The art direction of Seasons : part 3
Previously on “The art direction of Seasons” :
– William is probably not an artist
– We have no money and no 2D animator
> NOVEMBER 2009
We aren’t totally dumbs so we already found another solution.
Our bigger constraint in the development of Seasons is linked to the animation cause the game is based on the changes of seasons and we really want to create living environments. Since few weeks, we was thinking that maybe 2D traditional animation was not a wise choice. We looked for other animation techniques : the one that attracted our attention is similar to vectorial animation and shares some things with the animation technique used in one of our favorite game : Muramasa, the demon blade.
In Muramasa, the characters are composed of many parts (head, upper body, arm,…) linked by pivots (swivels), like 2D puppets.
To make it simple, it’s a great technique cause it allows us to animate characters without being veteran drawers or animators. But there’s still a problem with textures : with our poor skills, it could be really hard to create a whole set of beautiful and consistent textures. So, what can we do ? Use tint areas, that’s it.
> DECEMBER 2009
In order to be sure tint areas could be a good choice, we still have to make backgrounds and animated objects using this art style.
> JANUARY – FEBRUARY 2010
There’s no way we make random choices : we could have continue to chase our 2D traditional animation dream without even being sure of the final result. But it’s important to remember that a game project always have constraints : you need to be flexible and ready to change your plan so you’ll be able to find ingenious solutions to your problems, being consistent with your first intentions. One of us is to make a poetic game, quite like a tale. This intention, you can see it in our first drafts, in the researches Gaël and Samuel made, and we’ll make everything possible to stick to it until the end of the project.
In few weeks, we will show you more animated stuff, but here are 4 mock-ups that illustrate the changes of seasons so you can imagine what Seasons will look like (well, the forest part at least). Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us about the art style !
Thanks Alain and Guillaume for your feedbacks 🙂
Guillaume, your PuppetTool is hilarious. I didn’t known the existence of this tool until now… so thanks. You made my day (and my week ends) !
I like it too, the style is good, and the paper effect is very nice. Thanks for sharing your progress. The technique you choose for animation remind me Frédéric Durieu’s PuppetTool :
I played for hours with that… Now I can’t wait play with the fox ! If you’re looking for alpha testers, I want to be one!
Can’t wait to see the real animated stuff ! ^^
Hi Alain !
Thank you for your message.
– About the paper texture : it will be animated and made using post process on the whole screen, so it will be very different compared to the texture we put on these pictures. It’s really WIP
– About light and shadow : we will put some, of course 🙂
– I like it ! It will have to be very animated to get its full potential though.
Ferns slowly bending and tree foliage ruffled by the wind…
– Will the ‘paper’ texture be applied in screen space or will it stick to objects ?
– There’s only one aspect, I would personally try to work on some more : light & shadows. I expect forest to display some shadowy parts, like in the great illustration of samuel where the fox is nestled in the shadow of some tree. Maybe it doesn’t fit with the mood of your story but some vector style shadows on the ground I would give a try !