Monday, 29 November 2010

Character Design Research: Mass Effect

Whilst looking for research to get a wider range of work to draw influence/inspiration from I found a copy of "The Art of Mass Effect" (Prima Publishing, 2007) floating around the class room. I had previously used this book for heavy influence in the last character design project so this time round I just looked over it to try find interesting points to draw from. With desigining a character it's important to keep in mind what each item is used for and how it relates to the character in some way. I've since decided that I want the character to appear at least human as this would be an interesting challenge in Maya. Below are some of the ones I found most infulential.

This design from Mass effect of one of the female character's clothing is a good point of interest showing both a mix of formal and exotic fashion and what effects they can have on visual aesthetics. The use of minimal material should be noted too as it shows that a good visual impact can be achieved with a simplistic/minimal look. The subtle details are also nice such as visable seems on the fabric on the formal wear and the cuffs of the top and trousers make interesting design points in the clothing.

This design for the villian of Mass effect brings up interesting points in design such as his artificial arm. Alot thought that has gone into the concept and logistics of how the arm should look and how it should attach. I like the detail of the cables attaching to the back of the villians head to make the attachment of the artificial limb seem slightly more feasible. Again the colour scheme is limited which again creates a larger impact. the details such as lighting in the bionics creates and interesting appeal also.

This design for one of the minor villians from mass effect also pique my interest really more in the mechanics of it's posture. The armour with the protruding chest is an interesting detail, along with the way that the armour inter locks with each other helps build upon a sci-fi setting. Again the use of tubing and such create a blend of artificial and organic materials makes for an impressive detail to what is a minor villian.

The most important things I've learned from looking at these is that you must remeber to try keep with a limited colour pallette when designing a charater and that often small details can make for the biggest impacts. Another important note is to not be afraid of creating a fairly minimal design. With these in mind I'm going to continue looking at other designs as well as some real world sources.

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