Commisioned work – The Design Lab

A while back when i stopped working at Ferburn engraving in December, i set up an account on people per hour which is a website focused on commissions.

I’ve briefly mentioned some work done for Stuffedge in a previous post, but another client, named Mubeen from the Design Lab in Birmingham approached me for a variety of assets.

Him and his team had come into acquisition the unity engine & license and wanted some material to create a playable game prototype with. something along the lines of zombie dishwasher and castlevania. A 2D sidescrolloing action game.

Here’s the unshaded draft of characters.

flat shadingHe had ideas on which to base his characters on. The inspiration for the mannequin was the enemies from devil may cry 1, the hybrid creature is Omega weapon from final fantasy and the meaty brute is from gears of war. The main character is revised from a sample image he provided at first.

full coloredAnd here’s how they all look shaded. For animation in unity i made sure every single body part was a separate layer. But each layer has its own lineart, base coloring, dark shadows and highlight, so as you can imagine the photoshop file became pretty huge after a while!

And this highlighted peopleperhours biggest flaw for me. when sending files between users, there’s a cap of 4 files. So I had to make hefty use of winrar. the cut they took of all profits didn’t win me over either. But employment left me vying for work to keep me busy so I stuck it out for the duration of mubeens work.

And of course, he also wanted an environment for the characters to reside in, he wanted a valley with lots of spiking cliff faces and a dark atmosphere.

Here’s the first composition test.

composition testAnd the second test with desired changes.

composition test 2First piece of the scene I worked on was the foreground. I was torn wherever to have it blurred or not to give the illusion of depth.

foreground comparisonObviously I let the client decide and gave him both of the png files πŸ™‚ Next up was the cliffs in the background. it took me a few attempts to end up with something that looked good enough. ironically the one I ended up using had the least amount of detail in it. my textured approach to environments can be a bit hit or miss it seems. thankfully it didn’t eat into the schedule too much and Mubeen didn’t mind the revisions.

old mountain cropfirst mountains had snowy peaks.

mountain 2 cropbut they were a bit distracting, plus it was tricky getting the level of detail on the cliffs to match the perspective/distance. so I adjusted them accordingly.

cloud previewand the furthest background element is the skeletal like spines that reach over the sky. quite happy with how these look. almost likeΒ  gigantic monster bones.

skyAnd here’s the equally monstrous sky. obviously the peculiar shading at the bottom of the image can’t be seen with the scene laid out.

full environmentyand this is how it looks when all set up! I’m curious to see how it looks within the engine. regardless, he was very happy with the assets.

The most substantial work by far though, was the main character animations. apparently they had trouble getting his run cycle to look natural so instead of using unity’s in built skeletal animation tools, he commissioned me to create a frame by frame one instead.

I have about 10 animated drafts of the iterative process. observe some of the more substantial ones.

running first draftrunning second draftrunning third draftrunning fourth draftrunning sixth draftrunning tenth draftSee if you can spot the improvements between each version!

And heres the final one.

lineartAnd here it is again with flat coloring.

basic colorAnd once more, but shaded.

shadedNow if all those gifs didn’t crash your browser, then I have some more animations to show off. Aside from a run cycle, the main character needs an attack. Mubeen requested a standard three slice attack akin to dante’s sword slash from devil may cry.

As hard as run cycles are to get right, this was also a challenge. I took some photographs to rotoscope myself for the task. Hadn’t done that since bit cops!

photos swingJust pretend I’m swatting away job offers.

And then I redraw on top of this.

first swingBut It’s nowhere near dynamic or exaggerated enough. So I went back to the drawing board and made another attempt.

dmc sketch 1As you can see, this is much nicer. (apart from the red flashing, sorry about that)

flat colorFlat coloured.

finalAnd the final version.

Mubeen was a terrific client to work with! his feedback was always concise and he was generous with his deadlines.

And that’s everything I did on the commission front. next post will be about indulgent fanart mostly. Thanks for reading! make sure to click-through on the gifs to see them in better quality if you so desire.

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One thought on “Commisioned work – The Design Lab

  1. Pingback: Moray cup and commisions | ~Dreams of an Absolution~

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