Final Character concept and DVD cover design

Plan for action

The task I am about to put into action is the making of my dvd cover, and my final character concept. From my earlier experiments I have got the idea that my character will include mostly human features, but with the additional animal feature. I am hoping my previous planning has been successful and will be put into use through helping me with my ideas when designing my final character. My main idea is to have a character with long flowing hair, fox ears, tail and whiskers, and the majority of the rest of the persons body to be human. I feel this was my strongest overall idea when experimenting and planning for this task. I feel this is one of the main reasons that this idea will work, due to the amount of planning I have put into it to find out what things worked and what didn’t. I am making my character look this particular way as I feel it gives the clearest interpretation of what a half human half animal may look like. When working out the layout of my character on the dvd case, I will have to think carefully about the focal point. I want my character to be in the centre of the case, making it the main focal point. From looking at my research I have learnt that the shape and positioning of illustration is very important when it comes to focal points. Having a shape that curves round into one point makes the audiences’ eyes follow from top to bottom of the shape. This makes me inclined to use the characters body positioning in a way that will be effective on the case. Another thing I have learnt from my research is that the colour scheme of the illustration is very important and having a set colour scheme that relates to the image thats been drawn helps to convey the mood of the image and even gives hints to what it is. The main influence for my work is an Illustrator called Yuta Onoda. This illustrator is the main influence for my work due to the positioning of the illustration in comparison to the text. The shape of the illustration takes the readers eye around the page, which is a technique I may use in my final character design.

Work Flow:

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To start off designing my character,  I put together the body position, hair tail and ears as the base of my character. The ears and body position I found on google images, and have not claimed as my own. These will simply be used as a starting point to draw over for my character concept. The first thing I have started to do is add skin tones over the top of the character. This will allow me to build up colours on top and stop the image from looking so flat.

To develop my final character I have started to work on the hair and tones in my drawing. I have also looked into using panther-type eyes, which I feel work well with the dark hair I have drawn. Whilst working on my character I came to the conclusion that rather than going with a fox-like animal, I have instead used a panther. This is due to the facial expression I have used on the characters face, which I feel is a harsh, stern look which is more appropriate to a more deadly animal.

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In this layer I have continued to add in skin tones to my character. This will act as a base coat for any other drawing I start to do on top. So far I am pleased with the development of my character as I feel it is beginning to look fairly realistic due to the range of tones I have started to add onto the face. I have imported an image from google of a woman face, I will not be using this photograph as it is not my own, but instead will be using it as an inspiration as to how I want my characters face to look, and comparing my drawing to this photograph will allow me to develop it as much as possible in order to get it quite life-like. I have also started to sketch out my characters body in this layer which will act as a guide for when I want to start adding in parts of the clothing. It features small square shapes on the right hand corner of the suit, which is there as a prompt to remind me to make the suit sic-fi inspired, as these square shapes may be used for some sort of technical buttons.

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At this stage of my character design, I have chosen to change the animal which is featured in my character. After developing parts of the face I felt my character showed more of an aggressive look, which would not be suited to a fox. This is why I have imported pictures of a black panther’s eyes, as I feel that being more of a deadly creature, it fitted my character concept better. Furthermore, I like the contrast of the yellow eyes next to the black fur of the panther as I feel this gives it an unusual appearance, this is why I decided to make my eyes panther-inspired, as I feel that it gives my character a more unique style. This is a colour scheme I am hoping to take forward in my project, as using mainly dark colours like blacks I feel will make the eyes show up well and have more links to a panther.

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The main focus for developing my character further is to make them look as lifelike as possible. I feel that the more realistic the character looks, the more effective it will be due to the amount of detail that will be included. To work on the face I have based my drawing on a photo of a woman’s face I found on Google images. I feel working from this allows my drawing to look more lifelike as I have something to directly focus on. Despite using this face, I will add my own features into it- such as whiskers, and development on the eyes as already shown. This allows my character to be unique and doesn’t appear at all copied. Another thing I could do to develop my design would be to add in textures to give it a more three dimensional look, and to include the idea of using mixed materials.

I feel that this idea will work well when finally complete due to the positioning of the character. I feel the idea that the character is in sort of a jumping pose as they are shooting an arrow, which works well with the ‘fierce’ look I was aiming for. In addition, the pose is also appealing to the eye, as the position allows the eyes to be lead around the image, as the bow creates almost a rounded shape.

I feel my design is going fairly well, although I am not too happy with it due to the fact it is not as realistic as I had imagined it to look. However, this is something that can be easily worked on due to the amount of work I put into my illustration and the amount of time I spend on it.

