Visual Research and Moodboards
Having chosen the brief Concept Design 2, Characters for Games I have set about assembling a visual database of inspiration to base my work off of.
The brief states that the lead inspirations should be:
- Bob Rafei (specifically his work on the Jac n Daxter series),
- Dota 2 (specifically it’s “twisted-but-humorous character designs“),
- Ashley Wood (focusing more on his general style rather than a specific project of his).
The wording of the brief suggests that Ashley Wood’s work should only be a vague inspiration, and used to shape the structure of the style rather than as a starting point. Indeed they refer to him as a “wildcard“. It also suggests that Bob Rafei’s work may be a bit too cartoony and should be toned back a bit. So whilst it should have a large impact on the style, it seems that Dota 2 will be the defining inspiration for the final style and design.
For Bob Rafei’s work I focused mostly on his work on the Jac n Daxter series as the brief suggests, although I did look at his work on other games too to get a full sense of his style. His work in the later games is a large part of this visual research as I feel it is the least cartoony and just generally and improvement from his earlier work.
Being my main choice of inspiration, I am going to be focusing a lot on Dota 2’s style. However, it seems difficult to find a lot of their work online. For the most part any official work is fully finished concept art, whereas I am more interested in their processes towards these pieces. There’s also a lot of fan art to avoid. What I have found is a good start but I intend to research more into the artists on the team and try and find their work, rather than looking at the game materials themselves.
Ashely Wood’s work is instead a wildcard. His work is unlike that of Bob Rafei or Dota 2 in that it is a lot less cartoony, although it is not realistic either. Looking through his portfolio I decided to focus on his work for the comic books Spawn due to it’s similarity to Dota and Rafei. It is a lot darker and dirtier but there are similarities in shapes and silhouettes, further more there are a lot less open legged women or butts which seem to be a favourite in his other works, and which are not really fitting with what the brief demands.
I think what I will take from Wood’s work most is his brush work, as I believe the roughness of it would work nicely juxtaposed with any cartoon-styled silhouettes inspired by Dota and Rafei.