Monday, 1 October 2012

Seeking Inspiration

We have established a three person team to develop a piece of Machinima. During our first discussion, we found that our main areas of interest lie in producing concept art. Because of this, we have agreed to stretch out of our comfort zones and generalise to cover the maya, unity, and sound elements required. Where this background of concept art will work for is, is that we should have a very thorough and vivid idea by the end of the art process.

From our initial brainstorm, we accumulated a large number of themes for a location. We felt it would be a good idea to first consider the space, which will inform our character ideas and story. Working very loose and freely, we said that instead of tying down one of the ideas, we would each go away over the weekend and produce some rough initial concept art for possible scenarios and locations. Instead of producing a focused mood board right away, I thought at this stage to just seek inspiration to spark ideas.

I decided to use deviantArt to search for user produced conceptual works.

This first piece I came across by 'Raphael-Lacoste' is titled 'Mining on Gliese':

What I like about this stunning piece is it's implications. It is easy to fascinate over a brighter future where everything is more refined and efficient. However here, it is suggested that we are still spoiling planets by scaring the land with industrial scale mining equipment and the extraction of possible fossil fuels. The colours are very rustic and earthy, contradicting the clean polished look we find in some science fiction concepts. I am engaged by this dirty future theme, which we find also in the 'Alien' films.

The next piece I found is a colaboration between 'JoeDiepstraten' and 'DanilLovesFood' titled 'Kradortharr Tower':

I like this idea of a fallen colossal structure, which likely once stood strong and tall. The tower seems almost personified, like a sleeping giant due to it's enormous scale. I love the combination of ancient ruins occupying vast cave systems, a theme adopted in 'Gears of War' when uncovering the Locust's underground civilisation. It really feeds off a sense of discovery and exploration, the idea that an almost parallel world exists hidden beneath the surface. It also invites a sense of isolation and secludedness. A setting of this kind would also allow for some great use of sound. There would have to be a huge focus on achieving the cave's open acoustic environment. I can almost hear the thin streams of water trickleing through the caves, combined with the sound of water droplets dripping from stalactites on the celing, all echoing to create a symphony of high pitch frequencies, balanced by the deep eerie sound of wind moving through the environment. Perhaps this eerie secluded cave idea could be combined with the 'dirty future' concept, occupied by abandoned industrial mining equipment as oppose to the ancient ruins in this image.

Another great piece concept I came across was this piece by 'wildcory1' titled 'Dome concept':

I am really starting to sway towards this idea of futuristic manmade structures being embodied by the environment around them. As you can see from this piece here, there is almost a juxtaposition created between the wild vines and foliage compared to the smooth chrome-looking platform assembled in the centre of the painting. Colour wise, the man made structure and the surrounding environment do not differ greatly in colour values. In this sense, the image merges quite well, whilst still keeping the platform the focal point without loosing it to the greenery.

What I notice about all the pieces is the attention to textures and detail, and the great feel of depth and value control. They almost already feel as if they could exist as a 3D space, as if there is some existing awareness of the game industry pipeline and how the environment could be modelled and textured. I hope that in my work I can also really capture the mood of the environment and ultimately consider how the setting would feel as a virtual gamespace.

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