Style Experimentation: Dota 2 as Bob Rafei
I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of the main sources of inspiration, trying to find a middle ground somewhere that I am happy with. For now I am focusing on them two at a time rather than all three at once just to keep it simple in my head.
My first attempt was to recreate a DOTA 2 character in a style more similar to Bob Rafei’s. I chose chose a character at random and ended with Lycan:
I broke him down into a base skeleton and twisted his proportions to something more akin to Rafei’s cartoony style. When it came to shading and rendering I chose a style somewhere in the middle ground of DOTA’s and Rafei’s. I felt Rafei’s was too cartoony for my preferences, but I didn’t want to directly imitate DOTA’s techniques.
The end result is not quite as close to Bob Rafei’s style as I would have liked, but this experiment was certainly helpful in seeing how his style works. As you can see below the proportions I have used (red/left) do not quite fit what I, on reflection, believe Rafei would use (cyan/right). The forearms and boots are not quite chunky enough and there isn’t enough difference between the shoulders and waist. However I now know how to improve if need be.
I‘m beginning to appreciate areas of Rafei’s style that I never much noticed before. Whilst I don’t like the end result of his work I’m especially liking the exaggeration he puts into certain proportions (those highlighted by the triangles above). I think this has potential if combined with the other sources in some way. However I am still not a fan to his use of line work, I might try using coloured lines rather than black but I don’t think it will improve my view on it much.