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Paul's thread for Character project Elven Pirate Lord

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pasco295 polycounter lvl 4
Hello everyone,

Currently my university assignment is to create something based off of a current company and to see what they are looking for in terms of skills for a job. 

My current brief.

''I have decided on creating a character based on World of Warcraft, the character will be designed for a zone that does not exist but has been mentioned as a possible place in later expansions called the south sea. The current idea is to create the leader for a pirate brigade from this region. This character is going to be a twist on normal themes as the leader is going to be a Night elf, who are normally all about nature and magic, who pursues riches and rare creatures using goblin technology.''

I am opening this thread to show the progress over the next 2 months and to hopefully get some constructive feedback. If all goes well with the project, once the final concept is done ill move onto creating a WoW style model in 3D.

Thanks for looking!

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  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4
    Some initial design ideas. Not really sure if i want to with the realistic style art or with the a more cartoony style like hearthstone. I am liking the idea of having some type of pirate themed marking on her face but it needs more exploration into different designs.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Got some heads done to get my bearings on the project, still need more though to see if I can make more interesting hair.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    After another look at my 1st two hairstyles I have decided that they look a little off, mainly the white one, they looks a bit like straw with a lot of large strands of hair but not much volume. I think with the first designs I went into the detailing way to early when I should have focused on the forms instead.

    With these designs I have started playing around with extra additions like earrings and an eye piece. The idea behind the eyepiece is that when it's closed it works in the same way as a standard eye patch but when opened it contains a magnifying lens to help with sharpshooting.

    Going to do 4 more before I move onto designing other things.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    I am liking the more detailed earring on the right character and the gems complement the hair. The left character has some lovely forms and the colors contrast really well, I think it gives her a more royal look.

    2 more then I am moving on!
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Final two hairstyles, with these I have incorporated some hats to get some practice with fitting them to the head. I tried out the skull and crossbones tattoo that I had an idea for in the traditional pieces. It looks a lot better here because it was easy to blend with the character, does not go through the eyes and creates a nice focal point the centre of the head.
  • RainbowRat
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    RainbowRat polycounter lvl 3
    Well first off, I´ve got no clue about the WoW Universe but maybe this is still helpful.
    You said you were going to make a twist because usually these elves don´t act like that. I think they still look incredibly "normal wow elvish" though, so you might want to exaggerate that twist even more. Make them less beautiful, give them a really serious scar. They catch rare and probably dangerous, venomous animals from which one managed to bite off a piece of the captain´s ear ( or so).

    I also think the hair should be more messy and less detailed, she probably doesn´t care about brushing it. Maybe there some feathers or corals stuck in it or pieces of fishnets. Maybe you could actually use components like these to make a unique hairstyle which isn´t "just" open, waving hair strains. The second last verion´s colors and hairstyle look pretty cool to me, especially because of the combination with the skin color, but again every hair strain looks so well placed and beautiful. I think there´re tons of beautiful elves in WoW so I´m sure the pirate can be a little more "ugly" : P

    As for the hat I´d be very careful with that one. It´s totally part of your character and should express his/her person in every way, it´s not just a hat. Is it going to be big, golden and colorful? What´s that going to say about their personality? Is it rather small, old and dirty (like captain sparrow´s?) It´s something I know I´d probably skip so I just wanted to especially mention that :)

    Regarding tatoos I think it´d be cool to tell the elves entire life story with them. What made her choosing this life? Why the twist? When I recall pirates or tatooed people I think of a body entirely scattered with tattoos. But then again I enjoy exaggerating things... if you choose to give her a rather female looking outfit with a low neckline you could "defuse" it by putting skulls and bone ornaments all over the skin : D Men wouldn´t gaze at her breast due to male/female related things but rather because they cannot look away from the horror. Or kinda like that, hehe.

    Another funny suggestions: While working go watch pirate documentaries on YT or so and just get some random background information and influences. Mayber there´s going to be a small detail about captains, boats or crew members you like and which inspire you ^.^
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4
    You really got me thinking of details that I would have missed, thank you. The use of scars and burns could make her really unique in terms of wow as i cant think of any that are actually damaged in anyway, so I will be exploring some uses of them :). Once i get some type of final design together some additional exploration into some themed scars, like some referenced  from real shark attacks or something would be awesome.

