Thursday, 22 December 2011

Concept - Tea set

...I'll regret that half-arsed front view sketch  and that saucer tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Concepts - Sofa sketches

Went back home a couple of days ago and managed to get a horrible art block straight away. Turns out it's much easier for me to work when other people are around than in an a big empty house, even though there's absolutely nothing to do here (besides whining). But I'd feel bad if I wasted these weeks entirely, so it's time to  get back to doodling. 
Started out with an idea I've had for a while now-a rolled-up sofa :D It's a complimentary to this armchair , so it will use the same pattern/fabric and stuff. I'm liking the top right one so far, would look good in a corner..if we had any :0 Still thinking if I should add an ornament at the top and how to go about it (same goes for the chair). I'm convinced that it needs to be modelled, as alphas will inevitably look shit, but the polycount always seems to be an issue. 

In any case, I'll consider this to be my last day of procrastination. In the next couple of days I want to do as many concepts for the corridor as possible so I could get to the Ringmaster's room.
 And then there are still 8 more character portraits to do. Sai, if you could sketch out some concepts of the characters you want to design (like the Magician drag queen), I could paint the portraits  from them :) Or you can do the actual portraits if you like, we just need to make sure the style looks similar.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Concepts - Puppets

Finally did the puppets.

I read that puppet theatres were used in middle ages to teach illiterate people about morales. I though our dolls could hint on what has happened to previous "employees", and what fate would await the current characters if they tried to escape or not make enough money or something. All punishments could look like staged accidents, which isn't hard in a circus environment. At the same time I didn't want to cover everything in blood and keep the horror aspect subtle. The first time I drew the hanged contortionist, I gave her a blue face and open mouth, and the magician's assistant had blood on her, but then I figured this is kinda unnessesary. And dolls don't bleed, toys should have toy-like injuries :) Any thoughts?

And yeah, right now my only concern is managing to model all this in time, might have to go with just a couple, but at least the ideas are out there :I

Monday, 12 December 2011


Okay, I'm not often proud of my nation's traditions, but samovars are freaking awesome. (although samovars are not strictly Russian and were used in Turkey and Iran as well)  Sai, I just posted it on your wall today for the lulz and then thought it would look fantastic in our level ,especially since you've put a tea set on the asset list! The electric one we had lying around in the closet  at home was all clunky and lame (like everything made in the soviet era), but turns out some have pretty sweet and varied designs. Since the Ringmaster's probably a bit of a hoarder anyway, I think it would fit in nicely.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Joint Asset List

Waiting Room

- Ring sculpture
- Masks (x ? …a lot)
- Tables (x 3)
- Sofa
- Armchair (x 2)
- Chair (x 4)
- Door (x 9)
- Door frame (x 9)
- Puppets (x 3)
- Candles (x 12)
- Drape (x 4)
- Pillar (x 10)
- Bottle (x 2)
- Tea set

Behind Stage

- Stairs
- Curtain
- Drape (x 3)
- Scaffolding
- Stage base
- Tassle (x 4)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Portraits - Mermaid

I told myself not to do any FMP stuff this week so I could crack on with my rooftop. Clearly this didn't work >:I
But yeah, seeing how we're running out of time I thought we might as well start on the portraits for the doors. Sorry, I probably should have discussed the design first, but hey, I can always re-do it XD 

Based on the sketches I did while at Sai's, except that she looks slightly less underage now (probably for the best) Also added some hair. How could I leave out my albino fetish out of this project?! Damn right I couldn't.
The meeting with Sai was pretty productive - we discussed assets in each room, made lists and room plans and doodled some characters.Sai might post those scans later :) Also, we might have another member on our team soon :0 Fingers crossed!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Concept - Contortionist Twins

Sorry it's been a while since I posted anything ~ no excuses, I'm just crap D:

Anywho, I was thinking about the twins today and I thought I'd doodle a little.

I'm still really unsure about clothing and colours (I suck with colours, you're going to have to help me there), but I think I know how they will look. I was picturing very doll-like and thin, perhaps a bit dead-looking - what do you think? Our level is going to be rather stylized I'm guessing, so I was thinking elongated and pale? Almost like tall dolls in make-up (though I haven't decided on their masks yet...)

Anyway, I thought I'd draw out a base for them, something I can stick clothes and accessories to:

Sorry it's sketchy, I promise I'll refine it once I've settled on a final look.

Anyway, I spent a bit of time cropping and editing some photos of fashion, and sticking on props, mostly for idea generation. This sort of thing:

And then some colours.... *sigh*

I have no idea. Colours are difficult! They look like circus cheerleaders >_>

It's hard having madly-shaped clothes for contortionists. I'm trying to think practically - they have to be able to move and bend quite freely...

