Direct refs

Found in Sci-fi Art Now and Fantasy Art Now books from the library.

Ognian Bonev, Sector Blue.


I absolutely love this =) the main influence from this is a quote from Bonev that I found about this piece of work. “Represent a group of semi-mechanical, semi-organic,sentinel like creatures lurking in the shallow waters of an alien ocean.” I really like this because it shows how these creatures are living, in the sub-surface of an ocean. It is a good ref for my underwater scenes development.

Sergey Musin, The Grid

This is awesome. Found it really useful as Musin used Children of Men as inspiration. In terms of the colour scheme you can see this in his work. I really like this as I have been looking at Shanty towns etc.


Benjamin Carre, Locke Lamora Book Cover.

This is a good reference because Carre describes it as a ‘shimmering and exaggerated alternative Venice’ – obviously ref to my inspiration from Venice.



Realising The City-Scape

These are the processes that I undertook to produce my final image.

I started by doing 2 initial drawings of my final composition.

This helped me to get the basic idea for the shading/colour. I then layered these two images over one another in photo shop and started to use the brush to realise my work.

After around an hour I realised that this was going nowhere and seen as my deadline was fast approaching I voted for something I was more comfortable with; PEN!!!!

This is my final image.

I know I should have probably challenged myself a bit more but I was limited by time really. Plus, I love working in pen =)

Who are you George Kendal?

This is just a blog post on a few loose ends that I have found.

Why the same house design?

In my composition I just sort of drew all the houses in the same style. I do have a reason for this but I’m not sure if I have explained it so I shall do so here.

When George Kendal was designing the city he decided that it was easier to build a design over and over again, seen as he was pressured into making a city to inhabit citizens that were in danger of losing there homes. So he priortised his time and spend most of his time on the functionality of the house for the people who would live there. The house needed to act as a mini community, the bedroom was shared alongside the bathroom. The design is so open because it allows people to communicate better with one another. It is an open design. Although this meant that privacy was lost.

Why did Kendal choose this location?

He had dreamed of building this city ever since he had realised the inspirational value of Lui Xuan Grainger, he had a few designs already planned when the I.P.C. crashed and went about designing the best choice for the situation. This meant he had to consider the location well, because he wouldn’t want his city to be buried beneath the ocean in 2000 years when the sea level continued to rise. So, he sought high ground. He had previously traveled the world and come across Harouk’s Twin Gates, so he knew the aspect of safety that this location had. This idea fit in with his designs of a secret recluse that functioned by itself hidden away in the clouds, but in terms of the construction of housing on a mountain face, it was not going to be easy. So Kendal simplified the plans, chose to use Mahodevall and set about work. He knew that the inhabitants would be able to live off the mountain , so building the houses here was perfect. No-one would be able to get to the city and no-one would be able to leave but the statue would always hold the statement “You are not alone”. To further enhance the protection of the city, it would be built on the cliff face with a series of connecting walkways. The only way in was by air!

The other islands

In my composition I decided to put in some islands on the horizon line. These islands are vital in Saekli’s back story because when Grainger’s lights were first up and running the inhabitants of the other islands were wondering what was out there in the mist of darkness. So, they set off on a journey to the city. When they found it, they were amazed. The island they had come from was ripe with radiation and here just on the horizon was a city that had fresh water, and freshly grown food. They got greedy and decided to declare war. This lead to a rivalry between the islands, and in one of the many battles Saekli’s mum was killed.

I don’t know much about the actual make-up of the islands, but I think they would be pretty similar to the habitat of Grainger. I suppose they are just other mountain tops floating above the waters surface.


Originally when I first thought of doing an environment called Grainger right back in the archetype brief, I  thought of doing it set in an alternate reality on a planet that is similar to earth, but as I progressed it became more of a future prediction of earth, obviously a fictional one because they is war going on right now in my version, and a nuclear war at that! But, still I see it more as, if there ever is a massive nuclear war combined with the sea levels rising, and humans are still living on earth (let’s face it we will probably just jet off to whatever planet we can as soon as possible, like in  Mass Effect) this is what it will be like.

Harouk’s Twin Gates.

Concept for the twin gates situated in Grainger.

Who is Harouk?

Harouk is a fictional god in my cityscape concept. As I designed the gates I just came up with the idea that they were built in a valley before Grainger was even conceived. In the story they were built by a tribe of a thousand men who worked for 1000 days non-stop. This tribe, known as the Tshala’s worshiped the god of wisdom, Harouk. The date or even era in which they built the massive gates is unknown, even the material used is unidentifiable. Old stories tell of how Harouk’s power was shone down onto the tribe, giving them superhuman strength and speed but most people just believe it all to be simply a story. There is no way a 1000 men could have built two massive walls in a thousand days, especially seen as there is no record ever made before the wall existed. It lay unbeknown to all outsiders for centuries. Waiting for the day that a traveler would find it hidden amongst the mountains, this man was George Kendal.

Even I don’t know if Harouk is an actual living being, for the fictional purpose of the story he is an actual god in Saekli’s world, but what if he lived? I like the mystery around the gates, and I think I would love it if they did possess some weird wisdom values from this fictional god. I think it would be a really nice interaction for the inhabitants of Grainger to have. I wonder if they have ever been past the gates? When would they have ventured over the gates to see what they could get from the other side? Maybe the town is split between people who believe the ghost stories and people who think they are just some random gates. I think they would have definitely ventured over the gates, human nature would have forced that, but what if they sent out a scout party and no-one returned. Maybe something really crazy is lurking at the other side of the gates. An antagonist maybe? I don’t know I think this is all getting a little too ‘fantasy’ now. Need to hone it back to reality.

Choosing a composition

This is my final chosen drawn composition for the visual language brief. My reasons for choosing this over the other idea was simply because I like how it links the archetype, set design and final brief together. I think it captures the scene well, it is based around the rule of thirds that all cityscape’s should be based on. Plus you can see enough of the houses in the distance on the cliff to get an idea that they are situated there, which my other composition showed. It also shows a submerged house which links to my underwater idea. You also get a feeling that the houses are on top of one another as the buildings look miss-matched in the foreground of the right hand side. This composition seems to capture everything that I have jotted down about Grainger, but it is missing the gates and the statue. This is due to the angle. Saekli is stood on the same mountain side that these features are on so it makes sense for them not to be in view. I did spend a lot of time on them though but I think I will just leave these two factors in written form as I have already done the text behind the statue. Note:need to do the gates.

