After writing two articles on Chronotopia‘s story (namely the concept and the characters), I’m making way for PyriteKite/Kat to explain her part of the work: backgrounds art. She’s very talented so check out her DeviantArt account~
* Note: I use Adobe Photoshop CS6 for creating backgrounds and take about a week to complete one depending on complexity.
I’d recently completed watching the TV series, Merlin at the time I was contacted to draw the backgrounds so its medieval setting influenced me for most of the demo’s backgrounds – it also accounts for the earth colours that I apply to the underpainting of the castle interiors in Chronotopia. The references I was provided with weren’t from the same era though and I settled on combining some qualities of both.
Prior to creating anything substantial, I usually attempt to visualize the world while reading the background descriptions/script. Simultaneously, I dive right into collecting references to help give the background art a general direction and research to develop ideas. For each background, I compile selected references and draw preliminary sketches and quick studies in a sketchbook to get a basic grasp of the subject if necessary.
I recreate the analogue sketch which works best in digital later. Occasionally, I’ll discard it altogether if it doesn’t translate well digitally and end up designing another. I keep sketches loose, prioritizing colours/mood early and blocking in the general forms on a separate layer. Once the sketch is approved, I start painting over this base layer, rendering details as I progress.
After finalizing the background, I work on any animation required (which is planned ahead of time). I admit this is my least favourite part as I find it rather monotonous, but I try to persist in getting frames cohesive using the animation tools in PS, and studying reference videos in slow-motion.
That was PyriteKite‘s insight on background art; I hope you enjoyed her explanations! And if you want to see more from her…well, you know what you have to do: back us, of course ;).
For the upcoming article on this series, another member of the team should volunteer to talk about their work on the game. Who could be next, I wonder?