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Making Of 'The Lightning Mage'

By Arno Schmitz
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| 3 Comments
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Date Added: 26th November 2012
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, mental ray

The final design was very energetic, but it was also very fantastical and lost some of the believability of the first iteration. This happened because references had been disregarded in favour of finding the most interesting shapes possible (Fig.04).

1627_tid_fig04.jpg
Fig.04

So once again, I started the design process from scratch, in search of a new look for this character. Learning from previous mistakes, I used the best of the two previous approaches for this iteration. During the previous design iterations the amount of references I'd gathered had grown. With more appropriate forms memorised it would be easier to do a new take on this character.

I came to the conclusion that I needed to increase the character's level of torture to make him more interesting. All the previous designs had this notion that he hurts himself while using his lighting casting abilities. If this would be taken a step further, and I showed the mage after years of using this spell, it would definitely give a more interesting design.

Physically he is severely damaged by his powers, with burned hands and lower arms covered by bandages, popping veins carrying the magical energy under his brittle and pale cold skin, dry lips and blackened eyes being some of his notable physical characteristics. Besides his physical torture I decided to sow his leather cap onto his face, integrating the costume and making for some really interesting details (Fig.05).

1627_tid_fig05.jpg
Fig.05


After the initial sketches it was evident the process was finally on the right track. The shoulder plates allowed for some great detailing, using a lot of Asian elements to make his origin clear. At the same time the overall shape was still something unique and original. A lot of elements were based upon references, but then heavily transformed. The cap, for example, was based on the hat shown in many Confucius images (Fig.06).

1627_tid_fig06.jpg
Fig.06

Next I began to search for the forms of the details that would define the character. This was about taking all the elements out of ambiguity and giving them a final shape. During this process the 3D base mesh was used. The male base mesh was adjusted to look like an Asian male and was used as guide to keep the proportions consistent between sketches (Fig.07).

1627_tid_fig07.jpg
Fig.07

The idea to use colorful robes from the original concept was abandoned, instead more natural and desaturated colors where used. Many materials have their natural color and things like the robes are worn down heavily. For the drawings done on paper the tool of choice switched from pencil to a combination of fine-liner and COPIC markers (Fig.08).

1627_tid_fig08.jpg
Fig.08





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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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