Art(ists) that inspire me!
The title is self-explanatory. Here I will likely pin more digital art than anything else. Art that was usually made for a fictionalised game world or created…
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Akihiko Yoshida - An example from a continuous project. This depicts a dragoon from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. With a fighting style developed to combat dragons which playable characters can learn. The spiky, claw and fang-like armour combined with scale mail is reminiscent of that of a dragon. His stance alludes to his affinity for jumping and aerial combat. Descending into opponents with a signature lance. The in-game representation is near-identical given today's graphical standards.
Yoji Shinkawa - One of the ninjas from the Metal Gear franchise. Yoji's concept work would also be very fitting for manga/comic adaptation. It is pictures like these that make dynamic pose sketches so enjoyable for me to practice. Take way the katana, take away the cyborg appearance, take away the colour... it still - looks - awesome.
Yoji Shinkawa - Metal Gear Solid V - Yoji is best known for his work on the Metal Gear franchise. A large number of his images appear to black & white and drawn with either ink or charcoal. He stands out for maintaining a great deal of technical accuracy while also making high-contrast images. Though here we see more of his ability to use midtones. Like myself, he cites one of his inspirations as Yoshitaka Amano.
Yoshitaka Amano - Every Final Fantasy has one piece of artwork that acts as a back-drop for the games title. This one is for FFXIV and it effectively doubles as a logo. As it is an online multiplayer game (only the second of the franchise), the artwork draws on the games necessity to work with other players. I believe the use of orange and grey really help to get a 3D sense from the image.
Yoshitaka Amano - Final Fantasy III was released in 1990. A time before digital art had risen to prominence in the games industry. This painting outlines small details about characters. Most notably a leader figure and combat styles (obviously important to gameplay). But just as importantly it conveys something that games of that time had difficulty doing. Showing the scale and beauty of the world that both developers and customers alike might otherwise have difficulty imagining.
Yoshitaka Amano - An image depicting the main antagonists lair in FFVI. Kefka's Tower. It's interesting to see ho a LACK of colour is used to present a solid object as well as a focal point. Yet the edges of the tower disobey the colour-rule, and contribute to the beauty of the structure. As with some of Yoshida's work, this was made for a 2D game, meaning that conveying an atmosphere was more important than technical accuracy. While also allowing the artist more room to apply his own spin.
Yoshitaka Amano - Best known for his long-running concept work for the Final Fantasy franchise. Amano's artwork is recognisable by an oriental style, serious mood, yet vibrant choice of colours. Which is a great combination for driving the development of a huge number of fictional magical worlds. It should be noted that in almost all cases, the resulting games are less stern in atmosphere. This particular image was made for Final Fantasy 10.
Akihiko Yoshida - This is a concept image of Ramza from Final Fantasy Tactics. Due to the fashion of the gameplay, he would swap outfit often to connote the combat-style he was using. He was redrawn with many different outfits. However, as characters are represented as simplified 2D sprites within the game, multiple-angle drawings would not have been so necessary. This gave Yoshida some creative freedom which wouldn't be represented within the game. I mean just at look how long those boots are.
Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Here we see another image of Rapture before its war-torn days. The use of neon lights and the dress code seen visible in the characters silhouettes suggests the era the game is set in. The dress code also offers a perceived sense of class and wealth. Meanwhile fish are seen swimming overhead to confirm and remind that this is no ordinary location.
Bioshock - This is Rapture. A secret city beneath the sea. Set in the 1950's era, it homes some of the worlds elite in varying areas of expertise. People can follow their obsessions without repercussion. Artists would not fear the censor and scientists would not be bound by morality. With a political struggle and crazed, genetically "enhanced" citizens, it fell into chaos. Futuristic weapons and tech, magic-like powers, thrown into a noir/steampunk theme. Here we see the place prior to ruin.
Dark Souls tries to capture a different mood in each portion of the game. The first iteration of this image included this Undead Dragon covered in maggots. It appeared defiled more than anything else. Hidetaka Miyazaki, as Lead Director, told his artist to go back and instead of trying to make the dragon disgusting, try to capture the sadness of the great creature. This was the result. Source: http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/7force/blog/dark-souls-design-works-translation-creating-the-w/97235/
Dark Souls - As this game is more brutal in nature than most, characters need to look as dangerous as they realistically would be to your character. Meet Bishop Havel The Rock. As this is not only a fantasy game but a JAPANESE fantasy game, you need a character that spits on the laws of physics and carries impossibly heavy gear around like it's nothing. If his rock-plated armour doesn't say enough about his strength, you can draw your own conclusions with his weapon of choice. A dragon's tooth!
Dark Souls - A mix of protective platemail, an assortment of loose accessories + belts and an exaggerated, flowing overcoat. This armour set perfectly demonstrates a blend of Western European and Japanese influences that are seen throughout the game. A combination that I enjoy more than either individually.
Kekai Kotaki - If he loves to draw one thing more than anything else, it is dragons. This image depicts The Shatterer. A giant, metal, skeletal, electrified dragon that was included in Guild Wars 2. He circles one area of the game-world for many hours and when he finally lands, you will usually see a minimum of 50 players trying to tackle him at once. This image does justice to his epic representation within the game.