Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Viktor Fullmachine

This is about a character design for League of Legends.  http://na.leagueoflegends.com/

I've decided to post some of the development work for both his concept and the illustration, to give people an idea of different options to show.


Viktor is a villain type character.  This is a version of him (called a reskin, which is not a new texture but a whole new mesh based on the same rig).  Fullmachine is the "evolved" version of Viktor, in which he has finally replaced his entire body with machinery.

Here is some text from the brief:

After years of perfecting his augmentations, Viktor has succeeded in fusing his soul with an efficient magical humanoid machine. He is made entirely of various metals, and no organic materials. Magic is bursting from within him, and his design is a lot more refined, while retaining the fantasy grungy feel.
    Armour:   Refined, yet grungy. All metal. Keep it fantasy.
    Body: Made entirely of metal, with magic emanating from holes, gaps and generators (No Jacket).
    Cape: Segmented metal armour, like roman scale mail.
    Colour: All dark and desaturated, except for bright green magic.

So the challenge is to make it a scifi-theme, but with more of a fantasy aesthetic.  So... steampunk!  :D

Here are some of the first color studies for him.  It was supposed to be dark and desaturated with green magic coming from within, but the client decided that wasn't the direction they wanted.  Instead they wanted brighter colors and to get rid of the internal glow.  

Here are the next batch:  brighter options, no glow.  They picked C.

Here's color option C as the final concept!  

Here he is in 3D!  (Please note that I did not model/texture/rig him.  This was done at Brilliant Colors.)  Anyway, the colors ended up being changed later on.

Finally, here's an HD video someone made of the character!  It's a hoot to see him animated after staring at a static drawing for hours.


So, the next order of business was the splash.  Splash art is used to promote new characters and their skin variations on Riot's website.  It's also a big part of their store.  They're important because the game makes its money on these microtransactions.  The left side has to be low contrast and somewhat negative space since that's where the character's info box goes.

Anyway, here's the client's brief:
This skin shows the future of Victor, where he has replaced all of his humanity with machinery. He is "complete". He should be portrayed standing grand and majestically, Lord of the machines! In the background is something almost like a throne room made of hextechnological machinery. The technology in the background should follow a similar style to what you see in his costume design, kinda chunky and heavy and not too sleek or hightech.
So again, the challenge is to create a setting that is both science fiction and fantasy at the same time.

Here's the first round of thumbnails sent to the client.  We don't send 6 anymore, just 2 good ones.  I tried to make him look proud, or like "Bring it on!" type of attitude.  And, since he's villainous, we gotta go with the evil laugh (like in C).    
They chose Thumb B.

Here are a couple studies after I got the rough approved (it basically looked like a black and white version of  the top one).  I was learning towards A, but Randis Albion (our art director) suggested B.  That ended up being what Riot picked.
So I ran with rendering up B.

Here's  my result, and what I submitted to them.
After they got my layered PSD, they ended up changing the colors to match the newly-changed colors on the model.  I like the vibrancy and better contrast of lights and darks on their version, but wish I would've known about the new colors in advance. I think the colors ended up clashing with the piece as a whole (kind of every color of the rainbow in there).

So anyway, there you have it.

Bonus:  Here's a rough of Viktor Prototype, another skin variation.  He's a whooole different story!  (The first stage of Viktor's mechanical evolution).  But I won't post since I didn't finish off that one.  But at least this gives an idea of what a black and white rough looks like (the step after the thumb and before the color variations).  


Erik Johnson said...

Not to get off topic, but I like what you've done with the place. The background of the blog I mean. The steel greys with the blueprints in the background speaks well to your skills at designing vehicles and mechanics.

The new cool blue banner is also a nice touch. An old school "typewriter" font that is simple and legible accompanied by a mechanical animal to instantly establish your strengths and identity so that you don't even have to run "Artist and Designer" underneath.

Though I have to say I will miss the bright orange and earth tones. They were probably the most frequent colors in your work, but I guess making the blog background a different color is better for the sake of contrast.

Its cool to see your work from Massive Black; professional character design. Nice! I've definitely picked up a few pointers from this post for my own character projects.

The steampunk asethics work to your strengths and I can't imagine how rewarding it must be to see your character in action, much less in action on video!

Kirsten Zirngibl said...

Thanks, Eric! Looks like we both did a little revamping.

I used blue mainly because it evokes the idea of a "blueprint" - I actually tried this same sketchy design with brown and it didn't look right. I might revisit it though.

Kirsten Zirngibl said...

Oh crap, I can't believe I spelled your name wrong, after you were just discussing your logo change no less! This is coming from someone used to it though, if that's any consolation.

Erik Johnson said...

Its cool, I'm used to it by now. Hey, at least you know what my name is. I occasionally have to remind my mom that I'm "Erik" and not my brother Matt.