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Making Of 'The Lightning Mage'

By Arno Schmitz
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Date Added: 26th November 2012
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, mental ray

Q: What attributes does he/she use? Weaponry? Tools? What does he/she need those attributes for?

A: The lightning he casts out of hands is his main weapon. The bandages he wears protect him from the damaging his hands too much when using these spells and cover his burned hands.

The lantern hanging from his belt has a special candle in it; the flame of this candle starts to flicker when there is danger. The glowing crystal fragments hanging from his chest piece contain the souls of great demons who have tried to take the artefact. These crystals capture the demons preventing them from to possessing new hosts.

Q: Does he/she have relatives/companions?

A: The guru who trained him has trained more talented individuals, some of which he knows and some of which he doesn't. Most of them use their powers to keep the balance and are likely to help each other. Others use their powers for their own good. After he completed his training he was sent to this temple to protect the artefact. He has lived there for years now in solitude.

Q: Is there any kind of side character?

A: During the progression of the game he leaves his temple to help the main characters. During these quests he is likely to run into some other mages trained by his guru and might even find his old master...

The Design Process

The design process is a chronological description of the steps taken to get from the initial idea to the final design. Designing a character is very iterative, that is why I present this overview in distinct sections per iteration.

The first sketches made revolved around the face of the character. The priority was to find the personality of this character as quickly as possible. A 3D head was used as a template; this was printed out and faded. The heads where then drawn on top of these grayed out templates on paper. The coloring was done in Photoshop (Fig.01).

1627_tid_fig01.jpg
Fig.01


After a head was found that was fitting for the design idea, I attempted to create a matching body. This proved rather difficult since the style employed for the heads was hard to use for materials like cloth and metal. Too much reference was used in the design of the clothing, giving him more of samurai look instead of the magical look I was after. You can see my design on the left of Fig.02, next to two references images from the internet.

1627_tid_fig02.jpg
Fig.02

After some feedback from peers I decided to restart the process and throw everything out. This time around the starting image would be created with a lot less references; instead the focus would lie on first finding an interesting shape and silhouette. Many quick sketches where produced in this process. I then picked the most successful sketches and developed them into slightly more detailed sketches, slowly reducing 12 potential designs down to 1 (Fig.03).

1627_tid_fig03.jpg
Fig.03





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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 180519, pid: 0) Kevin on Thu, 07 February 2013 9:07pm
nice making of. Just a question, have you been to NHTV Breda? Because this is the exact work I saw there. They seemed very proud of your work. good job
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(ID: 169048, pid: 0) Arno on Tue, 27 November 2012 9:20am
Thank you Anshuman, I know the images itself could be better artistically speaking. But all this is prepatory work my 3D model so it is important to have a certain speed to whole process. It is my opinion that if the concept art contains enough information for the modeler to recreate it in 3D the piece is successful. By keeping the concept drawings lose you don't get attached to them so easily which makes it easier to change and experiment.
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(ID: 168852, pid: 0) Anshuman on Mon, 26 November 2012 10:43am
I liked your work. You have very nicely illustrated the process of designing, It is very helpfull. Thank you.
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