Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Weapon of SASS Destruction Turnaround

Perhaps one of the intricate and considered processes I have been involved with thus far, has been the technical drawings for the protagonist's playable Mech (WOSD). We had a discussion on the style of the Northern Resistance Mechs. Referring back to the Design Specs written by Tim, the Resistance, although embodying an aesthetic military image, actually use re-serviced agricultural Mechs. To this point I had been considering the Mechs more as walking British tanks, and we wanted to go back to a vintage truck approach. We actually began this discussion on 'Skype' where we shared images:

I begin by throwing down some fast loose silhouettes:

It was agreed that the second from the left on the bottom row was the strongest design. One of the most notable features with the new design approach is the large grills and headlamps, something very vintage car inspired. I took the chosen design into Photoshop and made some tweaks. Firstly, with the legs virtually on the sides of the cockpit, the upper body wouldn't be able to move independently, so I raised the body. I also moved the guns to the sides of the cockpit. To speed up the initial design process, I laid down photos on top of the silhouette to achieve fast detail. Bellow shows the stages of the initial WOSD design:

The team felt the fist design was too narrow, so I simply adjusted the scale. Tim also suggested I add a smokestack and lengthen the guns. Secondly, we decided to more the fans to the back of the design, and raise the guns to be more level with the headlights. Finally, we doubled up on the smokestacks and added ammo belts running in to ammo boxes mounted on the Mech's rear. Notice also the Manchester county flag personal to protagonist Rachel Chadwick who is form the city originally, utilising this idea of customisation toward the Mechs. Below is the reference used for the turrets:

With the general design of the WOSD captured, I began creating a technical turnaround, measuring everything to scale using the guides in Photoshop:

One of the quirks of our IP, is the inclusion of male pinup models, an idea thought up by Tim and favoured by the female characters. This allows us to turn gender convention on its head. For Rachel Chadwick's pin-up, I wanted to create something bizarre and with a Northern tinge. So I applied a bearded bitter drinker to a classic Bettie Page pose. I went with the Martini glass burlesque routine, with the Martini glass swapped out for a classic pint pot:

I also replaced the stirrer with a pick axe, as a shout to Northern mining culture. This design was then applied to the final turnaround:

Working on the technical turnaround was a great experience. I have been focused on working fast and loose as of later, but this is a process that just cannot be rushed. I had to tediously make sure everything was lined up to make the modelling further down the pipeline as problem free as possible. Because of this different more intricate approach, I felt this piece could feature in my portfolio to show versatility. For this reason I tried to present it well, including the initial photo thumbnail, the turnarounds and a separate render of the pinup logo. I also overlaid a previous environment piece to add a little bit of noise to the backdrop, making it look less flat and the turnaround pop.

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