Anyway, I'll get some clothing ideas drawn up soon. If you have any ideas (especially with colours) I'd love to hear em :D 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Concept - Ringmaster, part 3

Sorry for the post spam lately :I
Spent yesterday's evening cleaning up the Ringmaster's picture- mostly just making it pretty for the artbook I'm hoping to release at the end of the year. But I also fixed some mistakes, like short legs, and cleared up some details. Removed the squirrel from the tophat because I had no idea why it was there to begin with. Also drew a new pattern for his jacket. I guess it's a bit noisy, but for now I'll be stubborn and settle on a bold black and white look anyway. I'm still being anal about it (wtf is going on with that foot?), and those different shades of purple bug me, but seriously, I should move on to other stuff. I'll most likely fix the colours in the actual texture.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Concepts - Main corridor chairs and other stuff

Did some sketches for the corridor today. Now that I'm set on a colourscheme for that area, it might be easier to come up with furniture. I still need to think some more about symbols, logos and narrative I could incorporate into furniture. Anyway, Tim's kicking us out of the labs now, so here's what i've done so far:

Coffee table and mirror ideas.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Layout concept

Yet another paintover. This morning I've done another UDK layout based on my last sketches: made curvy walls, tent-like rooftop and drapery for the staircase, this time all in max. Also did a small corridor at the entrance so you could get a better look of the scene. I didn't plan on having the walls checkered, but it looks kinda cool in the painting :0
 Here's some more screenshots. Sai, feel free to do a paintover if you like :)
Now, to sketch out the actual assets to populate the corridor. Not sure if I should do it now, or if I should finalise my assets for the Ringmaster#s room first :/ I'm getting a bit confused with how much work I need to get done until we begin the FMP. I think I'll start by making a list of all the assets and then concept them as fast as possible. We still have a lot of portraits for the rest of the characters to do - should I just concept heads or whole bodies? :I
Anyway, here's a sketch for something I want to put near the entrance- a ring of fire a player is supposed to jump through. I randomly drew a monkey, but it could be anything. If only I could model stuff as quickly as I draw it XD

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Concept - Ringmaster, part 2

This is not entirely finished, but we're about to be kicked out of the cintiq room, and I really wanted to post my progress today :D Did some more silhouettes, the napoleon-syndrome-misget somehow turned into a tall-ish guy, although still with heels and fake shoulder pads. I have more sketches of the face in pen, I'll update this post once i scan them in. The last version needs more detail, accessories, and a better pattern, as I hand-drew this one really quickly. Crits  and suggestions are always welcomed :)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Concept - Ringmaster and his stuff

After Mike's crit today (where we were told to start doing cool shit already XD), I've decided to work on the Ringmaster's character and his room.
Here are just some asset sketches. I imagine him to have a very narsissistic personality, the kind of person that lives stupidly above his means and what not.  I'm planning on making all the framing either gold-like or platinum, and a lot of over-the-top accessories. Here are just a few of the ideas so far, later on I will flesh them out some more and do finalised concepts in colour.
And here'are some concepts of the guy. I started off with general silhouettes to define the general proportions and stylisation. In the end I went with the last one, as it didn't look too cartoony, but also more confident and classy. 
This still needs more work, as I have other clothing ideas. He also needs a face, as much as I like a moustached gimp mask XD

Layout - More sketches

Alright, here's the last minute bunch of sketches before presentation, mostly so i wouldn't forget what to talk about. Basically i thought of including a staircase for some height variation in the level. Perhaps also some height shift on the floors, but it's something i'll have to try in 3D.

Concept - Contortionist's Room

Thought I'd have a little go at blocking-out my initial idea for the contortionist twin's room.

I liked the suspended bed idea, so I thought I'd have it chained to the ceiling, with perhaps a little tea-party underneath.
Had a go with mirrored walls/floor, and to be honest I think it looks pretty cool (not the effect in the image... obviously it will look better if done properly) but I think it will go with our theme of playing with space and depth. On the same note, I thought I'd have quite a tall room, with a small floor area and a wide roof space. Duno why.

Ribbons! Well, they need a way to get to their bed. The contortionists at the circus looked beautiful when they were ribbon-dancing, so I thought "yay for ribbons."

Anyway, sorry the renders are a bit blurry and unreadable. I'll bring the file in with me tomorrow anyway and you can have a spin-around if you want.

Oh. And the spiky thing is a chandelier. I was being lazy.