I feel using a Wacom tablet is working well for this project as I feel quite confident in using it. Furthermore, the Wacom tablet allows me to change the pressure of the pen based on how hard I press, which I feel is useful for building up tones in my drawing.

 

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In this image it is clear that I have removed and changed the features that I had shown before. Despite wanting to use panther eyes, I removed them and started to re-draw in the eyes of my character as I felt they made my character look unrealistic. Previously, I had simply tried to copy the eyes of a panther by drawing them and placing them where the eyes of my character should be. It then became apparent to me that this was not developing my ideas, and didn’t seem to work with my character. Therefore, starting again with the eyes and being more inclined to care about the detail of them will allow me to create eyes which fit to the shape of my characters face, and by merging animal and human eyes, I may be able to create something with a fairly ore realistic appearance.

Also shown is the smoothed-out skin tones on the characters face. This was inspired by a biological illustrator I had previously looked out for my work. CSmith Studios create biological and scientific illustrations like the one shown in the image below. Taken from my research the screen shot shows a biological illustration of a Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 12.50.12skull, in which I believed Photoshop was used to create. In the image shown, the skull appear
s to have almost a smooth surface, where
similar colours appear blended together to create a realistic look, to suit the purpose of showing a real human skull. This was where my inspiration came to blend in and merge the skin tones on my characters face, to give it a more human look.

The last drastic change I made was removing the lips that I had previously started to draw in on my character. The reason I did this was because I felt they looked out of place and didn’t look right on my characters face. This may be due to the dark colour I used to raw the lips in with. In addition, removing these lips, and replacing them with a smoother, more life-like skin tone will allow me to create lips which may fit better with my characters face.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 11.07.49

Similar to the image above, this screenshot features no lips. However, this screenshot is aimed to show the improvements I have made to the eyes of my character. Using the Smudge tool in Photoshop I have added a dark colour which almost acts as eye-liner on my characters eyelids. I added this to give my character a feminine, and cat-like look which is also shown through the feline features such as the ears and tail. I feel it has been quite difficult to develop the eyes of my character, but I have tried to include both panther and human type qualities within them.Using different yellow tones, I have built up the centre of the eye and using lighter colours, have attempted to show the lighter parts of where the light reflections hit the characters eyes.

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As I continued my character concept I felt it was going well. This is due to the amount of time I spent on small parts of the character, in order to make them as effective as I could. The eyes I feel are going particularly well, but still need developing further to make them, as life like as possible. I also need to think about including mixed materials into my character, and use things such as photography and painted textures to give the character a more interesting, and less of a flat look.

Shown in the screenshot, I have started to add in the details of the mouth by building up lighter tones as a base coat, and adding darker ones on top. I feel it is tricky to make the mouth realistic, as after many attempts it appears to have been hard to make it fit with the rest of the face. I feel that it stands out quite prominently as a feature, which was not intentional.

To improve the facial features, I may try to improve the lips further by blending the tones together. The nose of my character I feel could also be improved by adding more colours to it, and making it look a bit more three dimensional.

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In these two screenshots I have used the smudge tool to smudge the colours within the lips and give them a smoother appearance. I added in a simple tail, in order to give me an idea of where about the tail will go and make sure everything fits in proportion with the facial features. To make the hair appear realistic I have used a low opacity and a small sized brush to draw in delicate stands which in places, some appear lighter than others. By using a low opacity I feel I can build up different tones within the hair to show the different strands and shades within it.

 

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These two images show the progress on the outfit for my character. I feel so far my character has minimal sci-fi parts to it, and this is something that needs to be developed.I have used dark browns and blacks for this suit to resemble the idea that this character is half panther. The outfit needs further development as I am hoping to include some kind of texture to it, to make it more lifelike.

I feel that using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop will come in useful when adding texture into my character, as I can use the eraser to carefully rub out parts of the texture in order to make it blend into my drawing.

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The next thing I did was add in texture, tonality, and develop my character further by using a variety of different processes. Firstly, I took a photograph of a texture I felt would work well for my characters outfit. This texture was a false leather material, which was used for the fabric of leggings. I felt this texture would be appropriate for my characters outfit, as due to its dark colour, matched well with the idea of my character being half panther. Using filters within Photoshop, I slightly edited the colour of the fabric to make it match my drawing as well as possible. After doing so, I went over parts of the fabric with a black colour and paintbrush, to make some areas appear darker than others.

Another development shown is the arm which features almost a metal type rod within my characters arm. This was aiming to bring a more sci-fi look to my character but is something I am hoping to remove in my next development, due to wanting to create almost an armour type look instead.

