OK, here we go again. I had this post all typed up once before, and WordPress ate it. That’s right. Just…. ate it. So, this version will be a lot shorter and less detailed.
Anyway, a little over a week ago I had the opportunity to participate in a unique annual challenge hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design. This year, they combined us animators with the ITGN department. (I know they do game design, what the hell ITGN actually stands for — remind me to ask one of them.)
Our challenge was to design an alien species that had both animal and human characteristics, and possessed bronze age equivalent technology. The deliverables included a Z-Brush model, an illustration showing the creature in its environment, and a physical maquette. We worked in groups of three, with one person assigned to each of these tasks.
The highlight of the even was the opportunity to get feedback from the guys at Hi-Rez Studio, and from Scott Spencer, a Z-Brush prodigy and SCAD alum currently working with WETA on Jackson’s Hobbit.
Scott’s first round of feedback on our design was charitably supportive — but it was clear he did not like the direction we were going, and he felt we had focused too much on a certain prop as opposed to the character we were supposed to be designing. And he was absolutely correct. Still, it proved a setback as we tried to revisit our design and align it to what we thought he wanted. To make a very long story short, after about 8 hours of getting nowhere, one of my team “phoned a friend”, an incredibly talented guy who was able to knock out some drawings that Scott loved, and finally get us moving again.
My task ended up being the maquette. I had never done one of these so it was a unique challenge. Considering the time and experience handicap, I think it came out quite well. The gallery includes some of the early sketches I did for our design, and some pics of the “finished” (as in, ran out of time to keep working) maquette.