Friday, May 16, 2014

Last minute changes

Last minute changes are bad. First, simply by definition, they give no time for further revision, and second, if those changes are drastic, you give the impression that you are unpredictable, especially when you're working from a thumbnail.

I have to give a shout out to Brent Evans once again. He's been great working with me, giving me the patience and freedom I need to produce some images I'm proud of that work for him. Long story short, I did what teachers tell you not to do in college (and for good reason). I abandoned the thumbnail. Let's look at our Aborigine surfer first, shall we?

This guy will be featured in the upcoming Shadowrun: Crossfire card game, but promotional shots have already spoiled him for me. It started with this thumbnail:
Brent was happy enough with it. He wanted the guy to be wearing Bermuda shorts and a watch, looking at the viewer, and having the surf board tilted so it didn't run parallel with the frame. So I made the changes, and started to color it. I got in close to it, painting away, and when I pulled out, this is what I saw:
Now, I'll admit, he's not done, but this was NOT what I had in mind. Suddenly the conntrappsosto gave this image a very different undertone. It was (this is a theme for me) 10 at night the night before it was due, and I was 50% done with a painting that was 100% wrong. So I started over.

If you've done this before as an artist, then you know: only make this move when you are confident that your changes will blow your AD out of the water. If they are getting something that they didn't expect, it better be way better than what they were waiting for.

Anyhow, I ran downstairs, shot reference, ran back up to my computer, and worked well past dawn :

I waylaid some of the guilt of changing every aspect of the thumbnail by accepting that the final was obviously superior and promised not to do something like that again. A promise I immediately broke.

Here's a thumbnail for Shadowrun's recently released Shadowrun: Stolen Souls:

This guy is supposed to be in a coffee shop nursing a 'possession hangover' while the floating computer screens laugh at him. Late into development, I was having trouble with the angle, because the perspective was all off. When I shot reference, the images of the place I went to were so much better than the thumbnail that I again made the tough decision: I had to scrap the image, because I knew I could do so much better that my AD would forgive me. Here's that final:
If you haven't worked freelance before, or you are still in school, remember: this is a big no-no. Unless the job parameters allow you the freedom, AND the image you produce will blow the original out of the water, this is an amateur way to produce, and something I always try to avoid. Obviously, sometimes that's impossible to do, but if the final image works, so be it. Here's one more piece for your viewing pleasure!

1 comment:

Jason Carter said...

Looking good man. The final results were well worth breaking the rules. Those are much better after the rework with a lot more personality.