Pen of the Avatar

Stephen was back at the helm for another Pen of the Avatar and this time working with Darkstarr and making his character ready for battle including his Chaos armor. It’s always fascinating watching Stephen to see the techniques he uses. I know very little of Photoshop and it amazes me to see what people can do. I love to see how layers and levels are really used. And I like how Stephen uses the mesh and warp tools. One thing I didn’t expect though was for Stephen to rip Starr’s leg clean off and then put it back again in a different position.

Actually, that was one of the neat things to see was how Stephen can select certain pieces and move them without having to draw the whole piece over again. He actually does this for both legs to try and get a proper pose and even makes adjustments to the head of his character. Along the way a lot of different techniques come into play so even though I can barely make stick figures, I was able to follow along and see how Stephen makes some of that magic.

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More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

It’s been months since I’ve been able to tune into a Pen of the Avatar episode and maybe I haven’t missed all that much since the series has been on an extended hiatus. But today, Stephen hit the ground running and showed off a new piece called the Standing Stones. It’s sort of combines Stonehenge with bits from the Lunar Rift. But in the middle of this one we have sorcery going on.

It was a real treat to sit back down and watch Stephen bring a painting to life and show how some key features of Photoshop are used. Let’s not forget the new drawing tablet Stephen has at his disposal which I believe is a massive Wacom Cintiq. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware and due to some technical difficulties we end up getting a very good hands on demonstration of how Stephen uses it. Josef puts the camera right over shoulder which is a little shaky at times, but was still pretty awesome.

I caught the replay and you will need to jump around a little bit since Google+ kept dropping out and lost the image multiple times. It’s good for the first hour and then we start to go over the cliff. Still, it’s worth watching because Stephen pulls together a wonderful image.

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Pen of the Avatar 2014-05-06 – Standing Stones Splash Art

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

For this Pen of the Avatar, Isaac Oster gave a very cool demo of Zbrush and what it takes to create characters for Shroud of the Avatar. There was a lot of explanation of how the items are created, the poly count, how reflections are created, breaking down the RGB channels to create different effects and a few examples of how armor is put together and what things you need to keep in mind to make it work with different character classes.

Honestly, there was so much information it was hard to keep up. Suffice it to say, it takes years worth of experience and experimentation to hone the craft.

We got a glimpse of the female fighter model and a couple of quick renders of the completed product.

It was a very informative time and shows just how much time goes into making the characters and the types of hurdles the designers and developers need to overcome to make the game work.

Pen of the Avatar with Isaac Oster

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

For this episode of Pen of the Avatar, Stephen continued his work on his Ranged Fighter. When we left off last time, Stephen has just completed work on the daggers that would be used for close combat fighting if need be. He also did some work on the boots and felt that her attire needed to be grounded in the elements of nature. The ranged fighter lives off the land and has respect for it, so her clothing should reflect that.

For this episode he took that idea and applied it to her knee guards. As you see from the reference picture, he was using leaves as inspiration. He also went on to add a little more character to the daggers, by changing the style, shape and hilt. We also see the quiver that holds the arrows. And finally, there is the attempt at the cloak she is wearing. The cloak needs to be functional, but can’t get in the way of her ranged attacks. Hmm, bit of a tall order for this type of character.

Again, an extremely fun time watching Stephen put this together and I think she’s looking very good. The level of detail just keeps growing and growing. I can’t wait to see the final product where all the elements are put together, colored and textures added. She will be awesome.

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More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

In conjunction with the Moondial, there is the Metronome, a Grim Reaper inspired piece. If you recall, this will be a large piece, along the lines of a grandfather clock. It’s not mean to sit on a table or mantle, rather it will occupy a prominent corner. Stephen began work on this piece in a Pen of the Avatar episode and the work continues. You can follow the suggestions and results in this thread

Here’s where Stephen left things for the concept phase:

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And here is the start of the work for the actual in-game item. This is the 3D rendering and judging by this first pass, it’s going to look awesome!

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More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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