Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Essence 3

I wanted to share this with you!
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is shepherding the art team. It's brilliant having such talented artisans around me.
Now, if I were to leave them alone with the design doc, they'd go off and produce wonderful work, like Ben's first concept for the arcades above. The scene does everything I required. Functionally, it has a foreground window; it has a navigation point up a staircase, and another through an arch; it captures that evening sunlight, with the long shadows; it is built from the overgrown ruins of a long-dead civilization; the vegetation is authentic given time and place. And, of course, it looks splendid and has a good vibe.

And this is where the writer comes in!
Sure! A half-decent writer will be practised in rooting for the essence - the mot juste - of a moment. If I'm moved by a view, what precisely is moving me, and how? Oh, I'm quite sure this isn't just the reserve of the writer, but in my experience a half-decent writer is usually a safe pair of hands for sourcing the soul of a scene.

It took a while, I'll confess. There's usually some moment of realization (what the heck is the German loan word for that? It'll come to me in a very ironic moment). Just as with the writing (check out my coastal moods post), I riffle through lots of pix, putting to one side those that make an instant impact on me. Then it's a case of studying those selected pix, looking for commonalities - or, indeed, differences - between them, wrestling for the essence - the heart of the emotional response.
When the essence is decanted, the instant revelation is rapidly superceded by a feeling of foolishness. That's how it goes.
So Ben and I made more of the hanging vegetation, ruinified the scene some more, and... took out the sky.
It's incredible! Try it! Try adding or removing the sky from any receptive project you have to hand. Compare your emotional responses to the top pic, and to our revised concept below!
Add to that scene the ambient music and sound fx - the occasional woodland bird song - and the visual fx - butterflies, and/or branches swaying in intermittent breeze - and you have somewhere cool to hang out.

As ever, please respect all copyrights and do not reproduce without permission. Then I can continue to give y'all sneak peeks!


esruel said...

The overriding feeling I have is that the second pic suggests someone, or something, may be there - other than the person moving towards the interior. This may be because there is what looks a statue in the distance that may not be 'just' a statue, and the buildings seem more habitable. Definitely, the first is more of a ruin lit by the sunlight.
Both look great, though. Both usable in the same game?

solv said...

Zoinks! I did a Derren Brown on you! :o) Yes, that sense of being watched - just what you want as you begin to explore an 'abandoned' town...
We have all the scenes concepted now. We need to do some wind tests, and then Ben'll be going in for round two.