If I had more time.

I started doing this sketch last week for my city scape. the idea of it was that it was an underwater scape pf the lost houses of Grainger that now reside under the sea’s surface. I really liked the idea but sadly I don’t have time to develop it any further as I still have my final render for my actual city scape to do! Anyways, I thought it was a cool concept and I developed it more in my sketch book but here are the two image that I produced for it. They are very simple but as I say, if I had had more time. =)

Chosen 6 images for Studio brief 1

I didn’t realise we actually had to identify 6 images from our first studio brief and analyse them. So I am doing it now!

This is my first choice because I like how this was purely accidental. the combination of indents on the stone, lighting and my camera angle has made the stone appear to have some sort of glowing writing on it. In reality it does have indented text but I really like the effect that this image captures. It reminds me of the glyphs from Assassin’s Creed.



The only reason I have chosen this is because it reminds me of M.C. Escher’s work three worlds. Like Escher’s work it shows the 3 worlds of nature – surface, sub-surface and planal reflectivity.


This photograph was taken at the Royal Armouries and I honestly cannot remember what it even is! Some sort of reflection that’s for sure but what is the red,white and black object? I like this image because it looks warped, and will forever be unknown!


Pot Man! The reason this was chosen is because I think it highlights how much I was itching for a more in depth brief. I have dedicated a page to developmental work of a possible character.

this is a drawing from a horse’s armour in the Royal Armouries. I like it because I simply love exo’s I find them fascinating! Plus, it is metal which is an added bonus – sort of wish I had developed this more. In terms of the document brief, I think it is a good choice because I can see myself using it in the future even though I haven’t applied it to this brief.

Various daggers from the royal armouries are shown on this page. For me this is very useful as i do alot of character design, and I often consider weapon designs for them. So this piece is mainly chosen because of its practicality.

Refs for City Scape

Initial google found images that inspired my final outcome:

Google found refs

My primary referance:

I was lucky enough to go to Venice last summer and I found that some of the photo’s I took there were really useful for my development.


I also took these random photographs and collated them into a moodboard, as I found them useful in terms of colour.

Perspective drawing

For the set design brief we were asked to produce a perspective drawing of the concept – this is my attempt.

Started in Ai, to get the basic outline.

Then took this into Photoshop to render it!

I found drawing the roof in perspective really hard so I did it at an angle that didn’t have the roof shown! Slightly cheating but hey, I’m rubbish at perspective! the 3rd dimension blows my mind.

It’s not very good because it is rushed, but I think it gets the point across.

Final Character Proforma

As I developed my character I made some vital changes to the make up of Saekli. This was because I fleshed out my character and realsied that some parts of her didn’t fit in; so I have created a final character sheet for her.

Archetype: An unusual hero

Name: Saekli D’Taoma

Age: 24

Physical Description: Saekli’s height is fairly average for her breed of human, but due to the condition in which the human race has been surviving, we are considerably more taller. So, Saekli’s height is around 6foot 2inches. She is slender and athletic due to her lifestyle as a ravager/scout. The harsh environment means that her skin has hardened, especially on her hands as she has adapted to climb around everywhere with extreme skill. Although saying this, she is still considered as very feminine, if not a tomboy, by her fellow villagers. Her natural hair colour is a chestnut brown that has been bleached by the ever present sun over the years; this has left it as a silvery, gray/blonde with random streaks of the colour it once was. Her skin tone has also been visibly bathed in the sun, it is a soft golden brown. The eyes, needed to stand out on the image so I used a light brown that would contrast with the bland hair. This colour was also chosen because it isn’t too crazy, she still needed to appear human.

Clothing: Her clothing is based on the environment, which consists of a massive wasteland that has been festering for thousands of years after a rather large nuclear war. This meant that my environment consisted mainly of sand, water and a little bit of snow. So her clothing is designed around practicality, with a stylist twist – influenced by final fantasy. Her base outfit is a loose half top that falls comfortably off her shoulders and would literally fall down if not for her make shift cardigan. This is a cardigan that is made out of a found dress, she cut off the bottom to style it so that it hugs her bum. then she cut straight up the middle so it wraps around her body instead of being pulled over her head – this is for ease. It is then tied round with a double belt – to keep her tops in place. She always wears trousers, because it fits in with her tomboy style but also because it would be he best protection for her legs in sand/snow storms and generally in the rough terrain. That is why knee pads are a must; customarily made by Saekli to add protection on vicious climbs. This isn’t an obvious part on the design but they do exist! The rest of her trousers are made out of two different types of material. One day as she was plodding along she found a messed up pair of jeans and a ruined pair of brown corduroys. she manufactured them into her current pair of trousers. This was the part of the design that I really wanted to emphasize make-shift attire, as soon as you look at it you understand that it was made by her out of found items. I had a few problems with the shoes, as a lot of my references went with massive boots, but I wasn’t very good at drawing boots so I had to mess about  a bit. I got it in the end though and even managed to make them look make-shift. The story of these boots is that they are a gift from the Leading Mother of the town. When the inhabitants of Grainger become 14, they undergo a transitional period of their life, called the Ashter period. This can last up to the day they die because the Ashter is a process in which a person finds their true calling. (Based on a theory in The Tao of Nature, a book about Taoism) It took Saekli 7 years to find it, this is considered as a long time in the villages terms, it usually takes around 4 years. So when Saekli finally found her calling in life she received her boots as a gift from the Leading Mother, because her purpose in life was to be a scout who would travel far and wide for the community. Finally onto her battle attire, well not necessarily battle but what she wears to cruise around the wasteland. Her coat was also a found object but it was a previous a coat. The bottom half was shredded into pieces and Saekli simply sowed them back together which gives it the rippled effect. Last but not least, her scarf is simply needed to protect her face from sand and other bits and bobs in vicious weather. Her hood also does this.

(I write way too much =])

Character Traits: First and foremost a tomboy, very peaceful – avoids conflict as much as possible, slightly pessimistic, kind, friendly, hides emotion well.

