Saturday, 15 October 2011

Looking at Concept Art: Batman: Arkham Asylum

During my usual surfing around the internet one night, I happen to come across a thread of a forum that posted up a collection of art taken from the Batman: Arkham Asylum game. Below I will analyse the works.

In this piece for pre-liminary designs for the Joker, artist Carlos D'Anda took an iconic character and began to think how he could be presented differently for the game. Trademarks of the joker's appearance are still present such as the slender figure, smile and green hair, but often the Joker is presented in a well dressed manner. Here D'Anda has designed this Joker to be much more of a brawler/hands on person and you immediately get that from these designs, even goin so far to annotate one design was influenced by "A Clockwork Orange". The colours used don't conflict with each other stick with the strong purple and white motif. It should also be noted here that D'Anda has taken one pose and adjusted it slightly to show the variation one design can have, his annotation also helps present his ideas clearly as though he, himself is talking you through the design. This is something I'll have to do in my own work.

In this piece D'Anda re-invisions the Batman foe, Bane. A Wrestler who pumps himself with quick acting steroids to become large and bulky. Firstly the nicest touch to this design is the inclusion of Bane having baggy skin when not in his muscular form due to the constant expanding and contractions. Next theres the design of the restraints that keep him in place, very large and bulky. This gives the idea that he's incredibly dangerous. Finally is all the equipment attached to Bane's back to possibly keep him from either getting bigger or perhaps it's his equipment he would use himself. Either way it gives a very haunting llok to the masked character. again the choice of colours are relatively minimal being orange and a very pale yellow/green for the skin making key features such as the pants and mask stick out more.

This design for the scarecrow is a mix of familiarty from the character and D'Anda's personal rendition. Keeping the ragged hood and mask D'Anda adds new elements such as a breathing aparatus to the mask and a fear formula inducing guantlet. The design it's self in reminciant of native american wear, especially with the inclusion of the small axe. Again a clear colour scheme of two main colours and smaller ones has been used, this time white and brown, with green used to highlight the fear formula. Other design ideas such as the tight straps help shape personality to the scarecrow's single emtion mask building upon the design for maximum effect.

All of Carlos D'Anda's work is completed by creating pencil sketches and importing them into photoshop (or similar program) where in they're completed digitally with colours. His turn arounds are mostly 3/4 shots of front and back which a I feel is a great way to get across character designs in a nice fluid way and gives a chance for an artist to show off their personality.

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