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<  3D Aesthetics  ~  Stylisation in character design and modelling

Michael
Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:42 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Both Kandinsky and Pollock are abstract painters. That is not the same as stylisation.

As for seeing figures in Pollock, I believe Leonardo Da Vinci once said that if you stare at a blank wall long enough, you'll start to see figures too. I don't think he would think very highly of Pollock. Wink

Nice kitty! Surprised
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axcho
Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:17 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
Here's an example of a 3D style I'd like to see in a game. You can find a few more examples here.

It's not exactly a serious style, though. I think it would be perfect for a sort of MMO supported by microtransactions, and highly customizable characters. I really like how they are made of ellipsoids flowing together, and it would be cool to do some artificial life stuff with generating the bodies.

For something more serious, what would a 3D version of Northwest Coastal art look like? Something like this maybe? I'd love to see that style in a game.
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Michael
Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:33 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
The bear is cool. Do you have more examples of this?

As for the other stuff. It's nice enough but I'm kind of tired of the manga thing.
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Auriea
Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:39 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 454 Location: at your fingertips
those are some very cute characters! it's reminding me a little bit of NiGHTS

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=76276 but more futuristic i guess. Have you ever seen that game?
i must say i am attracted more by the patterning of the american indian artwork you point to.
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axcho
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:20 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
I wish I had more examples of the Northwest art to show you, but I don't have much besides searching Google for "northwest coast native art" and looking through the images. I've seen some really nice stuff in person, but it's hard to find good pictures on the web. I love that style though.

I've never seen NiGHTS before. Is it any good? I want to emphasize though, that the style I mentioned is interesting to me because of how geometric it is, and how very stylistically consistent it is, which makes it especially desirable for a game (or other procedural implementations) and different than NiGHTS or other anime-ish styles.

Also in general, I can understand why you'd be tired of the anime style and reluctant to use it in a game, but I think it could be very useful for interactive storytelling. Sure it is overused, but that means that first of all, it is widely accessible and understandable, and second, it is a very efficient style for communicating things like emotion and interaction and story.

You are probably familiar with the many shortcuts used in anime to reduce the amount of actual animation necessary. Well, I think those shortcuts could be used in a game that dynamically pre-renders scenes and characters to get more out of limited hardware. Obviously you could use another style in conjunction with dynamic pre-rendering, but anime has evolved specifically in relation to these shortcuts, and people are more likely to overlook the flaws when they are already used to seeing them in anime. I want to write a blog post about that sometime.
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axcho
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
New idea: Puppets! Have you tried looking at puppets for ideas? As I said in a recent blog post:
Quote:
Puppetry also provides a wealth of inspiration for the visual style of a game. Tons of different cultures around the world each have their own puppet traditions from which one can steal ideas. And they all look really freaky. It's quite relevant to games because puppetry is basically the oldest form of virtual reality. Puppets are not just pictures, they are virtual actors, not made for their own sake but as part of a larger production intended to convey a story, to create the illusion of an imagined world (yes, that did need to be italicized). As a result, they offer a long history of approaches to representing people and things within restrictive technical limitations. Puppets are not "photo-realistic" and neither are games. It might do us games people some good to take a look at how stylization has been done in the past. I think puppets make a better example than animation in this respect.

What do you think? Smile
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axcho
Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
I found another good example for a visual style, in a digital painting that could almost be a screenshot of a game: travel the wonderland.

It also is very inspiring in terms of imagining what an interactive story game could potentially be like.
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Michael
Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:54 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Very pretty. Surprised
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ika
Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 22 Jul 2007 Posts: 7
Axcho, I believe mixill ( extiv & ) ARE working on a game atm.
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axcho
Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
ika wrote:
Axcho, I believe mixill ( extiv & ) ARE working on a game atm.
Are they? That could be nice (any links?). But I think that a single game would not be able to exhaust the creative possibilities of that style. And in my opinion, it really deserves a whole MMO, ideally something incorporating the sorts of revolutionary approaches to characters and story and interaction we talk about here.

