Author Topic: Illustration Workshop - Box art edition II, from sketch to painting  (Read 9635 times)

ThreeOhFour

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Cat - not sure if I'm allowed, but if Andail allows it, then that title graphic would be very handy indeed :)

Step 1: Gathering references.



Step 2: Sketch!

« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 15:30 by ThreeOhFour »

selmiak

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so here is my research so far

The game looks like this

and is fun to play (though I ran into a bug and couldnt finish, damned unfinished MAGS games :P)
The gfx style is very comicy (what a comicy word...) and the game is a fun concenpt of running around like in a jumpnrun while playing an adventure inventorypuzzle game. The images are very bright in color and have distinct outlines and one shadinglevel. In the thread about the game the author mentions paper mario somewhere.

the cover for paper mario (which i like the best from all the different game iteratons) looks like this


I see where this is going...
the story of the game is dicussed somewhere else in the forums on a broader scale atm or a bit different... ;)

thinking about sketches and how to draw the main character from the front and give him his 2 shading colors and where to put him on the cover I came to the conclusion I shouldn't have mentioned that I don't like portraits and stuff earlier in the thread... so I thought I just ask, could I reroll and *hope* for a game where some less comicy characters appear on the cover and some portraits would look good. I think I could improve on face portraits with some more shading, so yeah, as everyone is making up their rules to make the workshop cool, let me reroll and draw a portrait and maybe fail or chicken out or so... that is, if I don't decide to do a minimalistic arte brute cover for the game or some other fancy shit :D

Babar

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Sorry if I'm late or something, have been moving, and I'm no longer quite sure about the deadlines and stuff for this thing. I hadn't played any of the games before, so this was a good opportunity to catch up. For research. Blew through all 3 of them in one afternoon, now I'm waiting for the final part :D.

The next part of my "research" mostly involved madly taking screenshots of the game, and relevant characters from other parts of the series:
Spoiler: ShowHide

And scouring the web for other possible art for Technobabylon:


Browsed some other box art, but was at a loss as to how to tackle this one. The city is obviously important (the game is even named for it), and Dr. Regis and Dr. Lao...
So I finally got around to the sketches. These are literally rough pencil sketches, and not too much mind paid to proportions and straight lines and such.

The more "traditional" style of box-arting didn't really seem applicable here, but I tried anyways for laughs:


Then I figured the tree is important as well, it drives the entire motivation for Dr. Regis. So...


One of the bits of praise the Technobabylon games constantly seem to get is comparisons to Beneath a Steel Sky, so I thought why not do a cover that is a bit of a reference to it?


Now I'm not exactly sure if this is more a workshop on box-art, or a workshop on illustration and (digital?) painting with "Box-art" as the topic, so I'm not quite certain how appropriate the last attempt was. If it is just a box-art thing, minimalistic box art has worked (BaSS again), and can look cool, and sometimes be a BETTER representation than more traditional box-art.
Also, Technobabylon has a very distinctive title font, which I've attempted to mimic here. Should I be going for my own title font instead?

A bit late to say this :D, but I'm a bit worried as to the calibre of my work, and following from that, my presence here...unfortunately, I'm neither very good at this sort of art, nor, more importantly, do I have a very sound understanding of the process involved. I enjoy drawing, but rarely ever practice, so hopefully this will be a useful learning experience for me. I don't know exactly how this works, but I'd definitely appreciate all and any help and criticism.
« Last Edit: 13 Aug 2013, 18:59 by Babar »
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waheela

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Ok! Step 1: Sketches and Preliminary Work!
A brief description of "The Far Corners of the World" from the game's AGS page:

    Young Jeffrey Carter has it all: a great flat, a good job and a beautiful (and rich) fiancee. One day however his peaceful life is turned upside down when he receives a mysterious message from
    his estranged sister. What starts as a journey to atone for past failings soon takes a sinister turn. Little does Jeff know that the adventure of his lifetime is about to begin...
 


So after playing my game, I took some screenshots and gathered images from google/elsewhere that inspired me. The mood I'm trying to capture is semi-light-hearted, mysterious, character-oriented, and supernatural with a touch of ancient histories.



Random covers. Haven't played all these games, but some of the compositions were interesting...




Interesting composition that I tried to work into one of my preliminary sketches. Also references for important characters.




References for general colors and important characters.




