After another meeting with the guys at Black North it was decided that we would all be working on the ice level together as they really liked Emma’s concept below which is really interesting to look at!
It was nice to have a change and to get away from the sci fi style of work, although there’s only so long that a person can stare at shades of blue and white for! The next week was spent creating concept art for the level which we would then piece together to create one environment (the level) which we would then go on to model.
While researching I came across ‘Chasing Ice’ a documentary that shows the changes of our planet over a period of three years.. http://www.chasingice.com/about-the-film/synopsis/ some of the photographs these guys managed to capture are just stunning, along with the film’s cinematography, it can even be said to be haunting how the videos show the changing of the environment in just seconds!
I also looked into concept art from a few films.. X-men:days of future past, Oblivion and even Frozen and Harry Potter, to gain an idea and understanding of the landscape, how other people have approached the idea…
The image above would make an interesting environment, seeing the open and vast landscape before diving down into the crevice to dodge obstacles and race through, although the vastness of the image below is also works, the atmosphere created by the light is interesting, the use of the light would create a focal point/ destination point for the player.
Below are concepts from Frozen and Harry Potter… In particular I find the use of light really interesting with the images below and how it draws the viewers eye.. e.g. with the image of the shrieking shack, the light reveals to the audience where the characters are heading to next, the next part of the story…
The technique we have been using to create our concept art…
My first concept for the ice level was created from the an image of the view from behind a frozen waterfall and a snow wall texture that was then duplicated down the left side of the image.
With this concept I was trying to draw the player into the action happening on screen, by creating the shape of a tunnel I was trying to make it seem as if they are being lead around the back of the waterfall. The tunnel also acted as the focal point of the image, somewhere for the player to aim for.
However the colours of the water may be too harsh when placed against the softness of the snow texture.. the colour is possibly a little too bright.
Again with the concept below I wanted to create a sense of action happening within the scene – Creating this by placing an ‘overhanging icicle’ to make it feel as though the ships are moving through the image at speed – having to tilt to avoid colliding with the landscape and creating a sense of depth by placing an image of mountains in the background, the overhanging icicle was also to placed to hide some of the image from viewers to draw them in… they should want to know what is behind it, what will meet the ship as enters out into the open sky?
With this final concept I was trying to create more of an ‘open’ image, the previous concepts all had something enclosing the ship into a small space. I decided that an ice wall was a good place to start, the image was duplicated across, at a slight angle to add a bit of drama and blended together. Also to give the player a destination/ focal point of the level – something for them to travel towards – I added a cave, giving the image an element of mystery, the player is going from a wide open space to an enclosed tunnel, also adding to this are the mountains in the background, meaning the player has to travel through the cave, will they be travelling through the mountains? and how long for? The ship was then added and placed at angle opposing to the background and in the foreground a slightly blurred (to convey the speed the ship is travelling at) ice/rock formation… has the player just left a cave/enclosed space which will create a contrast to the open ice field they are entering?
The next stage will be to model our environments – not concentrating on detail as this is still just pre-vis – to get an idea of layout and what assets will be needed throughout, there will be at least 7 parts to the level as we each will model a section and then bring them together to form one.
We decided to print off some of the concept work we had created and stick it up on the wall, give each image a number and from there we could connect the images to help us visualise the different sections that were going to be modelled, this also allowed us to make sure that no-one’s would be following a similar path.
Some other concept art I used as inspiration…
Feng Zhu environment concepts: The vastness evident in the two images below is what stood out to me and what I tried to create within my own concepts.
Ice Age concept art: This work was an example as how light would bounce around the inside of a cave.