Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thumbnail Update and some Fiddling

A short progress update and a bit of artwork from Rachel today:

Thumbnails are progressing on the opening pages currently - originally the introduction called for a relatively short jaunt through the Kisharian city of Gair and into a massive spire structure, where scholarly-looking Felis welcomed an unknown newcomer to their ranks and begin the work of chronicling the stories of Quinlan and Hardin.

A set of in-progress thumbnail sketches for the middle half of the introduction. Obviously these are very rough and incredibly subject to change
In the new layouts, we're trying not to rush this introduction - after all, this is the reader's very first glimpse into the world of the comic, and first impressions are everything. Because of that, we're giving this unknown character some time to walk to her destination, giving several pages of cityscape and interior architecture as she travels to her destination that will ultimately offer clues to the world and the races living within.

And here's a little bonus art!

Ever since I started working on integrating the Dakkan character into the story, I've had this belief that he played the fiddle. It always seemed a fairly obvious thing for a freewheeling devil-may-care type like Dakkan to know, and I believe that fitting his skills with the instrument into the story could potentially give more insight into his character.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Updated Race Designs: Polcan and Canid

This post is a bit late, so I have to apologize about that - it's been a rather hectic two weeks, with a business trip to LA and then a holiday in Ireland. There will no doubt be a lot of work at the office for the next couple weeks as I play catch-up, so I figured I’d better put this post up before work starts anew tomorrow.

Concluding this series on the updated webcomic race designs, we’ve got the pirate-race of the Polcan and the military-obsessed Canid.

A mob of Polcan hunt down a Lutren soldier
The Polcan don’t have much of a role in the webcomic’s tale, but they do show up in crowd scenes and play a part in the introduction, which necessitates us knowing how the Polcan will look. In the prequel story we were working on, the Polcan actually played a much larger role, giving us ample opportunity to work on their background and what differentiates their society from the others in the Four Kingdoms.

After terrible drought and constant warfare, the Polcan were forced to flee their home of Rochas’Ve across the Western Seas in search of new land. History isn’t clear about what happened when the first Polcan ships ran into Lutren fishing vessels, but it is very clear that the situation did not end well.

To differentiate the Polcan from the other races of the Four Kingdoms, given their foreigner status, Rachel came up with the idea of giving them bronze armor instead of the standard iron and steel. Their color scheme became bronze and purple – though their actual clothing design is meant to be ragged and slapped together, altogether signifying their race’s fall from grace.

As in the original version of the story, the Canid play a major part in the webcomic tale. However, because Canid society only appeared in a single panel in the original first “issue” of the story, their armor designs were never really fleshed out. All we knew was that of all the races, the Canid would have the heaviest and most resilient armor.

This meant giving them large chest plates, flowing capes, and emphasizing “pieces” of armor connecting together in numerous joints. While they may not benefit from the layered clothing designs of the other races, the Canid armor still needed to look visually interesting, hence the current direction.

Another concept Rachel toyed with was the idea of giving the Canid (and a few of the other races of the kingdoms) pet birds. While the owls pictured here may not reflect the final designs, I liked the concept and think the addition of birds into the various societies open up some great opportunities, logistical, visual, and story-wise.