Character Background:

Family: This is explained a bit more in my final studio brief back story but the basics are: She was born in a random deserted hut in the middle of nowhere. Her father is Alihsar D’Taoma, who has an unhealthy obsession with the the city of Grainger. Her mothers name is unknown. she died when Saekli was 12 in a sea battle when the neighboring islands weren’t united with Grainger. This has giving Saekli a nervousness when it comes to large expanses of water, she feels more comfortable on the land. Hence why she wants to leave Grainger. Saekli was preset when construction of Grainger was underway, with her father in charge, so she is seen as an important person in the community.

Habits/Vices: Twists hair round her fingers when she is thinking, hates being watched when she eats, bites her nails and uses the fact that she has to climb everywhere as an excuse for it – “It’s a good thing Chubi. If I had long nails all the dirt would just get stuck in them and who would want that?” Chubi simply glares at her.

Education: No formal education is given, you sort of learn as you go. Advice/training is provided as standard issue in the village but other other stuff you have to seek it out yourself, like becoming a mechanics apprentice, you would go up to the mechanic and ask to sit in and watch. This means all forms of education is given when head-on experience, so people learn quicker.  A good saying is the more time you spend in the wastes, the less you fear it.

Personality: Saekli is very open-minded which allows her to spread kindness wherever she goes. She is also very committed and passionate about the state of the world, and seeks to continue her fathers work to rebuild a peaceful existence on Earth. Her ability to hide emotion often causes her to sit and stare into space, and she always seems to have something on her mind. She is calm and collected.

Likes/Dislikes: Like I said above she loves peace, she loves the fact that she lives within a community that encourages eco-friendliness, but finds that it is very hard to change other peoples minds. She blames this on the state of the world, and the fact that it has been going on for so long. “I mean, why be a cannibal, when you can just eat some radiated soya beans?” She asks the fetid, blood stained traveler. He stares for a second, pounces on her, his mangled teeth seeking the soft untainted skin. Within half a minute she grabs his neck, cracks it and his lifeless body falls onto the rubble. It will stay there until some other traveler’s or wild dogs pick up the scent of flesh and seek out some food. – Sorry, side thought! =) It helps me figure her character out more. This shows how much she hates that she alone cannot change the world. She lives in a society that she despises but she can’t really do anything about it! She has to kill to stay alive.

Motivation/Goal: As above her original motivation is to change the world but over the years she has given up on this, so now she strives to protect Grainger and its neighboring islands as they the only ones, in her eyes, that are living life correctly.


After writing this and comparing it to my original character sheet, a hell of a lot has changed! Grainger was originally the enemy city but I have transformed it into a working city that this breed would inhabit. These briefs have come along way indeed!

Putting some use to the first visual language brief.

As I was cruising through the web, looking at some of my previous work I found my photographs from golden Acre Park. Some of the images tie in quite well with my final studio brief, so I thought I could utilise these previous pieces of work and possibly incorporate them into my city-scape. The main use of them is the moldy, overgrown, platforms situated on the lake. They could link to the idea of piers reaching out into the sea. Here is a link to my original post with images.

Saekli’s Hair Refs

Just found a random little scribble in my notebook about some ref’s I found for my character brief, so I thought I would write a quick blog post about it.

I started by doing a few sketches of hairstyles that I liked, which developed the idea of contrast – short vs long. I tested a few out but didn’t want it to be too unusual or radical because it wouldn’t have fit with the theme.

Other refs: from animation’s to get the drawing style/how the hair moves during combat and other movements.

Ghost in the shell:

Hinata – Naruto:


Who would build a village on a hill next to the sea, when they knew the water would rise??? This is the problem I have  been trying to figure out since I did this initial sketch in photoshop:

It captures the idea of the village, inspired by shanty towns, situated on a hillside that overlooks the sea. I continued on with this basic idea and have developed a few more drawings in my sketchbook, as I worked through them I realised that I liked how some of the houses were shown submerged in the sea. This then lead onto me developing the idea that the city was originally built as a convenience. It was built so that the people who lived there could build more houses on the mountains behind the beach as the sea level rose. So under the sea -much like Venice- are maybe a hundred houses, all wrecked and worn down by the waves constant battering. This also poses a problem for the lights. These are inspired by Venice as they are sat on poles that are kept above water level by planks of wood. To make it easier for me, I have decided that te lights were invented 2000 years after the initial village was. So, the lights are on buoyant material, that is held in place by massive anchors on the sea bed. I do rather like the idea of a few lights being submerged on the sea bed aswell, maybe the inhabitants didn’t have time to find materials that would elongate the chains that keep the lights attached to the anchor. They would just be floating there trying to escape from the chains that held them in place.

Playing games does class as research!

So, I want to develop a hot tomboy character, what do I do, sit and stare at hot tomboy characters! This was one of the first things I looked at for my character design brief, even though I haven’t mentioned it anywhere, note to self: start blogging as you do work, stop bookmarking everything for later dates! Anyways, Saekli is a tomboy, but during my clothing development I realised that a powerful tool for a female character to have is innocence. I think I mentioned it briefly somewhere (probably scribbled at the bottom of a page) that in one of the first levels on FF13 Vanille and Hope are shown being transferred on a slave train. It is the first time you meet the characters and they are both shown as being very innocent and helpless, but as the story progresses they become valuable assets to the team. My main link to this reference at the time was simply the coat that the slaves wore in the train but after thinking over the three female protagonists in the game I realised the difference in them. Vanille is the weak-looking very feminine character, Fang is the true tomboy, and Lighting is somewhere in between. The balance of Lightning’s character means that she can easily stand alone as a main character, whereas Fang needs Vanille to balance it out. Which in the game was realised because they were sisters, a pair as opposed to a single character. This sort of set me on the track of thinking of strong female characters. Which ultimately ended up with the realisation that female characters in games tend to look ‘weak’ and very appealing to the eye, but are genuinely badass! Good examples of these are most of the females in fighting games. They look like objects of desire but could easily kill you. The most influential characters I came across are:

Claire Redfield/Jill Valentine – Resident Evil

Claire Redfield is known for her motorcycle riding but she is also considered for her emotional side, which is practically the only character in the series to have any basic human emotions! Interesting enough she was portrayed a lot tougher and arrogant in the films, which meant she was able to look after herself whereas in the game she was very weak, often being saved by others. In terms of reference she is very similar to Lighting’s character in FF due to the internal conflict that they both possess. They are both emotional characters but they don’t tend to show it.