I like the look of this disk, and it's extremely pivotal in the game, so I want to incorporate it into the game's logo.




Ideas for the game's logo scribbled on the back of an envelope. (roll)
I really liked the look of this secret language in the game, and thought it would be interesting to incorporate into the title.




Some preliminary box design sketches. By the end of the week, I want to throw some color into my two favorite designs and refine them a little and see how they look.
« Last Edit: 14 Aug 2013, 16:08 by waheela »

oraxon

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Hello! Lots of good art so far.

My assignment is Jonah's Place, by Kasander with coding by ddq. Here's the game's official screenshot:

You can see it has a really nice, hand-drawn look.
The little girl is the star. She has to escape. Jonah is the grumpy barkeep with a terrific beard.
There are four animal heads on the walls who talk to the heroine.
Spoiler: ShowHide
It is possible that Jonah killed them, but no one can remember.

The whole thing has a fun and slightly sinister "Alice in Wonderland" vibe.

I looked at old box art, Shirley Temple movie posters and Polish theater posters. (I think Kasander is Polish.) Here are my rough ideas:

I'm leaning toward choice F because it has a lot of action. Jonah's beard is trying to strangle everyone. It doesn't actually happen in the game, but that never stopped box cover artists, right?  :smiley:

Dropped Monocle Games

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okay,I kind of started again with mine after a long rethink! Thanks waheela and Myinah for some new ideas

here is my "finished" sketch!


any feedback would be great :D
I may try to add a fire in the reflection of the eye
« Last Edit: 17 Aug 2013, 11:16 by Soxbrooker »

My first reaction to getting KTX-1 was "This is perfect! I couldn't have gotten a better game if I was choosing myself!". Weeks have passed, and I'm quite utterly stumped. No idea why I can't come up with any ideas (see :cry:), so I'll need to seriously step up my game in the next round if I want to end up with something good. Meanwhile - here's a recap of my modest progress so far in picture form.




So after spending most of my time actually playing the game: Escape From The Chaotic City, by Christian Cammilleri (http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/site/games/game/1290/) - I didn't have too much time to sketch something up, what a huuuuuuuuge game!! :)

I played around with a few ideas in my head instead of drawing them and just went with the one I liked the best to save time.

Here is a small storyboard: (To give you an idea of what I was thinking - I wanted an alley or street, main protagonist with a baseball bat slung over his shoulder looking towards the camera but facing down the street-ish, zombies coming down the street and a pink butterfly on the bat)



Here is a sketch using some of the ideas material, it's very rough!

« Last Edit: 19 Aug 2013, 00:13 by calicoreverie »
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Games: Mi - Starlit Grave - IAMJASON - Aractaur - blind to siberia - Wrong Channel - Memoriae - Point Of No Return

The Burger Flipper gave me some serious Zak McKracken vibes, and since I love Zak's box art, I decided to go in that direction while maintaining a more cartoonish, plain-colour style like in the DotT box art. My box should feature the characters posing, but due to my trip to France, I could not complete the sketch yet.


cat

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When googling for prison-related boxart, I only found crap. So I got some inspiration how NOT to do it.

At Mittens I started making thumbnail sketches with Miez giving me most valuable advice (warning, slight spoilers):


I finally decided to go with this:

Igor Hardy

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We had no usable Internet connection at Mittens, so in the end I skipped googling and just went with the game's art style and my fancy.

I'm going for the comic book like presentation and limited color palette of the game. Though so farI used blacks and dark grays prominently while the game focuses on the whites. I also tried to give it all the 24 hours TV series speedrun kind of feel. A moment before the explosion caught from a variety of angles. It's also all about the hero - in a way.



Sorry, Andail, but I broke some rules - most importantly the portrait orientation. I got invested into this specific design before I noticed the format restrictions (cat pointed them out to me to be exact). So I hope it's OK, but if not just keep my entry outside the official competition - I won't complain, but I'll finish it and post in the thread anyway.

EDIT: Oh, and great work everyone! The quality bar is set high for this competition. I particularly like oraxon's sketches C to F (Polish posters - yum!).
« Last Edit: 19 Aug 2013, 20:00 by Ascovel »

Miez

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I was very happy to receive Ben Jordan, case 2: the Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea, deluxe edition as my game, because I was already playing the series from beginning to end.
First things first: I played the actual game from start to finish (with the help of a walkthrough - I was more interested in the locations, characters and story, not so much the puzzles).

