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Weekly Update #10: Pre-Production Rounds to a Close.

This week Project Alpha goes into Production. It's been several weeks and one long vacation since the last update and so there is a lot of work to keep you up to date with. First off let's start with our main character:
During this process I hardly hardly touched upon colour schemes for Alpha's protagonist, but I already knew roughly where I wanted her to be. I drew up these quick colour shots to both get a feel for what I had wanted, and check other options to make sure I wasn't being blind to any sort of combination that may have worked better. Now it was time to narrow them down.
With these few options chosen, only one or two really stood out now. I could have spent more time tweaking them, but pre-production time was running out, and so it was necessary to move onto the next step.
With the base colours down, it our character was ready for a final render pass in preparation for both promotion and examination.
Watercolour textures were added on top in overlay layers in order to attain the traditional feel we were looking for. More vibrant lighting was also added to make her stand out. I believe her colour scheme may need some additional work if time allows in production as right now she is quite monotonous, but she should hopefully stand out quite well in comparison to the environments. I had also spent some time developing our monster in much the same way. First we began the colour tests:
The main problem I had with these was that unlike our protagonist I had not developed any semblance of an idea as to what colour I had wanted it to be. What was most important was the fact that we had to have our creature stand out when it came to the environment, as there was no way we wanted it to be drowned out by the colours. But we also had to make sure it both meshed well with our protagonist, but didn't feel like much of the same. With that some of our favourite colours were added next to our already rendered character in order to make sure they suited each others tones.
The team was split as to which one to choose. However a general consensus was agreed upon and I immediately began working on rendering a final image for our main monster.
We now had final images for our main characters, but the environment was still largely unspoken for considering the complications that could arise should our characters not suit it. Luckily, I had already sketched a rough of what we expected the environment to be like.
Originally I had sketched an image with the emphasis on the grand scale of what we had hoped to achieve, however I felt it was more useful for both anticipating what our own scenes might look like during our animation, and our lighting artist who needed to know what he was aiming for for us to use a specific scene, and so I chose our characters coming upon the very claw mark that would initiate our story.
And so we had our environment sketch. I do hope to finish off this piece in time, but for now I believe the emphasis should be on guaranteeing production needs are met. I have already begun modelling our main character and should have more on that in the following week. There was also a slight change when it came to the animation prop design also. Originally we had intended for there to be spikes that shunt forcefully into the ground. However, I had suggested we use the idea of totems in order to develop a more interesting visual language of the world. Not much work has been done regarding this so far, however I had drawn up the following using this previous monster design from several months ago.
Also, alongside this project I am also developing a personal project to fill in the needed modules for my course. I realise that in my portfolio there are certain gaps, such as the development of video game material, and less focus on realistic characters. With that being said I started (and finished) work on the pro-production for a man in the militia, focusing mostly around the Middle-East and India.
One thing I was trying to make sure within my work was to not adhere to any sort of stereotyping when it came to this character, I wasn't recreating a trope. I wanted my character to be someone who had survived rough times but still stood for something. I wanted their armor to be tattered and their body in much of the same condition, but this within a time not too far in the future. So I grafted an exoskeleton onto the character and gave them a prosthetic arm. I didn't have long to complete this project and so I quickly began sketching.
The sketches to the left felt far too westernised to me, I wanted my character to be very evidently from this part of the world, and not merely a solider in another countries army. Luckily I felt my sketches on the right were much more in line with what I was looking for.
Some quick colours thrown on top gave me an indication of what I needed. I wanted this character to be colourful, but not so much that they would stand out badly against a dusty backdrop. I could now begin my turnaround for when production began.
I must admit the sheer amount of props within this project is slightly higher than I would have liked. Should the need become too great, I may remove certain features like the exoskeleton, the guns or some bags in order to just create a detailed character. I knew developing new weapons would become far too much work for the timescale I was allowing, and so I decided to use weapons that already existed, in particular the HK G28. I quickly took up what photos I had and began making a turnaround and texture sheet for it.
With all that done I moved onto the final pieces, the final render and it's accompanying texture sheet.
And so with that all of the pre-production for this entire course rounds up to a close. Some pieces may be worked upon further for my website, such as the militia or the environment pieces. But I hope the production itself proves as effective as this has so far.

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