Jill in the original Resi was the weaker of the two playable characters, the other being Chris Redfield. Nemesis, the development team said that she was made ‘beautiful for everyone’ so that male gamers would find her attractive and female gamers would see her as a tough role mode. From using Jill as a case study when you look at the development of the character over the years especially in resi 5 when she changes from a protagonist to the villain, you see a shift in the colour scheme, especially with te hair colour change. I suppose it is reinforcing the archetype.

Tifa Lockhart -FF7

The strong, independent and attractive character. During the design of Tifa, Tetsuya Nomura (designer), validated the mini-skirt as a staple of her design by saying that it was necessary for her weaponless fighting style. It’s a reasonable idea if anything, but it ties in with my clothing designs for Saekli, I wanted something that would allow her to move freely just like Nomura did with Tifa. Sadly though the Saekli didn’t quite pull of the mini-skirt. It made her too feminine, I like the whole badass tomboy look that she has going on. The personality of Tifa is a good thing to note aswell, I have heard many a-time that she has an unforgettable personality.

Baiken – Guilty Gear

Baiken’s aesthetics exemplify the ‘innocence’ I was rambling about earlier. She looks really feminine, because of her attire. The kimono style dress, showing a lot of cleavage (well, it is from a fighter), the ‘dressy’ shin guards, it all emits waves of femininity and beauty. Which ties in with the classic heroine. They are always badass but they don’t look badass at first. They are still really feminine even though they could, I don’t know, massacre a village.


On that note I shall end this rant.

References, How a city can look chaotic.

GUNKANJIMA (JAPAN): the forbidden island

In the Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan there are 505 uninhabited islands, Gunkanjima is one of these islands. In 1980 a company called Mitsubishi bought the island and began a project to retrieve coal from the sea. In 1916 they build a large block of concrete apartments to reside on the island, it was designed to house the workers but also protect them from hurricanes.


Despite reminding me of the end Inception, this city is amazing. Completely corded off from the main land and the rest of humanity. It was built to serve a purpose and from looking at the photograph you can see that it was buildings literally on top of one another. I believe that the population actually reached the highest density ever recorded! In terms of inspiration, I think the main thing I will take from this is the way it reminds me of Venice, just the randomly angled streets. I think this simple thing combined with the tall buildings give a labyrinth sort of feel to the city. From my experience Venice was really daunting in some places, like in really narrow streets the houses were bowed so that when you looked up you could see literally 10inches of sky. It was quite scary, and I want to put this feeling across in my concept. I want the city to feel like it was hastily built and it is finding it hard to withstand the test of time.


The image says it all. Kowloon was a city with a massive wall around it, ad so it became a lawless city. I believe it was a watchpost before it became a city which explains the wall. The reason this is a good ref is because it is also a really chaotic city, the image below shows just how built up it was inside the walls. I even think I heard that the lower levels were just full of waste, and unused.

SAN ZHI (Taiwan): a futuristic resort

Whilst cruising around looking at ghost towns for inspiration I stumbled across a rather useful one. The North of  Taiwan is the home of a futuristic pod village initially built as a luxury vacation retreat for the rich. Construction was stopped on site after a number of fatal accidents occurred, and a lack of money and will meant that the production was abandoned. The site got the cover up treatment as the government who funded it was keen to not be associated with the mishaps on site. So, San Zhi remains an empty site that will forever be the home of the ghosts that supposedly inhabit it.

This doesn’t have a direct aesthetical link to my city but the idea behind it does. It is somewhat similar to Grainger in th sense that it was a half constructed shell of a village, that was left to decompose due to a series of unfortunate events. The image is especially useful as when I first imagined Grainger, I saw a shiny vision of the future, in an eco-friendly sense. But these images show what will inevitably happen to the city whilst it isn’t being used. It will run into degradation. When Alishar ad his band of followers find this city, they will be disappointed. Wait, they might not be really heart-broken, at least they will have a roof over their heads! In the current (future) state of the world a city as run down as San Zhi would have been a lovely place to inhabit!

Living Amongst Trees

In the design world tree houses have become creative eco-statements. The Cool Hunter had an event called the modern treehouse, where they got local and international arhitects to design livable tree houses using sustainable and recycled materials. The outcomes of the competition where a great source of inspiration for my house design, mainly becaue I was struggling with the idea of stilts. Plus, in my environment they would have to use sustainable materials, as well as whatever they could find.

These are some pretty awesome concepts!


Another source that I found was a site called, which hd a post titled The Coolest Tree Houses in the World. Some were useless like the ones that loked like castle but a few were really good.

This is interesting because it is the  basic shape thatI want mine to, a simple square. I especiallly like the patio/porch part of it.




Ones that are built on the actual structure/support of a tree and strange aswell. I don’t think I would ever feel safe in one, but as a concept, I like it. The houses couldbe built on already residing trees. Trees that survive off the radiated water. Mahodevall trees.

What Signifies Power?

Right I haven’t done much work on my city-scape for a while but I am going to start now seen as we have only 2 weeks left to the deadline/presentation. So, I have the basic idea for my city, a have a rather in depth back story, plus feedback on that history from my mum who helped me come up with some loopholes I had missed the first time round. To start my design I have decided that since I know what the houses look like I need to work on other aspects that make up this city, so I’m going to start with the statue of Lui Xuan Grainger, situated in the town square. So, because this could be classed as a form of character design, I’m going to look at the basics. I need a statue that exemplifies power, peace and general old worldly things (old worldly thing = modern things now). So what signifies power? Black is a good colour, black and red. The stance will be important as I want it to give a positive, inspirational vibe.

After doing a quick search on google for inspirational statues I came across a blog post that was all about giant statues, from the statue of liberty to the Ushika Amida Buddha. At the top of the page it stated “there is  nothing quite as awesome as a huge free-standing statue” -this statement makes me think that having a 10foot statue isn’t quite good enough? If my houses are on 8 foot stilts, it would also be pointless having this statue, unless it was on some form of podium, I need to look into this more, and do some drawing.

Yes, my character is based on a cat!

