This week I studied more about final composition of the image than I did designing the characters.
The image above is the style of background I chose to use, going for the full “rocketbilly in high fantasy” rather than just setting up the four man party system in a different setting (like a 1950’s NYC subway).
This composition is inspired by some of the covers used for tabletop and electronic RPGs (role-playing games). The covers (images below) all have a central/radial composition with a semi-atmospheric perspective that are figure centric. The covers also all have the figures in dynamic action poses showing off the characteristics and abilities of the characters illustrated.
The red lines are the position and relative silhouette of the figures in the space. Final designs next time!
I choose to follow the standard of cover composition because I want it to read more easily as a cover to a game like this so the association with the subject matter will be stronger. Something I noticed while discussing this with my class is that the idea did not instantly translate in the form of pure character design, so I want to make sure it reads what I want it to read as. And having a strong connection compositionally I think will help the overall believability of my work.
This is a bit of an image dump of some examples of what i’m talking about. Below the dump I explain my choice of background:
For the actual background of the image…
… rather than the composition as a whole I chose to have a fantastical plains-to-mountains background. This was more of a personal choice rather than one of necessity. I have always felt that open plains always convey the feel of an open and unexplored world better than any other environment. Mountains also help break up and hide the horizon line as well as to help the viewers eyes travel from the busy figures to the calm sky. They also help frame the figures more naturally without the use of trees when staying with the open plains feel.
As for the reference pictures below I searched for pictures of mountains in Washington state and in central/eastern Russia for some basic scenery to draw inspiration from:
Thanks for reading!