But if that's what they're working on, tell me when to start drooling. Very Happy
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axcho
Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:54 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
It's been a long time, so I hope this double post will be okay.

Michael wrote:
The bear is cool. Do you have more examples of this?
Finally, I have some great examples of this style, by tarkheki on deviantART!

Man that Lived with Wolverines
Boar
The Wolf and the Deer
WhaleBird
TurtleBear
Great Eagle

Just be careful if you do decide to use this sort of style, because it sounds like it is very closely tied up with the culture, and demands some special consideration.

I've been learning the Northwest Coast style actually, though I haven't tried any 3D designs. I just posted my first finished work: Haida-lisk Incubation
If you do investigate this style, maybe I could help you. Smile
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Michael
Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:03 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Thank you. It's very pretty. But a bit too "tribal" Wink for most of our own purposes.
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Wildbluesun
Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:37 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Dec 2006 Posts: 4266 Location: London, Land of Tea and Top Hats
I.

Love.

That.

Person.

Simply for believing her beliefs, and not being afraid to show it.
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Seretar
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:22 am Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Dec 2007 Posts: 8 Location: Harvard
A very interesting discussion of the various potentials and artistic function-possibilities of different character-design styles can be found in Scott McCloud's seminal 'Understanding Comics'. I recommend it highly if you haven't read it. The table on pages 52-53 is especially valuable.
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Le Lapin
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 01 Apr 2008 Posts: 22 Location: West Yorkshire
The earlier posts in this thread brought to mind what Daniel Thomas has written about Takahata Isao's World Masterpiece Theatre serials (he makes reference to Understanding Comics in this as well, and while it's really only this fourth part which is relevant here, it helps if you've read the first three parts first).
http://ghiblicon.blogspot.com/2007/02/takahatas-objective-style-part-iv.html
http://ghiblicon.blogspot.com/2008/03/heidi-girl-of-alps-1-some-thoughts.html
These three series (which refined the choice in direction first taken with Taiyô no Ôji: Hols no Daibôken) are key examples of how a "cartoony" style can be used to tell a story with a serious emotional impact. They also have a link with realtime art in that the character designs are by Kotabe Yôichi, who would go on to refine the now stereotypical "look" of Japanese video games in his role as supervising designer of the Super Mario series. His style is particularly apparent in the Toad characters, as well as the Starman (and pretty much everything else from World onwards) which has those shiny, black vertical oval eyes.

I'm surprised that it hasn't been already mentioned – I apologise if it has and I've missed it – but it's important to realise that while "cartoony" and "humorous" go together, the two words are not synonymic. There are numerous instances of a cartoony graphical style being used to tell a serious story, or of a realistic style being used to tell a humorous one – both of these to varying levels of success, as it takes some skill to get a message across in a medium which would appear to be unsuitable for it. And to again link this back to one of the first few posts in this thread, see these notes on a lecture given by Takahata in which he (albeit briefly) compares and contrasts his preference in viewpoints with that of Michel Ocelot.
http://benjaminds.blogspot.com/2006/03/notes-isao-takahata-lectures-anima.html
Ocelot, or, rather, his more recent, computer animation work is also highly notable for how is is informed by art of the past (in its own case, 15th century Flemish and French art and interwar-era posters) but does not seek – like a lot of non-photoreal rendering – to reproduce its surface appearance. One can see this most clearly in a close-up of a face, like this, or some of the images here. The eyebrows still – somewhat – resemble brushstrokes, while the variations in tone on the textures of the faces are much like those in Jean Fouquet's portraits – but they do not try to look like a panting, as imitation inherently makes something inferior to that which it imitates. The same principle is that which lies at the heart of non-photoreal rendering, or indeed of any art which is non-photoreal by intention.
Wildbluesun wrote:
I.
Love.
That.
Person.
You might not after you've read her laying into Meomi. Confused
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