My character Saekli is half of a pair. Tia and Basil my sister’s two kittens are a random pair, they look nothing alike, one is a brown turtle shell, the other a ginger tabby. But the way they work as a team is a rather interesting thing. Tia is the psycho, she stalks everything and seems to have no remorse. Basil, well we describe Basil as a more sophisticated cat. What I find so interesting is how as a team they make a perfect hunting pair. Tia is the more agile one, she can climb anything and can do so with incredible speed, whereas Basil is a lot more clumsier, but he is much bigger and much stronger. When these two hunt, Tia is the one who frantically chases the prey, she aims to terrifying and seems to want the prey to keep all its focus on her. The reason behind this is because if she leers the prey within Basil’s striking distance, he will have his claws into before you can say ‘Here Kitty Kitty’. I love the way these two work, it makes their personality come across a lot more. For my character brief, I based Saekli and Chubi’s relationship on Tia and Basil. Saekli is the more refined yet more powerful one and Chubi is the crazy renegade. Doing this helped me figure a lot out about my character, for example this is why she fights with her hands, she is the tough one but also the more friendly one. She appears easier to approach because she isn’t always running around with explosives in her hands. Chubi is known for his ‘lets just kill everyone’ approach whilst Saekli is more kind-hearted even though she is a ruthless killer. As I was looking at how characters work in teams, I had a look at how successful it was in games.


Shown in the picture above. Killzone wouldn’t be Killzone without Rico swearing every other 10 minutes. He falls into the ruthless renegade category but throughout the story Sev (protagonist) would not be able to survive half of the time without him. I like how they incorporated this into the game as you have to run over and save Rico when he is down, even though this did get quite annoying, it showed the companionship. They had to rely on one another. I think this was partly because of the environment being on enemy territory in the middle of a massive war, but still it does have some similarities to what I want to achieve.



Another nice pairing, Ratchet is the main fighter whilst Clank offers useful advice and guidance on each level. this is what my initial idea of the pairing was, with Saekli as the fighter and Chubi a the intelligent helpful assistant.

How I started my archetype brief.

Long before Saekli was even an idea in my tiny little brain I started work on a few of the other characters that would inhabit the same world as she would. Inevitably these are some really bad drawings that I did, but they were the inspiration for Saekli and so are important nevertheless. I started by looking at a herald type of character, this became Chubi, who I have mentioned in previous posts. Chubi was the type of character who would always need a stronger, more focused partner, it became clear that when I was designing him, he would never be able to survive on his own.This led me to look at character pairs as a reference point (I will put this research in another post), and how two people can bounce off of each other. Randomly after being stuck for a while, I saw how my sister’s two kittens reacted to each other and based my pair of characters on this idea. After looking at this bond I did a bit of simple enemy design, so that I could perfect my character. This is where the whole evolution/mutation idea came from.


Drawings from studio brief 1

I forgot to upload my sketchbook work from the first studio brief, so here are a few selected pieces!  Most of these are from the Leeds city museum and royal armories trip, but some are inspired by films I was watching at the time.
I like these two pages because they were inspired by a film I was watching called Sunshine. In a way the images that I drew were directly from the film but some of them like the crazy little eco-globe was just influenced by the film. In my sketchbook I like how they are the only things that weren’t from the timetabled session of the Museum trips.

Weapons are always good for future reference especially for character design – so the trip to the royal armories was a very useful place to go to just sit and draw! Although I think I prefer my photographs from the royal armouries, mainly because I got a little carried away with some of my drawings, for example:

This little guy is a little crazy. He was basically just inspired from the photograph of a pot with legs. I have no idea why he turned into a character but as soon as I laid eyes on that pot and his little feet I imagined him pottering around in a furnace. I like how he is so cute in the drawing. I sort of imagine him being bullied by big open fires as he travels around the world.

Here are my other pages:

So I’m a little behind with my work…

After an informative chat today with my tutor I realised that I have only two weeks left to do all my visual language brief. It’s current state = a lot of work for me. So after having an internal battle of the mind, I pulled myself away from the beautiful shiny black box(PS3) and set about doing some work. I don’t know what possessed me but I decided that it was the best choice to improve work I have already done instead of actually doing the work that needs to be done. But, hey I’m not going to challenge my brain. So here is a few print screens from my turnaround, I already had the basic block colours done, so I developed the front pose by adding tonal value. I think even though this wasn’t a necessity I had/wanted to do it, because at the end of the day Saekli is a ‘real’ person and I am developing the idea of her race into my city scape brief, so why would I portray her as a 2D character? I suppose it didn’t sit comfortably in my mind, because she would be inhabiting a 3D world.

I started by adding a small amount of tone to the face and hair, at the time of this shot I was perfectly happy with what I had done, it was only after I got an outsider to look at it that I realised it was too light. I began changing it reluctantly at first but when you compare it to the stage I’m at currently(below), this attempt is a stepping stone

I’m really happy with this result, she is getting to the stage of looking like a 3D head on a 2D body. My main joy with this is because it is technically my first ever attempt at digital painting! Wacom, I love you!

Stage 3 = what my turn around currently looks like. I only have the coat left to do on the front pose. For the side and back pose I am going to add block tone to fit in with the light direction on the front one just to give her body some definition. Below is my final of the character turnaround. I’m happy with the outcome. The colour scheme was influenced by the habitat that Saekli resides in; a barren wasteland so the people take what they can, making their own clothes. So her trousers for example are made out of her original brown trousers with random sections of blue jeans over the top to cover holes etc. The theme of the clothing was ‘worn and torn’, due to the apocalyptic state of the habitat, everything needs to look well used, this is why I chose a very rustic, neutral and pale colour scheme. The clothes need to look bleached by the constant sun that watches over Saekli as she searches through ruins in a barren wasteland. This is also why her hair appears to be grey, it has been bleached. I added in the brighter colours of orange and red for accents to her clothing. I felt that because she was a main character her personality would demand some form of identification, but due to the environment I couldn’t design something over the top and elaborate because it wouldn’t fit in. The colour of red also fits in with the archetype. She is the hero and often when I think of a hero I think of a defining obvious feature that they have, this being her scarf, the colour of it connotates power, passion and love but also reflects anger. Saekli’s character possesses all of these emotions, when I first started designing her she was based upon a lot of other female character that took the role of  ‘the hot tomboy’ in games/films, so I wanted her to be an object of desire but also be someone who you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of. Due to the environment she is a very powerful women, her main weapon is her fists and her fitness is well above par. The anger side of red is based on her want/need to escape from the lifestyle she is living. I suppose in a way she is more of an anti-hero as opposed to a traditional hero. Amongst her people she has no defining features or special abilities, plus she has to live a life of crime.

Everybody loves Up!