    The hat being part of her story is something I would have never even thought about, I guess I have an excuse to watch pirate movies to have a look at how they do it. I guess it does not even need to be pirates either, Indiana Jones loves his hat and its been on all his adventures.



    This is the first of many design ideas, took about an hour. Parts of it are based on the initial sketch to see if they still hold up, I am liking the shoulder pads still and changing out the hanging cloth for netting and stitched sail are helping me see her as a pirate.  With the boots I am liking them having some sea life on them to suggest she spends a lot of time in shallow water, hunting maybe?  I also tried to add some story or importance to her hat by keeping some type of letter in it. I feel it makes the letter quite important if she keeps it on her person at all times.

    This design is lacking a lot of gear that could suggest how she captures creatures and there is not much goblin tech stuff (Only the FIX ALL antidote around her neck). Maybe there is some equipment that could help with both of these aspects like a harpoon gun or net bombs. In terms of weapons I think swords are a little overdone for the pirate theme so I might give her more bulky weapons to suggest she is a fierce leader.
  • RainbowRat
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    RainbowRat polycounter lvl 3
    The letter, sail-shoulderpads and boots are AWESOME, really cool details! Plus yea, Indiana Jones loves his hat too, right, didn´t think of that :]
    I´m already eager to see some weapon concepts! Oh, and enjoy googling shark bites!
    ..ew xD
    (sorry it´s late here, just wanted to say it looks cool so far!)
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    I wanted to try a design with more real estate for creating tattoos, it was quite difficult to get her not just revealing all though. Aside from that the facial scar and damaged eye/ear are really helping push her design as a badass pirate. I tried to make this design more rich with the use of a lot of gold and fancy trims and I'm liking the green/yellow combo that contrasts with the skin. I didn't want to just use the letter again so I have just put on an emblem to suggest the group she is a part of.

    I looked at some of the goblin tech in wow and found it all to be either robots or explosive, so instead of her firing the harpoon she lights the rocket on it instead to propel it into its target. For the rope on the weapon I used the same thing Colin Furze uses in his realistic approach to the grapple gun in assassins creed. It might need a few more coils though to get across the long range a harpoon needs to go.

    '


  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Spent a little more time detailing this one and giving her some more unique pieces. At the moment she is a bit too clean for my liking and if the final design is similar, using some of the techniques from the 1st design could help make her armour more worn and believable. Aside from the cleanliness I am really loving this design with its use of sharp and aggressive shapes to give her more of an evil feeling. I have tried to add some story to her scar, with it travelling down to her stomach, hinting at how she lost her arm.  The scar in this one is more disfiguring than the previous one with its crude stitching but I guess whatever monster stole her arm wanted some more.

    The miniature cannon has a handle for lowering a bomb into the chamber, so I added grips on her feet for stopping her falling off big monsters whilst loading the cannon. The cannon could even shoot traps or something that would neutralize monsters without killing them, a ammo belt would help get that across if it was covered in a few different load outs. She has a utility belt with some useful equipment for hunting smaller monsters and maybe a few more smaller items like these will help the design.

    I think I am going to continue looking at some more dismemberment and cool ways she could replace the limbs with goblin things. 
  • RainbowRat
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    RainbowRat polycounter lvl 3
    Hm, you did not intend to make it look that chinese-ish, do you? The red with those detailed yellow ornaments looks pretty chinese and the shoulderparts look like old chinese roofs. Those long claws on the boots remind me on mantis claws and give it an insect-like impression (interesting, but collides with my china theory : P )
    I do like it and the armor itself looks very appealing but I don´t know if that impression is what you were aiming for. ( As long as I´m not the only one who sees chinese roofs here.)

