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    Skaarj Concept

    Hey guys,

    I was sifting through some of our old UT art folders and came across this piece of concept art by JayHawk for a new Skaarj character that never made it into a game. Feel free to use it however you like. I think it is a good representation of the quality bar and clarity of character we should be trying to meet with reguards to concept art and character design. There is a clear, readable illustration that shows off the form of the character and also a few orthographic views which should give character artists a good idea what it looks like from different sides.

    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    Also, to give you a little more insight into our production pipeline, our internal process usually looks something like this:

    1. Rough out a few sketchy designs and see what sticks. These are usually quick rough sketches, kept purposefully loose, really just shape recognition to lock down design and form before noodling in on details.

    2. Refine and adjust rough sketches. Tighten up the rough work, usually a concept artist will work in conjunction with an Art Director and maybe a Designer at this point to reveal more form/function.

    3. Create a tighter comp. A new illustration that looks more final than the rough wip's. This is where the design usually starts to really take shape.

    4. Refine and tweak, Art Director, Designers, Character Artists and Animators take a much closer look and give more detailed feedback on form and function.

    5. Final illustration. Incorporates all of the feedback and is usually rolled into a tight color concept.

    6. Orthographic views. Once the final design has been worked out the artist will create turn-around orthographic views which allow the character artists to model the characters in a more timely manner.

    This process may be quick or there may be many more steps depending on how complex the character (or whatever you are conceptualizing) is.

    Anyway, have at it. I'd be happy to see someone try to model this character or take the illustration and improve upon it somehow.

    What does your version of the Skaarj look like?
    What would armored variants look like?
    Different facial variations?

    Again, feel free to do what you want to the illustrations. Use them as a base to paint or simply inspiration.

    -Chris
    Attached Files

    #2
    Very cool! Proper concept art 3d artists can use. As you can see front side and back and then a posed shot are the minimum required before beginning in 3d. Nice to see Tails and different attachments for secondary animations.

    Thanks Chris!

    Comment


      #3
      Pretty gnarly!

      I like that mechanical claw.

      Comment


        #4
        Pretty cool!

        Thanks for posting that example, Chris! I'm sure it will be very useful for those who want to make character concepts and overall a nice guideline that one can translate on any other kind of concepts (not just characters)!

        Regarding the Skaarj concept:
        Yes, it is pretty awesome indeed, especially regarding execution/technique, quite some high quality stuff right there.
        Though as a critique to JayHawk should he come across this thread: The chin might have to be flatter and the eyes bigger as it looks rather like a Skaarj-lizard or Skaarj-Predator (talking about the U1 Predator monsters) mutant/experiment, though of course one can explain it that way as they're known for experimenting with living beings since U1, in that context I surely wouldn't mind that, otherwise, superb artwork!
        What I consider important is to keep the facial features that make the alien race easily recognizable and the proportions they are known for, otherwise one will surely catch some complaints from fans (of the older games) or those who played the original Unreal games.
        To name an example: The UT3 Krall - albeit their skin was too grey/dark - were actually a pretty good reinterpretation of the Krall as their huge lower yaw that was sticking out with its teeth was included. The only thing that looked rather hilarious and highly off were their walking animations which reminded rather of a hop-crouch-walk-hybrid thing, which was related to the issue of height in relation to the scale of the regular characters and it is yet another thing that one should avoid for a UT game (considering that the animations should all be similar and not distract from the hitbox of the model by presenting a hopping mesh), but what I'm mainly referring to is that their facial features were kept mostly intact but looked more terrifying than the original. So for recognition one should try to somewhat stick to the proportions, in the Skaarj's case for the head it would be the huge forehead with the eyes below and small lower yaw thing that we all know from previous Unreal games. Heh, somehow I feel the need to draw an own Skaarj concept now just to show how I envision them.
        Last edited by Sly.; 05-22-2014, 12:21 AM.
        S l y .

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for that breakdown, Chris.

          That guy looks really mean, I'll try to play with a design later.

          Comment


            #6
            Sly, please do! I posted the image not as a "this is thee new Skaarj concept" but as a work in progress. Something older I found laying around. If you have opinions and are inspired by the image, by all means create your own or manipulate this one if it's easier.