UP!! is an amazing film by Disney Pixar, I love this film, I remember first watching it with my sister one Sunday afternoon and I immediately fell in love with the character of Russell. Anyways I stumbled across the Pixar blog and found like tons and tons of concept art for Up. There were some really nice pieces of work like these ones on here but I just couldn’t believe how solid they made their characters. They used multiple medias to try out various poses, angles etc. It even has random little sketches done just to get the concept of each character.

Lackadaisy Tutorial

Lackadaisy by Tracy.J.Butler is a furry critter comic set in the roaring 20’s with a colour palette to match old photography and film. It’s aesthetic appeal is sky high, literally. But that isn’t why I’m writing this, I need to start being analytical! I found a tutorial on how to draw expressions on, it shows Tracey’s very distinct style of drawing her characters in various facial expressions. It was really useful for my expressions sheets that I produced for my character, as it shows various different drawings of the same expression, for example the happy expression has 5 alternative types of happy face. It also shows how she works through each pose.

Link to expression tutorial: LINK


Adam Adamowicz

Came across a blog that was set up to co-exist with the release date of Fallout 3 in 2008. It has a hell of a lot of post with concept art on and I was lucky enough to find a post on Adam Adamowicz, part of the concept team for environmental sets in game. Adam describes how he used memories from playing the original game to inspire the vision of the Fallout world: “Myself and the rest of the team pored over the lore, related our experiences playing the original, and researched everything 50’s we felt enhanced the drama, black comedy, and rich vintage sci fi that make this a truly unique game. At the end of these jams, as I liked to think of our discussions and debates, I did my best to put on paper what we had reached as a consensus. For my part, I like to feel I initially brought to the table a design sensibility that also favored ridiculous rocket flanged nuclear powered automobiles, and martini swilling characters who fight mutated horrors without scuffing their sharkskin suits. When the dust clears, I hope what you see is a mutated beast stamped indelibly with its inimitable origins. Whew.”  These are two examples of the initial ideas they had come up with for the city. I find them really inspirational to say these are just from a memory of  a game he loves and a lot of 50’s research.

Brink, Splash Damage. Environment.

I love the concept art of Brink but that isn’t what this blog post is about, I’ll save that rant for another day. I saw some similarities with my city-scape idea and the idea of The Ark – the environment in Brink. It is an island built in the near-future as part of a green living vision of the future. But as sea levels rose The Ark became a hub of humanity as everyone sought refuge there. A tense battle ensues, as residents of the Ark have lost all contact with what is left of the mainland, two sides fight for control of the island.

Container City Gameplay:

Container city is a really cool idea for part of the city, it is where they keep all the containers from unused ships they come across, just floating in the sea. The overall style of this part of the city is very run down, rust is the theme here, it gives a feeling of uneasiness and sets the environment up for some pretty serious warfare. The resistance are the ones who inhabit this part of the island, and they obviously don’t care about the area where they live because they don’t look after it.

This had made me think how my envionment would be influenced it’s inhabitants – I have said that they in a way worship the idea of George Kendal and his visionary idea of future living. So their attitude to the city will be thankful, grateful and I have already stated that they are peaceful people, who only fight to defend themselves and their city. So they would take care of Grainger and be proud of it. But Saekli would have some sort of contempt, she would want to explore instead of being stuck in a community.

Yang Yongliang

Totally random find here but Yang Yongliang has created a beautiful city scape that appears in the ash of a giant cigarette. It doesn’t have a lot of relevance to my current brief but it is wonderful all the same. The simplicity of the idea is what captures the art. The thing I suppose I can take from it is that appearances can be deceiving. I think I can work this into my city scape somehow. It could be the fact that Alihsar travels for so long to find this city but then it is half complete, no, wait I’ve got it. The deceiving part of it is that the houses look small in comparison to the people. humans have grown on average a foot in height by the time my city scape is set but the houses where built for the smaller humans of 4000 years in the past.

Architecture that inspires me.

Before I dibble dabble in my set design brief, I decided to look at a few architects I know of. All these researches link to my idea to make the house simplistic, ultra-modern (after all we are set in the apocalyptic future), open-plan and slightly unreal (emphasises the futuristic aspect). I found articles on all my references on so I will link to the page.


This house is stunning, a perfect re-transformation of an existing space, ideal for my ideas as I want the house to appear to be built at two different time periods. The main theme that I wanted to utilise though is the idea of an underground level. I know an actual underground level isn’t possible on my design as it is a house built on stilts but I like the idea of multiple open levels.



I find it difficult to fault anything within this living space. I love it. The part that I find most inspiring is the open higher levels that people seem to just sit on and watch others on the levels below them. It’s beautiful. Nothing is hidden within the structure, all is open and free. The 3D model of this house is also a beautiful way to go about doing this part of the project, incorporating scale by using humans may be helpful as I hate doing things to scale.



There is one reason this is a useful reference – it’s location. It is a modern building situated on  coast, the contrast between nature and man-made couldnt’ be more obvious. I think the is useful due to the realistic issue I have been faced with. I need to create a house for a single person to inhabit, which is of a modern/futuristic design, but its setting lies on a lovely coastal beach that lives within two sheer cliff faces. I don’t want the house to be too alienated within the scene but due to my setting of 10,000 years in the future house design will have changed rapidly and the way forward with architecture seems to be ultra-modern.




The aspect of this that inspires me is the levels that overlook other levels. The height and compactness of it is also very appealing, my design of house would need to be built in a short space of time, so it would need to be simple, clear and easy to build.

Ionizing Radiation Fungi + Mahogany = Mahodevall

So I was a tad stuck with what material the city was built out of after realising that for my set design I just said it would be wood-like. I decided to do a bit of research as to what would make this wood so sturdy, buoyant and a good choice for George Kendal to use as his main material. I randomly came up with an idea to have wood infused with mushrooms whilst talking to a friend and amazingly it paid off! I used wiki to research fungus and found that fungi are very versatile as some live in the deep-sea sediments, some in the desert and even some in areas with high salt concentrations. Some species are even able to live off ionizing radiation…this is perfect! Yeah they fungi that are living, well practically taking over now due to the amounts of radiation in my fictional world will be thriving. So I found this article – Chernobyl Fungus Feeds On Radiation By Kate Melville – and it is crazy they have actually proven that fungi can live of off radiation, they use it as a food source! Anyways, I used last part of the researcher in the articles name’s, Casadevall, and mixed it mahogany to create the name of the wood, well trees that now exist in 4050 to be a source of building material, which George Kendal uses for his blueprints of Grainger! I love it when a plan comes together!

