's not much focus into detailed features. The overall experience was awesome, and I feel like the observing part was more important than what happened in the pages...

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

mini-project: final mask expressions

For the mask mini-project, I digitally drew and coloured the masks and the transitions between them, all based on these 3 face expressions:

After more drawing and coloring, the final result was this bad boy:

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mask development - 12 frame personality

For the Masks mini-project, I started a first attempt of the animation directly on paper, by drawing three facial expressions (one underneath the other), then drawing the transitions on the right.

How it was done:
-I drew the key facial expressions at the beginning of each row: excited, worried, angry.
-I then drew nine empty faces next to them, three on each row.
-If  "excited" is frame 1 and "worried" is frame 5, I went to frame 3 and figured out the middle position between the two emotions.
-I then made frame 2 to be the transition between "excited" and "so-so", and frame 4 the one between "so-so" and "worried"...
-I then went and did the same stuff (last two steps) between the "worried" and "angry" expressions.

This test made me figure out the core structure of how to do animate like this, and I'm now ready to start animating a new mask, digitally...

Monday, 16 January 2017

Don't make a face... Make several faces.

The latest mini-project of the class involves making a bunch of wacky characters, by digitally combining the bodies of dancing volunteers (including yours truly), with faces drawn and animated by all of us. To warm up for the faces part, we did a quick drawing session along with a lesson on how the smallest details can convey very strong emotions... Since freedom was the name of the game for drawing the faces, here are mine:

Friday, 13 January 2017

3D Sandwich Skills...

For my first actual 3D animation, I knew from the start that it's a more complicated form of production, which will need to be dealt with really pragmatic and straightforward. I needed something with a fixed set of art assets, that can provide a predictable workflow and will be quick and easy to animate, so... Sandwich.

With a storyboard in place explaining the order of the actions, I took care of drawing and modelling all of the ingredients... I also decided to not give them any complicated textures because of the art style I want the animation to have. At that point it was fun to guess the perfect colour for each type of food, since it had to suggest all of the spots, lines, bits and any other visual aspect, but in a flat colour.
After the art assets were all covered, I went on animating it, following the script and doing tiny adjustments on the way as needed.
As I'm writing this my animation is being rendered, with Cinema 4D applying its light-and-shadows computer magic to every shot, turning it all into a video... And that process should be done relatively soon...