Layout - more UDK

Another quick blockout of previous ideas for tomorrow. At this point I'm quite sure we'll have to use static meshes,as bsps are clearly just too bulky and even such angular corridor creates a lot of problems like random UVs. Ideally I want the walls to be smoothly curved. Problem with that is fitting in the doors and stuff. I'll try to find some articles on Alice mcGee's level design, perhaps also some modular dungeon design, even though it's not relevant to the theme :)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Inspiration - Twelve Chairs

For the past couple of weeks I've been desperately trying to find the subtitles for the old Russian mini-series "The Twelve Chairs" (1976). It's based on a classic book by Ilf and Petrov. The plot involves a desk clerk and a sly conman looking for twelve chairs with diamonds hidden in one of them. They travel around the whole country trying to hunt down each chair, revealing the life of that period of time.

There are multiple versions of this story filmed in America, Prague and and Russia. Russia released two versions in the span of 5 years, and I've seen both as a child.
The one I love in particular is a later  version by Zakharov. It's very different from classical comedies of the time - comparing to the first version, it has a more theatrical feel to it. There's a lot of narrative, characters often break the fourth wall and the entire film was created indoors, including the street scenes. While many saw it as a disadvantage, I really liked the staged, stylised look of the 1920's Russian streets. (Generally Pre-soviet Russia had some beautiful designs before the commies came and ruined everything) It combines antique interiors and sleezy atmosphere, which is why I thought it might be relevant for our project. Unfortuantely, I couldn't find an English version anywhere, so here are some stills I took from the first episode:

More stuff under the cut-

Overpaint and room concept

Finally remembered I still have this picture and decided to finish it quickly. Not very happy with it anymore, looks empty and and too broad, and the colours are kinda meh. But failures are a part of a development too :P

Just finished a doole of a room I started a while ago as well. Not much detail in terms of furniture, just playing around with the lighting really. Also thought padded walls might good for safety ;D

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Layout - More ideas and UDK

Spent this morning re-learning UDK. We had an idea of doing the circular area, so I tried to see if it's possible to create in UDK. This screenshot had all the cool stuff drawn over it, but it seems like I didn't save it >:I

Perhaps this ingenious doodle will clear things up. Sai and I were thinking of doing one big room with a waiting/relaxation area in the middle for the guests, and a big entrance to the stage. That way we could also make a circus tent for a ceiling. After blocking it out it seemed like the space is way too open, and even if I position some chairs/tables in the middle, it would still look empty.

I thought of ways to create a circular corridor, and one of the ideas is to make one corridor wall as simply as a bunch of stuff - clothes, wardrobes, and stuff performers would normally have in the dressing room.
This sketch makes it looked a bit too cramped, but for now I'm just trying to throw in some ideas without becoming too focused on the details. (which is something I like to do a lot >_>)

Monday, 31 October 2011

Concept - Contortionist siblings

..someone make me stop. I'm still working on the corridor overpaint, but I got a bit tired of it, so I "took a break" by doodling this. I don't know. :I new Cintiqs in the labs are so cool, if only they made me paint better.

Layout - Marmoset blockouts

It's been a while since my last post. I haven't had much time for concepting as I ran into problems with other uni projects D:. As much as I want to do awesome character and interior designs, it's best that I start with some blockouts. I've  modelled a couple of simple ideas today:

This one is just a linear corridor. Looks pretty boring. I guess we're not going for complicated layouts, since the main point of the project are room designs and characters, but from previous year's group project I've learnt that a level where you can see everything straight away is fail.

In this one I bent the corridor slightly-

And then I also added a stairway to break down the row of doors, perhaps it could lead to a waiting room or something? Also played around with the lights some more. Shiniesss!

Of course, the corridor wouldn't be empty, I'd like to make the ceiling looking like a circus top, with all sorts of random things hanging from the walls and ceiling. Also things like mirrors, chairs, and if we don't make a separate waiting room-perhaps a coffee table with some vintage magazines. Tomorrow I'll most likely do a paintover of one of the screenshots. I also have a sketch of a room in progress.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Inspiration - Furniture and Interiors

Thought I'd look into interior designs for our character's rooms. A lot of design blogs have mostly simplistic modern furniture, but I managed to find some surreal stuff that would look great in the level. I'm mostly interested in pseudo-antique furniture and anything with exaggerated proportions.
Lila Jang's glitchy furniture:

More cool stuff under the cut :)

Concept - tiny bathtub

While Sai is doing actual research, I'm doodling horrible things that will get us kicked off the course :0
We went to the circus yesterday, it was awesome. All those clowns throwing foam at each other made me think of this mental image i just had to draw. Sorry about that XD
Oh and here's the uncensored version.

Inspiration - Rie Hokokai

Rie Hokokai is a designer from Japan who makes clothing from balloons. Tacky,  but it might be fun.