The Republic City of Grainger Backstory

My original idea for this was too futuristic and delved into unpredictable realms, but I see it a stepping stone so here are the typed up notes:

History –

Set on Earth

-Sun gradually gets hotter and more closer to earth

-ice caps melt, causing the world to flood – similar to what happens in 2012 – ref

-stilt city is built on high ground – ref Venice – city built above water underground.

– 1000’s of years pass

– the water evaporates slowly  in the sun’s growing heat

-millions of years pass

– sun starts transformation int red dwarf star

-most of humanity has been killed through natural selection

-some of humanity still live like normal in parts of the world

– some choose to use technology to alter body, mod, into protection

-some humans are in the next stage of evolution

– mutation appears due to infected fish as only source of food

– as the sun grows more and more red, snow begins to fall again due to a shift in the north atlantic flow

– this causes humanity to source out these areas as they can turn snow into pure water

Influences – Day After Tomorrow, 2012, other disaster movies.

Look at Norway – 30 days of night – arctic circle – doesn’t get full sunlight so if sun changes position or change of gravity – this would allow snow to fall.

As you can see this is a very rough draft of the idea that I wanted to portray but it gets the essentials in there. My revised edition brings things into reality whilst trying to keep the abstract nature of it alive. I also brought a fictional company that I created for my photomontage brief into the storyline which helped me to get a timeline on events and influential people in the story. I used reference from an article in the guardian which shows what is predicted will happen as the ice caps melt, this also helped out with the timeline. The back story is written out as if it was a synopsis of a story, because I see this project plus my build and archetype brief to all be part of one story. It outlines how both Saekli and Grainger come into being, so I have taken these three separate briefs into one big brief.


Sorry it’s mainly text, it’s just the way I work. =)

The dangers of the sea level rising.

I found an article in the gaurdian that was about what woul happen when the sea levels rise in the future. I found this really useful because instead of my city being set in millions of years in the future, it can be set 10,00 years in the future. This means that instead of making these facts up I can rely on pedictions from people who actually know what they are talking about. So my city is set in 10,031, using the map from the top right hand cornor of the illustration as a basis.

Credit to the illustrators, Laura Sullivan and Joe Swainson, and also David McCandless for producing this lovely piece of work, and article.


A bit of inspiration from Fallout

Rivet City lies within the southeastern part of the map in Fallout 3. It is a massive aircraft carrier that was docked at Washington Navy Yard and left stranded here when the water levels dropped in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. In terms of its position it is very defensible, and seems to get no trouble from outsiders. It is a good referance for my city scape as it’s, obviously not the last hub of humanity within the game, but it is the most democratic settlement. The background of the settlement is that it was founded by a pre-war naval research centre, who moved in to make the most of its facilities. Rivet City was born in 2239, when Horace Pinkerton and a group of scientists cleared the ship of Mirelurks, they set up a research lab and the rest of the city formed around them. This build up of society is what I want the Republic City of Grainger to be like. People will hear of it then travel thousands of miles to be in a safe environment. I also like the defensibility of it aswell, how to do this though is another issue. As it is in the belly of a valley it will have attackers with an uphill advantage. the mouth of the valley is all water so boats will be a problem aswell! I have just though of another good referance: Helm’s Deep!

Another great example of a defensible city/castle. I love the structure of Helm’s Deep as well, the two walls, curving in half moons of the main part but then you have a side wall as well. I’m finding it hard to put a wall around my city because so far I have never considered this. It would be useful, but I think at only one part of the city, the least defensible part, not the waters edge, I love the idea of a long beach to the water so that when the tide is in the sea just floats up under the houses!

Do the houses move?

Source: Sc-Fi art Now
I think the piece titled They came by sea… by Bill McConkey is more suited to people who chose the Hybrid brief for the final studio brief, but I still found some use for it besides aesthetically. It depicts robotic elephants trudging though the sea. Why I found this piece useful well, I realised that the reason behind the elephants having such long legs was because they have to walk through the water and I assume that the mechanical struture of the main body of the elepahnt has to stay above water level. What if the Republic Cty of Grainger stilt like houses were constructed on mechanisms that allowed it to walk freely through the sea? This is quit an iteresting turn on my original idea bu I like it! My main worry for it i if I can’t or don’t have the time to esign a woking believable mechanism that would allow this, but I realised that the work of Theo Jansen could be useful. He creates kinetic sculptures, well he thinks they are actualy real organisms but I think there sculptures! His work is useful because he makes them out of pretty simple materials like masking tape and thin wood, and the joints are prerty simple. But the whole structure works becau of the wind, like the wind controls the whole thing. It is quite strange when you see them walking along the beach! They are quite clever though, he has incorporated “feelers” that allow it know when it is waling into the sea or onto dry sand! He has also developed a mechanism that allows them store the enegy they getfrom the wind in lemonade bottles! The question I need to ask myself is wil there be lemonade bottle or similar containers in the future?

Link to Bill McConkey’s work:

Video on Theo Jansen’s creatures:


I have just realised that my posts for studio briefs 4, 5 and the final brief haven’t been consistent. I decided to continue briefs 4 and 5 into the final brief and decided to do the City-Scape idea. After coming up with the initial idea for my environment in brief 5 I expanded this into a full city of stilt like houses. So, this post is to clarify what my actually idea is because it has evolved a hell of a lot. Originally during the character brief, I constructed an environment based in the future, it was apocalyptic in its setting and very industrial. The main idea of the city – The Republic City of Grainger – was that my character Saekli was assigned to go to the city to destroy the Queen of the Halitu, a fictional race. My idea changed somewhat as my character developed. I decided that Saekli was part of a band of humans, and instead of the world being set in alternate reality I decided that it was actually Earth but in the distant future. This meant that the Halitu race changed into humans that are in the next stage of evolution but they are still called Halitu. The setting is millions of years in the future and I speeded up events like the sun turning into a red dwarf star and also altered the predicted future of earth so that humans would still be alive in the millions of years to come. A big factor that changed my idea was the environment being made up of sand, I changed this to snow which altered the character somewhat but I felt like it was more appropriate as my idea consists of the turmoil of natural disasters and how it is affecting our world. So taking inspiration from 2012 and The Day After tomorrow films I am using the shift in the weather to be snow. The general idea of an apocalyptic world is still my main theme for this piece, but like the character brief I want it to be stylized int a weird vision of the future. In the background story The Republic City of Grainger is the last known hub of pure humanity on Earth, who exist purely to defend their city and their people. The city lies within a valley and is near to the coast, which is a valid source of food. The man enemies are still unknown, I have developed the Halitu but am unsure on who else they are defending the city from. basically the city is the best place for anyone to live currently in the state of the world due to it having good growing soil from the mountains and a good source of fish from the ocean. Plus the structure of it meant that it was able to withstand the shifts in weather as it is built on stilts.

