Rebecca Michalak - 26 Jul 2016
[Concept artist Rebecca Michalak explores colours and lighting for Avoyd.]
For the fourth round of concepts I wanted to explore palettes some more, since colour is an important part of Avoyd. This was my biggest challenge, being generally used to doing fairly monotone paintings and letting texture denote form.
I started by gathering a range of colour palettes from various sources (I have a library of about 5000 reference images saved to my computer for when I want to start a new painting or need inspiration) in order to have a starting off point. Working in a more abstract way was unfamiliar to me and difficult when I started the project, but I've found that as long as the basic tenants of any artwork are solid (values, colour schemes, composition) then you can push experimentation much easier and further.
At first I tried to apply colour to previous concepts, but although it was useful as a way to gather ideas there wasn't the definition I wanted. I went back to very quick sketches, which removed the need for rendering and allowed me to focus on idea generation. I feel that it's good to go ‘back to basics' every so often with concepting. it's too easy to get stuck into a loop of refining and close yourself off to the introduction of new ideas.
For the lighting ideas I wanted to explore different ways to suggest 360 degree movement in the world, there being no ‘up'. Any main light source will automatically suggest direction, after all people have been using the sun and moon to navigate by since the beginning of time. A diffuse light is one possible answer. The one problem with that is that it makes it more difficult to create drama, or points of interest. harsh lighting can often vastly change the mood or feel of an area, and lighting is often used in games (and real life) as a way to draw players attention to places of particular interest.
The idea was to make the lighting part of the materials themselves, possibly even one that could be created and destroyed by the player. They could use them as a tactical advantage or sabotage. If the lights spawned as part of the materials of the world itself then no particular clue to direction would be given and could potentially seem like floating in a starry night sky (which was a pleasing mental image.)