Spoiler: ShowHide
I really enjoyed the game, but I felt that the section on the actual galleon is quite short, compared to the rest of the game.


After this I pulled out the sketchbook and pencils and over the course of 3 days made about 17 tiny concept sketches. Questions, remarks and ideas by Cat and Ascovel during this phase helped me along tremendously (thanks fellow artists!).



After much deliberation I picked #13 as my favourite (for now - I might change this in the future!).
When I came back from Mittens I googled a bunch of source images that might help me out with finalizing the details:



And then it was on to a concept sketch with some preliminary color dabbed on:



So this is where it stands now. I expect a lot of details to change once I get going with this and I'm a little worried about picking a viewpoint that shows Ben Jordan from the back - it seems like a bit of a cop out, but on the other hand I like the dramatic over the shoulder/ high viewpoint. Hmm....

CitizenParagon

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Fairly simple approach for UNGA needs MUMBA.

Retain the fun cartoon style of the game, and show the immensity of Unga's dilemma.

Andail

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Okay, this is where those who managed to make some kind of sketch or concept before the first deadline continue to work on their pieces.

We now spend some minutes going through our fellow artists' sketches, offering c&c. We comment on the basic idea, the layout, the composition, the text, etc.

We work on these pictures for one week, until it's time for another round of c&c, before we finish our pieces.

cat

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ThreeOhFour
I love your sketch, my only complaint would be that the cat doesn't have the key in the game. But this is artistic license  :)

selmiak
Not sure what I should comment here ???

Babar
The first one looks rather boring (is this a knife attached to a rake?)
The third one is too matrix, with the buildings looking like an industrial area, not a big city.
I like the second one with the tree best. The contrast of the tree and the cityscape looks nice. Maybe you could even add a character?

waheela
I like sketch 3 and 4. 4 might be a bit cliche, but I think it's better balanced. In pic 3 I don't like that the title only slightly overlaps the disk. Maybe you could stretch the title text a bit so it clearly overlaps and also improves the balance of the picture? Besides that, well chosen elements for the box art, I think.

oraxon
I haven't played the game but I think D and E are the most interesting pics composition-wise. In F the four elements are placed very evenly which makes it a bit boring. I like the look and style of the pics a lot.

Soxbrooker
Interesting composition, I like the red reflections of the explosion on his head. Is the character in the bottom left corner supposed to be the bad guy? Because he currently looks like a 12-year-old who was caught smoking cigarettes ;) I think he should not have his head bent down, he is a very confident person.

Ilyich
I like numbers 2 and 4 best. 3 is very stylish, but also a bit static for a train. Nice color choice!

calicoreverie
I think the choice of elements to show is excellent, but the composition too centered. Maybe you could push the background a bit to one side and the character a bit to the otherside?

nihilyst
Nice one! I'd move the guy down a bit so he hides less of the title (it should still be easily readable). Also make sure that it is clear what the character is standing on.

Ascovel
As I already told you, I like the composition and I'm looking forward to seeing more detail.

Miez
Although it didn't seem so at first, you have got a difficult game assigned. I really like the sketch and the colors. The idea with the ghost shadow from behind is awesome!

CitizenParagon
Spot on! I think you could even make the mumba's back a bit broader to illustrate the difference in size.


A more general question: Should we go with the original title font (if there is one for the game)? I think a boxart should use the title font as in the game, as if to establish a brand. If I were to pay someone to make a box art, I'd definitely want to have the original text.
« Last Edit: 20 Aug 2013, 17:38 by cat »

selmiak

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selmiak
Not sure what I should comment here ???

Nothing! This post rather depicts me losing interest in the early morning after a long night and trying to make it interesting for me again. People, please don't comment on my post (or do so, if you want, though it won't be good for anything), I haven't done much more than this research and won't have time for painting in the coming weeks anyways, so this means take me off the list, cya next time!:-\

if you are interested what kept me up all night and made me consider improving on my shading and trying to paint a portrait with critiques instantly available and you want to see some wacom painted art anyways in this thread, here is the result of a long night...
« Last Edit: 21 Aug 2013, 19:11 by selmiak »

oraxon

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I'm no expert, but here were my thoughts...

