Dominance War V (Dominance War site) is going to start in January (mini challenge starts in November), and I want to take a solid crack at it this time. Last time I tried, I was in the process of getting laid-off and then finding work. In preparation, I am going back to the DWIII submission I started. This will warm me up and get me back in the groove of character art. Characters are pretty much all I did in high school and Digipen, and it's always exciting to make them. Environments are what I fell into in the gaming industry, so I've just been playing to my experiential strength there. Beefing up my portfolio with characters will broaden my application possibilities.
Without further ado, here are my plans for "Gloom" :
This is the original concept I did (it's in the 2D section of my portfolio). I was never very happy with the boots and breastplate. The calves feel "okay," but the knee area feels very simplistic. I'd like that part to be fancier. The same goes for the foot covers. I might work some thigh-high black leather into the design for a little sex appeal. The breasts, themselves, suffer from some poor lighting. I think I'll change the spiral engraving to the red enamel, in addition to revisiting the shape of it. I'm fairly pleased with how the shoulders and gauntlets went. The thigh armor is still satisfying, although the lighting isn't great on it, and I need to redesign the hip area for her mobility in combat. That was pointed out to me in some crit during the competition. I reworked it then, but I think it needs even more work. The cape needs some detail. I had this idea for a pure black cape that doesn't reflect light, but as cool as that sounds, it's just not very cool LOOKING. This is for a game, and game characters need to LOOK awesome. It's cool in writing, but vision is the platform here. I'm thinking some fold highlights on the fabric and perhaps some red glowing runes along the bottom hem, stretching up to the gauntlet clasp. That would help balance out the glowing stone at her collar bone, too.
Here are Gloom's revisions so far:
I reworked her face, neck, and hair a little to make her more sinister-looking and give her more accurate lighting.. The background is now darker and a complementary color to her red accents. I think it suits her better. My changes are only to the right side of her body, as they will be mirrored to the other side to save time (I need to jump into 3D work on this ASAP). The thigh plates have been better lit (the bottom-most one hasn't been fixed yet). I adjusted the knee a little, but I'm still not happy with it. The thick band of enamel under the knee might just need to be removed or made much thinner. I need to do some research on how plate armor fits together and moves. I think I saw some articles specifically on this for artists a while back (I knew I should have bookmarked that!). I need to just pick apart some samurai armor, too. If anyone has some good armor reference, I'd be happy to hear from you!