Saturday, 27 September 2014

Vanquish Seraph Cover

I continue to slowly add more fictional covers for our FATE Core supers game. This time we have Seraph, our celebrity flame-powered hero who was most looking forward to the gala event - her element. I am playing around with styles here, getting enough cartoony character into things while still presenting something glamorous and heroic. Check out the Conductor and Val versions as well.

So the whole thing is done in Photoshop, this time on the Surface Pro 3 and despite taking way too long the result is kinda cool. You can see the process in the video below again - I am not sure why Chronolapse only captured part of my screen - grumble. You will spot in the vid I used Liquify a few times - a new way to chane things rather than redrawing. Seeing the whole process is pretty interesting with audio from the Youtube Audio Library compiled together in Premiere Pro...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Forum Poster

Dean Utian and I created a poster for the upcoming Learning and Teaching Forum here at UNSW. Our theme tries to explore the idea of employing more creative (design) tasks for students and the range of benefits that this brings. The idea of even allowing for more creativity in the expression or presentation of an idea or argument immediately enhances the experience for the student, their peers and the teachers. When the task is actually a creative one then everyone is more interested in all the responses and each student can engage with specific content that interests them most.

Anyhow, we have gone through a range of iterations of the poster and I actually found it quite fun to try and bring in suggestions or clarify things for people based on their interpretations or feedback. Apart from the challenge of trying to explain a concept in diagramatic form and getting more data into things while simplifying the look at the same time - the most fun part was creating the little characters on the side. The first version of them was as a doodle on the back of a handout in a meeting and it seemed like a cool way to show the levels in a way that would be SUPER FUN for a poster.
I am happy with the way the cartoony versions turned out and how the whole poster really came together. I did these drawings straight in Photoshop with enough layers that changing the colour and few other elements was easy. They were green initially, but then Dean suggested this Blue, Orange, Red set which worked out much better. The little icon-like bits that show a progression from a very constrained format to freedom were also just quick sketches in Photoshop - I do like my Photoshop!

There was a fun discussion on what this character's name should be. I am happy for people to try and come up with things, my suggestion was Rubrik. Now we just need to work on the supporting video that will work through a few examples to illustrate the points we are making...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Smallville (plus some Vanquish)

The family and I just finished Smallville season 10 and it is worthy of a blog post I feel. I think I will comment briefly on its relationship to our current FATE Core supers game and a few of the themes that I think are relevant.
My favourite characters from the show were Chloe and of course Lex. My character of The Conductor has lots in common with the Chloe actually, the idea that she acts with loyalty to friends and with conviction towards the greater good. Yet these very things she takes to extremes, the ends justifying highly questionable means. She manipulates and schemes and brings things together or takes them apart in order to set things 'right'. Nigel is alot like that, he is motivated by the eternal struggle between the greatest heroes and their nemeses.
That brings me to Lex, who is awesome in many ways, but at the end (spoiler) he has a similar mentality, the idea that the hero and villain both realise their potential through their conflict. The Conductor may well fall to super-villainy if that would see the heroes become what they need to be, to overcome some greater evil.
Green Arrow, Tess and Lionel round out my faves. All have dark streaks and yet we want to keep believing in their redemption.
In our Team Vanquish game there is tension between the heroes (as all good heroic dramas should) and there has been talk of The Conductor 'kidnapping' Seraph and Steve and setting things up so that they find respect for each other - much like the way Chloe 'fixed' Oliver. Scary where the 'line' is for characters like this.

Complete recap video - spoiler alert - but great for a reminder of all the action and drama.

Smallville isnt the greatest drama, but it does have plenty of memorable moments and did create some fun characters. We enjoyed the 218 episode ride as a family and I really do recommend the show! For a piece of fun, here are some fan art cartoon versions of some of these great characters by Dean T Fraser:

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Team Vanquish Cover 4 - Val

I have good intentions of creating covers for all our FATE Core superhero sessions. In particular I wanted to make a set of covers for the Gala issue (4) with one for each of our heroes as they get dolled up for the big event. I did Nigel the other day and here is what landed on the page for Val. She is our powerful non-powered team member who has some remarkable agility and ninja-like combat skills. We knew she was going in a sleek black dress and would have her sword. I like how her hair works in the pic...