  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4
    I was trying to go with colors that complemented her skin, I never realized that the color scheme turned out in an Asian style. With the shoulder pads I can kinda see the roofing theme your talking about. The idea for it was to have it as stitched leather with metal trim, might have to change the shapes to remove the roofing look. The insect thing could be developed more actually now that i think about it, maybe she is covered in trophy parts of monsters as her armour?

    Had some crit from my tutor today about the designs and he picked at her not having enough sailor gear and that I should focus more on that to improve her eligibility as a pirate. He talked about changing what part of the characters skin is showing because having the midrift open is quite a generic thing. He wants me to explore different areas but try to still keep it in warcraft's style.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    This is going to be the final rough, so any opinions on preference will help decide which design I take major elements to work off.
    With this design I looked into adding a few bits of sailor gear to her attire and my teacher suggested removing the boots to make it easier for her to climb the ropes of the ship. Personally I don't think it looks as good as having proper boots but I am open to opinions on this matter and whether it pushes the character design.
    Working with the skeletal pieces gives her a nice set of trophies to suggest some of her accomplishments but maybe just having one major piece like the shoulder pad would make it more important in the design. Also I put the hairstyles on deviant art and a lot of the comments really liked the green hair on the second row, so that might become the used hair colour if it complements the colour scheme.
  • RainbowRat
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    RainbowRat polycounter lvl 3
    I really love the details such as the companion´s skull, the small trap on the belt and the hook on the shoulder piece, really made me smile!
    The bone gauntlets also look really cool and interesting. If she has such a "deep" connection or affection for bones, you could also make her weapon out of a creature which was most dofficult for her to hunt in the past or which ate a good comrade. A simple metal/wood axe appears a little out of context to me, a little random. (Plus you could do awesome weapon designs out of skulls or claws or rib cages! Or a scorpion tail! (venom) Personal preference though.)
    As for the shoes, well.. barefoot would be pretty cool and unusual and definitely gives her a greater impression of being free in her movements. But she´s still a captain, right? I think without some kickass boots she´s lacking a lot supremacy. Couldn´t she just pull them off when entering a fight? Or give them a teammember and threaten him with death if anything happens to them? (Cuz u know, women and boots, hur hur.)

    Oooor you could go with something like these:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mHzlRdCiVmo/TTMW2TQQgoI/AAAAAAAAAC0/CmwxH_PX3YQ/s1600/soleless+shoes1.jpg
    https://averagegirldiary.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/weird_shoes_003_3.jpg
    http://suekenney.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Camcorder-April-2013-328.jpg
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_mHzlRdCiVmo/TTMXkmHF4-I/AAAAAAAAAC4/-9lYw9bFHBc/s1600/eelkomoorer.jpg

    It´d be a mix of both and would suggest she also takes over ship duties.. is she that kind of person? Or would she rather command someone to do it? If so, you could give her back the boots. Without the huge shoulder parts from the red/gold design or the coat from green/yellow she looks more agile already.




  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Finally back after the Christmas break and other work :D After asking around for opinions on which design, most people liked the 1st ones parts but thought the colour scheme was a bit dull. The green colour scheme in my opinion is the best one because it contrasts the skin colours well, so currently the idea is going to involve this. I think having a cape instead of a long coat frees up her movement a bit, but I really want to keep the shoulder pads big since that is a warcraft trope.

    I have started to base her out (The next few updates are going to be a bit rough) and trying to give her more attitude instead of just an expressionless face. I am using the free arm in a more active way for similar reason but i might change it up depending on whether the cannon arm sticks. The cannon was something people liked about the third design and I feel it was the most unique part of the designs so I have to change its design to fit the 1st designs theme more. With this pose I've tried to indicate that the weapon weighs a substantial amount by using the outstretched leg to balance her.

    Boots wise I think your right on having proper boots gives a better feeling of supremacy so I think ill keep them complete but with the barnacles on to indicate she doesn't just sit back when the hunt is on. Further on in the design I might add some type of companion for her but I want to focus on the main design before adding extras.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    The designs coming into form now, I haven't done sketching drafts in a while so its nice to go back to it for a change, instead of blocking out shapes then giving them form. Aside from her cannon arm things have been thought out in more detail than the original design, I have changed up the chest piece to be more form fitting with metal trims instead of having some random metal plates on her chest. It also now hides most of her stomach giving me more room to attach some equipment she would need. I am not too sure on whether to keep the locked collar thing that the necklace is attached to and unless I can find some better reason for her to have it I might remove it.

