Continuing the process of concept art for our game, it’s time to show you another of the races that inhabit the world of Skara. This time we introduce a warrior of the Tamvaasa lineage.
Tamvaasa territory extends over much of the north of Skara, and its inhabitants are habituated to extreme cold, wind and snow. For this reason, the warriors of Tamvaasa wear thick animal skins and fur, and carry big axes to break the iced surface of the Jaarvi Lakes and fish in there. And of course attack their enemies.
Stay tunned for the next updates of the incoming races of Skara!
As part of the concept art process, our illustrators are responsible for creating the required atmosphere for each of the scenarios where the warriors of Skara will fight each other. Obviusly, it is not a good idea to start drawing without a clear direction; they need to know the ambience, the people who resides there, the weather, where the light comes from…
Those kind of decissions are taken at a very early stage, creating the environment color keys for every single scenario. The color keys are small thumbnails, where the concept artist avoid to go deep in every detail, but choose to balance the color palette and the ranges of tones to recreate the desired atmosphere.
In this case, for example, we needed to recreate a rainy Durno settlement in a mountainous area with a nearby waterfall. The artist does not need to create every detail, just to draw a quick sketch of the kind of light the environmet will have and the main tones that will be used. We tested four different color ranges, combinating brown, blue and green to see how the variations work on screen. Next step consists on choosing one of them and go deep into the creation of the first environment concept art.
Ok, it’s time to let you see something truly stunning, we want to show the process of concept art for the creation of one of the first characters. We introduce you the first warrior of the Durno’s race.
As you can see, the first phase is to develop quick thumbnails with different variations of armor, clothes, hair, etc … Then the people in the art department meets to discuss what works and what does not, and what items can have technical problems when modeling and animating the character.
After that, we choose one of the poses and the concept-art team starts to draw variations of the basic equipment, which corresponds to the Durno private soldier. Of course, as users play Skara they may add pieces of armor, helmets and weapons with different decorations to customize their character to the maximum.
And finally, with the final decisions we need the character to be ready for the 3D modeling department. It is important to add rear and side views, of course, and also a T-pose, which will greatly assist modelers to correctly interpret each of the elements of the character.
We are willing to also show you the process of modeling and texture painting of the character. We are sure that you will love it!
Well, we will not only describe you the building process of our game, but also we want to show how we built our office with our own hands, including some magnificent workstations to raise the computer screens, using the cheapest furniture available in IKEA.
In the early stages of the project, as you can remember, we bought a few tables and chairs, spending the minimum money possible. But when we started working we found a serious problem, the tables were too low and our modelers had to tilt her head to work properly, causing bad posture and future back pain. We must find a solution to elevate the computer screens, and we did not have enough cardboard boxes. So we chose to build a system that would allow us to also make some extra space for wires, and all the dolls that our workers have brought from home.
Our decision was to buy new boards, and mount on the tables with a three-inch legs and fix them with screws and flanges. We separated the tables eight inches from each one and made a hole in the top board, so the wires of the screens could pass through. The result is awesome, you can check on the next pictures.
Final price for every workstation: 30 euros.
We just wanted to show a bit of the process we are working at the 3d department, here is one of the many assets we’ve got on our map, we’ve started building the basic shape on our 3d package where we create the basic structure and define the right topology for it. Then, take them to a sculpting sofware to do a detailed version where we extract the normal maps and paint a texture wich matches it, Normal mapping is a technique used for faking the lighting of bumps and dents. This technique is very useful for next gen games where details is everything.
First we create a diffuse map. A diffuse map is a texture you use to define a surface’s main colour. On this case many textures are painted by hand, trying to avoid using photografic references. When we have painted our diffuse map, we can also create a specular map, wich helps to define a surface’s shininess and highlight colour. I particularly like to create the specular map from the diffuse map, desaturating the whole image and then balancing every part with a colour filter like curves or levels wich help to get more contrast on it. It is very important to keep everyting separated by layers otherwise this process can be a bit tedious..
Here you can see a bit of this process explained.
Last week happened to be such an interesting time here at Skara Headquarters.
Maki Planas (Concept Artist) and David Llopis (3D Animator) joined the team, and we have already become a nice big family nowadays. For sure, they’ll be popping in here soon to introduce themselves. In the meanwhile, let me show you the five letters I meant when I wrote the title for this post:
Amazing, isn’t it? It’s our new logo, designed by Iván Castro, a full expert about caligraphy whose collaboration will be very valuable in the future, and we’re pretty excited about it!
Of course, there you have us all, celebrating the visit of our partners from London. Next week, some other people will be joining the staff, and there will be a lot of other things to talk about. But as I said, that will be next week.
Thanks for reading us and have a nice day!