ThreeOhFour
Very fun, clearly captures what you liked in the reference. (Cheerful reference page, too!) The gold key contrasts nicely with the cat's fur, really drawing the eye. It looks like there's room for more text. Perhaps a tag line under the title?

selmiak
Nice monster art in the tiny link at the bottom of your post. Sorry you won't have time for this workshop.

Babar
Great reference choices. Your final silhouette design was the most striking, to me. The diagonal smoke and little characters make it different enough from BaSS. Maybe play around with different croppings of your image? Some shapes other than a rectangle?

waheela
Your drawings already make me want to play the game. I like "3rd sketch" best because it has more women in it and that makes the game seem more interesting to me. Might be fun to do some bold light & shadow tests to bring out the mysterious mood. 

Soxbrooker
Lots of good images. A striking idea for a cover. Could be interesting to overlay some videotape effects and digital numbers to look like these are from video surveillance. That could tie together with the story.

Ilyich
The reference looks powerful to me, it all communicates a desperate lone hero. Maybe a tighter crop on thumbnail #4 to see the stress and sweat on the hero's face? Might be worth experimenting with strong sun beams coming in the windows.

calicoreverie
A lot of potential! Reminds me of the cover for "Wasteland". Might be worth trying different lighting setups, with your hero casting his shadow back - or the zombies casting theirs forward, toward him.

nihilyst
Solid concept, good choice of reference. Nice tag line! Might be fun to decorate it with all the additional stuff like in your reference - company logos, VGA circle, cheap pricetag, etc.

cat
Great storytelling through shadows. Striking and well thought-out. And a smart controlled color palette. Maybe the light on the wall can pick out little pock marks and dents to show how old the wall is. (And how many people have suffered here.)

Ascovel
The images seem like good choices. Regarding the horizontal layout - I just saw it as a wrap-around cover. The right side is the official box cover art, and the left side is the back of the box. Maybe just scoot the title more to the right and it'll fit legally.:smiley:

Miez
Looks like you're done! :smiley: Attractive and full of interesting detail. Gives the eye a lot to wander over and admire. Definitely says mystery and adventure. Really captures the time of day. Curious to see where you'll place the text and how you'll design it, because I'm sure it'll look good.

CitizenParagon
Looks like you nailed it. Everything seems to be working great. Interested to see if you go with a pixel style or more painterly. It could be nice to see the shininess of the tusks and thick mammoth fur.

waheela

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ThreeOhFour
As usual, I love what you've developed. The colors are awesome, and I love the soft, yellow highlighting on all the objects/cat. The only thing I'd play with at this point is the title. I like the positioning of the letters, but it seems a little plain to me as is. Maybe jazz up the lettering with some soft yellow-to-orange gradients?


selmiak
So sad you have time constraints. Was looking forward to seeing your stuff! Maybe next time. :)


Babar
I've never played Technobabylon, but it seems like a challenging game to do box art for! I think your 3rd sketch is the most striking and interesting. (The first two could be good too, but may need more reworking. There's a lot of dead space around the figures and the tree that I think would need to be addressed.) I love the green binary code in your third pic, and think the pic could be even more engaging if you worked in some bleak greys or very slight red-greys into the piece.


waheela
Daayum guuurl, ur pix are looking so fiiiiine! Don't listen to these people. You don't need to change a thang. ;)


oraxon
Your game looks awesome, and your thumbnails really make me want to play! I love your composition ideas, and I think F draws me in the most too (besides A, which is maybe more standard and conventional). The only thing with F is that I wish you could tell the hair was beard hair from the barkeep. Maybe add a frowning mouth and chin at the top?


Soxbrooker
Interesting ideas you incorporated into your piece! :) I like the colors you introduced too! I think it would be nice to have the face in the foreground be a little more expressive, but you are still in the early stages, so I'm sure you plan to do that already.


Ilyich
Super awesome thumbnails, and great color choices. I can't even decide which thumbnail I like the best, they're all good! The only thing I'd develop more at this point are the title letters. They seem a little plain in sketches 2-4. I kind of like the direction they're going in sketch 1 though with the bars above and below the lettering.


calicoreverie
Very interesting and strange things to incorporate into your cover. Looks like a crazy game! :D I like your approach for the sketch, but there seems to be a lot of dead space around the figure in the foreground. I think this may cause problems for you as you develop the piece more and more. Maybe consider adding more things to catch the viewer's eye in the middle ground? I don't think you have to go overboard. Maybe a stray cat, or some garbage?


nihilyst
Epic! Reminds me a little of the Army of Darkness poster. Maybe it's the pose...



