My project began on the 5th of November 2012 and should have been completed by the 6th December. Unfortunatly, I did not hit that deadline. Although this was mainly due to outside influences(Absent tutors, computers/software at college not working etc), I realise that the completion of this project was my own responsibility and I have learned from this experience that I cannot rely on other people and must, in the future, make room in my time plan for unexpected occurances out of my control.
I think I dedicated the appropriate amount of time to each task within the project. For example, task 1, was mainly the research process, which consisted of visual research, mindmaps, moodboard and digital scans of hand rendered sketches. Producing these documents was the first thing I did, as, logisitically, I knew I wouldn't be able to do anything else until I had a firm understanding and plan of what I needed to do. It would be easy to spend too much time on this task as it depends on how in depth the research is, but I spent no more than a couple of weeks on this. What, in my opinion, was just the right amount of time for the quantitiy and quality I was aiming for.
After the research, I could finally start on task 2; the actual production of the concept art. This included, both vector and raster. I could have done it in any order but I decided to start with the vector image using illustrator.
Most other people in the class started off with the bitmap version, and then simply traced over it for the vector version- as I did it the other way around I may have made things a bit harder for myself.
I found using illustrator reletively easy once I got used to using the pen tool and the beizer curve.. I made use of layers so that I could put an image I took myself underneath, set the transparency low and use it as a guide for anatomical and pose reference. The colour palate also came in very useful for quickly refering to colours and finding darker and lighter varients. I used blocked in paths and then softened them to get a nice gradient effect for the hair.
There were many raster editing softwares I could have used but I chose to use paint tool sai for it's nice smooth lines and versatility. Like photoshop, this editing software makes use of layers and layer modes and I used this to my advantage. I used a cel shading technique to complete my bitmap and later also added a background.
Overall, I am pleased with my performance and final pieces. I think I completed the task in hand throughly and within reasonable but not great time limits. Where I to do it again though, there are things that I would do differently.. For example thing's would've been much more organised if I had arranged my time table better to allow for unexpected delays and also if I had made my raster version before my vector.
I began my work by writing up a quick mindmap and short description of my interpretation of the character I had chosen to give me a rough foundation or base to work off and a place to use for inspiration or reference.
Knowing that steampunk, the character and its storyline were all based in the Victorian era, I thought it necessary to get a good realisation of the fashions around at that time.
To delve further into this I wanted to get a good grip on exactly what steampunk was and to start getting an understanding of how this could be applied to the design of my character.
With the Victorian and steampunk research in mind, I started to collate images of other people’s interpretations of characters with similar themes. I knew that using this would provide the necessary inspiration and give me some ideas of how to design my character in terms of clothing.
Using my mindmaps, moodboards and various references I began to sketch up a few simple ideas. At this point I was trying out a few different things to see what both looks best and gives the correct impression of the character how I would like her portrayed. I had to take into consideration her age, background, class etc as well as the fact that she is a ‘goody’ and the period in which she lives in.
I took one of my sketches and used this as a basis for my vector drawing.
Began work in illustrator, using the pen tool.
I put an image which I had taken on a layer behind the layer I would be drawing on. I then lowered the transparency of the layer so that I could trace over the figure with the pen tool., whilst still being able to see the shapes and shading.
More tracing, started to add shading and highlights.
Shading was too prominent and needed to be reduced. Chin was uneven.
Altered the shape of the jaw, removed and retoned some of the shading. Made the shading on the hair softer. Made the outlines a darker shade of the inside colour rather than black. Added necklace accesory.
Continued making touch ups and extra shading, then finally came to a finish.
Decided to start work on the bitmap. Using the photographs I took of myself as pose reference, I sketched a rough idea of what I wanted.
Now using the sketch as reference, and the other images as anatomical reference, I started carefully inking my image. Most people used photoshop but I decided to use the bitmap software known as 'Paint tool sai' for it's efficient interface and appropriateness for the task at hand. It was ideal as using this meant I could work from home.
For the lining stange, I used a tablet to make nice lines that varied in thickness but not opacity. I then used the eraser tool to clean up any stray or messy lines.
With a grey brush, I went around all the lines, filling it in so that I could use this as a mask so I wouldn't go out of the lines.
Added some base colours, making some of them transparents as I knew I would be adding texture under them later that would alter the colours anyway. Tried to keep it consistant with the vector drawing to a degree.
After blotting in the shading, I added some texturing using real images to give it a more detailed feel.
Got a background off deviantart stock and filtered it to change the colouring to go better with the character.
Added a black fade at the bottom of the picture to give it more depth and giv the illussion of a base of floor.
Got the mask I made a while a go, transformed it so that it lay at an angle and adjusted the opacity to make it more like a shadow.