    Finally I did a bit of research onto items she will probably need to carry during her travels for both hunting and sailing. I'll be making them off as I go so I don't forget any. This has been done before the cannons creation so I can have a rough idea of needed inputs and to make room for attachments. I also need to look at ways of mounting it properly (Like a prosthetic limb). Looking at her hand I've now noticed one finger is bent for no reason, that needs fixing :D.
  • princette
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    princette vertex
    really nice, I love the detailing!
    glad you noticed the bent finger, it was bothering me XD
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Ty :) The finger has been fixed now, looks less awkward. This pass was going though the checklist and adding all of the equipment she requires. I decided to keep it all on one side of her body so she has easier access to it with her working arm instead of trying to feel around the side of her other leg under the cannon. I'm still wondering whether she would need a proper sword with her kit, maybe it could be clipped to the side of the cannon so it doesn't get in the way of her movement. I also made her about a head taller to give her a more powerful stature.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    I decided it would be much easier to work out the weapon in 3D then sketch details over it instead of trying to correct perspective in the sketch. Originally the weapon automatically rotated each pull of the lever but I wanted a more visible way of showing how it works.
    At first I was going to do something similar to a Bolt Action rifle where she needs to rotate the barrel and fire. Another method would have been to make the firing similar to old gattling guns that use a crank to rotate though each barrel. In the end I got an idea off someone to use a ships wheel to rotate it manually, which fits perfectly with the whole theme of the character so I have used that.

    I rendered out 4 different angles in keyshot to give myself a set of options to choose from to make the placement look correct.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Cannon is now on and I made it a little rougher than the 3D model using uneven metal to indicate that maybe she made it herself. Now onto working out her lighting, to do it ill be using Luke Mancini's methods like in this (http://mr--jack.deviantart.com/art/Skyrazor-Process-213159622?q=gallery:Mr--Jack/9678590&qo=27) since he is an official blizzard artist it might help me get the Warcraft style using his process.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Base lighting is in, putting big arrows in for my lighting so I don't forget to change direction after a canvas flip.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Base colouring done. Now to start the long road of detailing.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Face and hat are in, will go back and do some more detailing at the end though as a final pass. Going to change the tattoo to a teal I think so its a bit more noticeable and also fix her expression a bit so she has a shadow on her smirk instead of just a little groove. 
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Worked up the shoulders and chest area, with the antidote necklace I decided to remove the label to accentuate the liquid.  Also fixed the facial problems from the last post, the teal does stand out a lot more compared to the green, and the left cheek is now flexed out a bit over the smile instead of that little groove.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    This time I wanted to get the motion on her throwing in, it was done using a blend of motion blurs and painting to vary some areas. Aside from that everything up to her waist is in and the belts around her chest have been redesigned with a key slot like with the choker to echo the shape around the character. From now all none adjustable buckles will use the lock to expand the echo. On the chest belts I feel like it needs something similar to belt loops on pants to indicate they are attached to the armour.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Lower half is in. I decided to add some more interest to the boots and some dirt on the lower half. I also tweaked the facial features and added in her eyes properly with a series of light blues instead of the suggestion lines she previously had.
  • pasco295
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    pasco295 polycounter lvl 4

    Final Image
    After finishing the cannon and cleaning up a few areas I decided to give the background a bit more depth instead of just a plane gradient.
    Now I have to decide whether to do a widescreen splash art or a 3D model of her.


    Full Res: http://i.imgur.com/4JtJpld.jpg
  • stickadtroja
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    stickadtroja polycounter lvl 8
    the right hand has a unnatural bend. try juggling a ball with one hand and see how it bends. you wouldnt bend on the wrist, more with fingers  and palm. otherwise cool work
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