            -Chris

            Comment


              #7
              I like it! Really nice concept although like Sly said maybe we should also have a more original Skaarj (and the mutated one too!)
              http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/a...nreal-icon.png

              Comment


                #8
                I'm digging this, Chris. If I get more time on my hands in a month I'll try my hand at iterating on this concept. I can already tell that I'll also draw inspiration from the Skaarj boss from the PS2 version of UT as well, because that one looked badass too.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I like !

                  Comment


                    #10


                    I started this speed sculpt yesterday and it's turning out ok - I don't think I have really nailed the proportions yet but I thought I would share the progress so far if anyone wanted to use it to paintover armor ideas and head variants. Just a first pass but I am thinking of soft wrinkled dry skin in the body folds - more finely mottled and semi scaled skin overall and chiton plates or large armor scales (spiky) as accents. To me these dudes could be sort of Lizard Orcs haha - and have many variations to spikes and head forms - colors idk lots of possibility to reflect the Skaarj culture.

                    A random thought because Skaarj are warlike - they could apply acid to their skin to promote chiton plate growth - then carve designs into the plates - sort of a bio armor idea in addition to cyber armor - which I intend to make based on the concept.

                    The one big change I made was to the horns - I couldn't find a way to reconcile their placement in Hawkpreys concept anatomically - so I made more of a yolk structure for goring strength and to let the jaw become independent.

                    Consider this a rough pass I'd like to get a communal thumbs up eventually and share the ztool as well so people can sculpt ideas on top of it.
                    Last edited by TeriyakiStyle; 05-22-2014, 11:57 PM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      wow thats amazing! i like the concept. its a lot better as mine.
                      Working On: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...acter-Concepts

                      Comment


                        #12
                        TeriyakiStyle that's bringing some HEAT!

                        Super solid first pass. As you've mentioned I think there are some proportional tweaks that need to happen, for example the tail is a bit too large, but oh man, overall that's a very nice speed sculpt. Great job.


                        Other things to keep in mind (this is for everyone and everything we create):

                        Detail level, noisiness, try to keep shapes simple and clean. Lots of scale details may become noisy, try to find a balance between clarity of form and detail.
                        When designing armor or other attachments and overlays, keep those simple and aesthetically pleasing to the original shape.

                        Great job, looking forward to seeing more!

                        -Chris

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Wolk View Post
                          wow thats amazing! i like the concept. its a lot better as mine. [/IMG]
                          I actually prefer yours over all. The others ones seem like they way too big. Gozilla-ish.
                          http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/325/16447qq9.png http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/7066/2364.png

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by TeriyakiStyle View Post


                            I started this speed sculpt yesterday and it's turning out ok - I don't think I have really nailed the proportions yet but I thought I would share the progress so far if anyone wanted to use it to paintover armor ideas and head variants. Just a first pass but I am thinking of soft wrinkled dry skin in the body folds - more finely mottled and semi scaled skin overall and chiton plates or large armor scales (spiky) as accents. To me these dudes could be sort of Lizard Orcs haha - and have many variations to spikes and head forms - colors idk lots of possibility to reflect the Skaarj culture.

                            A random thought because Skaarj are warlike - they could apply acid to their skin to promote chiton plate growth - then carve designs into the plates - sort of a bio armor idea in addition to cyber armor - which I intend to make based on the concept.

                            The one big change I made was to the horns - I couldn't find a way to reconcile their placement in Hawkpreys concept anatomically - so I made more of a yolk structure for goring strength and to let the jaw become independent.

                            Consider this a rough pass I'd like to get a communal thumbs up eventually and share the ztool as well so people can sculpt ideas on top of it.
                            That is awesome, man! Great job! I was thinking about making perhaps the waist and thighs a bit more thin, to give the Skaarj a more agile look, since they are known for their agility, and this model, for now, looks a bit too heavy to move very quickly.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I love where this is headed!
                              Stacey Conley
                              -----------------------------
                              Unreal Tournament Community Manager
                              Epic Games, Inc.
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