In addition, a keyboard type object is shown within my characters suit. This was a photograph, shown further down, of a keyboard which I took myself and edited in Photoshop to suit my characters outfit. The reason I added this was to create a scuff fi look by the inclusion of buttons. I am hoping to edit these further in order to make them look less like they are from a keyboard. I am planning to do this by using the ‘selective colour tool’ in Photoshop to change the colours of the keys.

Featured in the picture below are images of the fabric that I used for my characters outfit. In these Images I deliberately creased the material to create folds within my characters costume. Screenshots of these can be seen further down.

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I feel that adding this texture was quite difficult, as to make it the correct size to fit my characters body I ha to decrease the images opacity and erase the areas which were outside the lines of my drawing. After doing this, I had to neaten-up the edges in order to give it a smooth, and more professional look.

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This is the keyboard image I worked with to form the buttons of my characters costume.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 12.42.35In this image, an additional button panel can be shown on the leg of my characters outfit. Both of the button panels I have adapted the colours with the selective colour tool so they appear more interesting. I feel the dark blue colour almost gives off a sort of glow which appears futuristic so well works on my character. The panel of buttons on the leg I found very difficult to produce as I had to place more texture over the top of the previous textures I had used to create almost a hole where the buttons could be placed. This meant I had to use the brush tool and go over many areas in black colours to make the materials seem as though they were on piece.

Despite the attempt of adding buttons to create a futuristic look, I feel my character still lacks futuristic qualities and am hoping to add these to the arms of my characters in an attempt of making it more futuristic. This I am hoping to do with the inspiration of an illustrator I have researched.Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 16.28.10

Based on David Meng and Leri Greer’s concept art I had researched, I started to put together mechanical drawn structures on my characters arms. Using their colour scheme, I felt this concept art research was very helpful when it came to producing futuristic armour. I feel that these concept artists used a strong colour scheme, which would suit my character due to the dark and harsh look it has.

To draw this armour I simply used a wacom tablet, and in places I used the line tool to create straight edges. I also used the smudge tool, to blend the colours together and make them appear as if they fade into each other with ease.

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I feel that due to using a similar colour scheme to these illustrators, my armour appears fairly successful, and quite futuristic.Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 20.06.32

In this image I removed all of the messy lines and marks behind my character and am simply left to draw in the feet. I am happy with how my character looks so far and hope that adding in a background later will not ruin how it looks.

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This screenshot shows the Packaging illustration I researched. I feel that this helped me to set a colour scheme for my DVD case based upon the mood I wanted it to give off. Looking at this drink packaging gave me an idea of which colours would be less suitable for my DVD case as the brighter ones appear to give off a happy, lighthearted mood. This was something I did not want to show within my character, so this packaging taught me which colours would be more suitable.

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The image above shows the panel I used to edit my characters features with in Photoshop. The selective colour tool is something which I relied on heavily to produce my character as it allowed me to alter the colours of my character to make them fit with the rest of my image.

Below are four backgrounds I attempted to use for my characters background. Two appears the same, but have differences due to the fact that I changed the colour scheme of one using the selective colour tool, and filters in Photoshop. These are Photographs which I took myself in different locations around Cambridge. I feel the one which features a pink building which lights on will work the best with my character due to the idea that it looks the most futuristic out of all of them.

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Final Evaluation

Below are the finished products of my character concept and DvD cover. I am very happy with how they turned out and i feel that they also fit the brief due to the fact that they show a half human, half animal character, with prominent ears and tail, and also hold a futuristic look.

If I were to do this again, I would change the tail of my character to make it appear more realistic, and add more animal features to give my character a more distinctive and creative look.

I feel my designs worked well due to the fact I used illustrators to influence me. I feel these helped my to develop a distinctive colour scheme that clearly suits the purpose of my design. I also feel that my illustration fits my Dvd case and takes the focal point of the cover. This was something I found was very important within the research I did, as I feel the character is of main importance on my cover so needed to be in the focal point. Another reason I feel that my design fits my DVD cover well is due to the dark border I have given the DVD case. I feel that giving the case a border colour that matches my theme creates a unity between the design and the case, and gives a professional look.

I feel the most successful part of the illustration is the face and hair of my character, both of which were the most time consuming to produce. I feel these were the most successful parts due to the fact they are very detailed and look quite lifelike.

Something which needs improvement on my design would be the bow and arrow as I feel this is too simple and if it were more complex would suit my character better and look more three dimensional.

If I were to do this project again, I would pay more attention to detail in more areas of my designing. This is because I feel that some parts of my design are more complex than others

 

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