I've never played The Burger Flipper, but what I do know of the game, it seems you've captured the mood well! Some stuff you may want to consider is the positioning of the main character's head and spatula. I like the idea of covering the title a little, but the way you have it now makes it a little hard to read. I'd also consider maybe pulling the straight leg out towards the viewer a little more and adding some perspective to make the piece pop a little more. (Similar to the Army of Darkness poster above.)


cat
I really like all your composition ideas. They're all really unique, and I especially like the one you settled on the best. I'm not sure I have a ton to suggest at this point. I think the title could be centered on the image, but it is still in its early stages, maybe you already had this in mind.


Ascovel
I think the comic panel concept is definitely an awesome idea to pursue. I'm interested to see how you develop this. It may be useful to check out some comics that have unique panel arrangements. I think you could make the piece more dynamic by using diagonal lines for some of the panel outlines instead of the panels just being plain squares or rectangles. Here's an example of what I'm talking about (far right):



I like how the figure in the foreground breaks up the space by overlapping with the panel above him. That was a good choice. :)


Miez
Very awesome thumbnails. *_*
I really like how the initial thumbnail of your final choice has Ben Jordan's feet extend past the edge of the background, but I'm sad you didn't include that in your more detailed sketch. Did that part just get cut out when you were cropping it?


CitizenParagon
Awesome concept and perspective! I think you have a really solid starting sketch. The font for "needs" distracts me a little since it's a different font from "Unga" and "Mumba". Feel free to ignore me though if no one else is bothered by this. :P
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2013, 00:42 by waheela »

cat

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Thanks for the comments so far, oraxon and waheela!
I will do the dents on the wall, that's a good idea. And I will also make sure to center the text nicely - it's easier to do on PC than by hand :P

Does no other participant want to comment on the different sketches? Now it is still easier to change something than later on...

Miez

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Bit late to the game, but let me chime in with some comments as well. Awesome designs all over the place!

ThreeOhFour
Great composition, love the cat on the fence. Maybe the picture needs some more bright colors - you have some awesome red barns in your source material and it would be good to let that shine through some more in your sketch, I think.

selmiak
Hope you get to re-roll and get something that suits you better...

Babar
I haven't played the game (booh!) so my frame of reference is zero but I like your third design - I like the stylized colors and, even though it's been done many times before, I think the matrix '01011101110101' works well here. Not a big fan of the title typography yet, it seems very messy compared to the "clean" image.

waheela
Love your sketches! Your 3rd sketch would also be my favorite. The only 'problem' I have with it is that it seems a little "top heavy" - the disk seems too small compared to the group of characters.

oraxon
Great sketches (for a game that looks great). My favorite would be your sketch A or B, as I find the rest of them rather grim. But then; that might fit the game perfectly - haven't played it :D

Soxbrooker
Your sketch is good - it looks very much like "boxart" already. I like the composition but I think you could do with some stronger contrasts - especially in the central face. Look for instance at the L.A. Noire pic you have in your source material.

Ilyich
I'd totally go for sketch 4 - the others make the train too obvious, whereas sketch 4 is obviously a train interior but it's not as blatantly obvious at first. This sketch also has a great 'action movie poster' composition.

calicoreverie
I agree with Cat's comment that the composition is strong but too centered. Maybe some off-setting from the center line would improve it.
This boxart would work very well in black and white with 1 attention color (like what they did for Sin City).

nihilyst
Haha cool, I can totally see it as a Zak McKracken boxart pastiche. You should however make sure to clear the title (more) than you're doing now - it's hard to read now. The guy with the glasses might work well if he's done in the colors of the background - that would put even more focus on the main character...

Cat
You know what I think about your sketch: I think it's a great, strong design and potentially very dramatic. Looking forward to this one!

Ascovel
I love the 24/comic book panels approach, as I already told you. What happened to your plans to do it in monochrome? I'm also a big fan of doing a landscape design.

Miez
This guy really needs to try harder. Who let him in?

CitizenParagon
Super cool design! It only needs a bit of clean up and you're done :D