Daniel Landerman, creator of Dakota Rawhide.

Found in ImagineFX – this is becoming a really useful – Landerman was featured in the sketchbook part of the magazine, with some very nice concept art for Dakota but also other characters he has developed. There was also some random drawing of famous people like Natalie Portman, I suppose it is nice to know that even professional’s are down to earth! After seeing the article I ventured onto the web to find out a few more bits and bobs about Dakota. These are the results.

What inspires me from these is how he developed the character of Dakota Rawhide. Instead of just drawing a front view outline of the face then using that for all the expressions, he did multiple poses, like full body poses to show her stance and general aura. I like this method but I’m not sure if I could draw Saekli’s body multiple times at this moment in time, I’m definitely up for doing the different angles though. Also he varied his medium, this I like a lot. I would love to be amazing at digital painting but I’m not so I think I will do some images digitally now that I have my graphics tablet but also stay true to my traditional drawing methods, pen and pencils! The last thing that I found useful from reading the article on Landerman was that he had like 3 random drawings that were of Dakota in ‘fashion’ clothes and poses. This made me really question the work I did on clothing earlier, have I done enough? I really like my final outcome but is the clothing I tried out too limited? I could have done a tad more but I don’t think my experimentation has lacked anything!

How to set a scene properly.

ImagineFX was a jem this week, in terms of research, I came across Dimitar Tzvetanov based in Bulgaria. As soon as I had a look at his website I knew that he was a perfect reference for my City-Scape idea. His compositions are just flawless, he seems to have the right balance in each painting he produces. Each scene feels really magical, yet realistic, you feel submerged in the environment, like you could just walk straight into it. Tzvetanov also has a wonderful sense of scale, he depicts massive buildings in crazy places. The scense of scale is shown through often single human put into the scene like a parachutist falling through the air or a figure stood staring towards a building 50 times there size! They are really nice and appealing for the eye, but my main use from Tzvetanov is 1. his use of snow, and 2. the scale. My idea doesn’t require any massive buildings, but the scale of the city itself should be pretty big, plus if I go by doubling the size of the households currently then we will have an even bigger surface mass. Also I want the image to have the impact which he creates by composition and scaling.

Vanquish – Shinji Mikami

The final part of an exclusivity between Sega and Platinum Games came to a close with Vanquish. The Platinum Games team was lead by Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil. I was able to find a quote from Mikami on the Platinum Games website, along with some concept art.


These are character designer Makoto Tsuchibayashi’s original designs.

Quote: “In our original vision for Vanquish, no one was actually inside Sam’s suit. Instead, it was a remotely operated robot with three different pilots who would take turns controlling the unit from afar. The robot would change forms according to the pilot in charge, as each pilot had been specially trained in areas such as shooting, melee, or hover and snipe. This single robot was capable of being battle effective in a variety of situations….When making a game, there are plenty of ideas like these that get rejected, but they build up and can end up finding their way back, like in a sequel for instance, so you can never say that an idea is completely out of bounds.”

I love how they seemed to just flow with the concept of the Augmented Reaction Suit, they came up with sketches that adapted it into an actual habitable suit. It seems as though they had a basic design of what was going on with the sci-fi theme and the design of the suit. The suit itself does remind me of a mix between Halo and Gears of War Armour but hey you have to find inspiration from somewhere.

The last of the photomontage work =) Finally!

After realising how hollow one of my ideas was, I decided not to do it. It was the crumbling earth idea but after literally two minutes on google I saw exactly what I had pictured in my head as the outcome. So no need to redo what has already been done! Anywhose I’m onto the final idea, that is the only one that utilises my previous work for studio brief one.

I just jumped straight in here, plus I think we have seen enough print screen!My first two attempts, played with colour, contrast, composition. The composition was the hardest to get the final image I wanted, I ended up jiggling everything around.

Final – for this I decided to keep it simple because previous attempts were too cluttered!

Working process -ABomb

Just the documentation from the ABomb photomontage:

Played around with the structure follows the same style as the one before, version 3, still have a lot of work to do though.

For a moment a thought that the bomb should be a different colour but after looking at the side by side I think the yellow works a lot better, the colour has enough similarities with her hair colour to blend into the theme, but also enough differences to stand out of the page. Also, it sticks to the nuclear symbol colours.

The one thing that i do like about this composition is how focused the girl seems to be on the bomb, she appears mesmerized by it. I think it has somehow lost the whole waitress idea that I started out with but this is definitely for the better. It reminds more of the Russian propaganda I started my research with as opposed to the american Bush/Blair mockery posters that ended my research. I like it. I’m not usually one for comedy based work so I sort of went out on a limb with this one but it seemed to wiggle its way back to my usual style of working. Even the girl seems to have a sorrowful yet composed nature to her face. This is definitely down to the filter I used to highlight the outlines of the figure in drastic blacks, this resulted in you not being able to see her eyes that clearly, which gives the idea of sadness.

I am now up to 7 layers =) did a bit of neatening up with the pen tool to go around the nuclear hazard symbol as it had pixellated when I blew it up from the photograph. Felt the white outline round the triangle was too dominant so I used it to cut the colour of the nuclear hazard symbol where it touched them then deleted it.I brought back the colour I tested on the bomb and I think it works perfectly, adds a nice aura to it whilst keeping it simple.


The finished product:

Don’t you just love pixels, god forbid the day this gets blown up to A3 =)

Test images for ABomb

A few layout tests I did in Photoshop, I chose to stick with the third because of its central composition. Also like the colours, but maybe a little too bold? Symbolic of nuclear warfare. Altered the log slightly so that you can easily see the slogan. Like the text aswell, glad this part is out-of-the-way as it was the part I struggled with the most.