Making Of 'Dionesis'
Dominance War III was the first major contest for me. The experience was very interesting largely because it was my first international contest and I wanted to put all my effort into it.Â In addition, at that time I had just started working for a video game company and I had a lot of motivation to create a character that was intriguing and positive.
The War Against The Machine was the theme of the contest. The proposed characters could have belonged to the Organic or Machine classes / races. I had chosen to develop a character endowed with organic/ natural powers.
My next step was to create a storyline that would explain my character as much as possible. I always try to develop a context for my characters as establishing their story and background leads to finding her / his specific appearance. I am also aware, that a video game character should be charismatic as it is very unlikely that players will be attracted to an inferior looking character.Â Apart from this, I was thinking about developing it into a 3-D game model and therefore paid extra attention to the technical details.
The inspiration for the character came from my fascination with Antique mythological heroes.Â The images of the forever young Dionysus (Bacchus) and joyfully dancing Maenads appealed to me as the right source for my character design.
As soon as I had completed a few preliminary sketches it was clear to me that the character would be someone akin to a female goddess or a nymph. I decided that her weapon would be her companion, a living Grape Wine (Fig.01).
After the concept took shape in my mind I first composed the figure in black and white. I wanted the composition to create the illusion of a continuous circular motion. (Fig.02)
The intrinsic flexibility of a grape wine provided this opportunity and I decided to twist it around the character in the shape of the infinity symbol to signify her eternal youth.
The work on color and volume was the next stage and it is customary for me to fill in all the details with a dark color and then subtract from the parts that are closer to the viewer. Working on the character's face was most challenging aspect and to achieve the desired outcome I changed her facial expression and the tilt of her head numerous times. (Fig.03)
I wanted her to appear as a cheerful but fearless girl who cuts off the heads of her enemies with a smile.
At the same time I worked on the background and the overall color scheme of the picture. I made sure the background featuring some ruins and a waterfall played a secondary role in the composition because I wanted the character to be the focus of attention. When I have achieved a unified look I started to polish the details, such as the grapes and the hair strands.Â The work took one month to accomplish with about two hours a day devoted to the task but in the end I was quite pleased with the result and both surprised and exited to come third in the competition.Â
Looking back I would say that I could have made a silhouette of the figure and done her costume differently. Ideally the character's appearance should reveal her identity and now I think the costume detracts from the desired mood because of the over abundance of details. (Fig.04)
I am glad that I took the opportunity to participate in the Dominance War III competition. I would if I may like to finish by saying that I had an opportunity to see many great works from my fellow competitors, and also demonstrate my own skills to the audience.
The contest taught me a lot and I was able to organize my techniques and tap into my knowledge and experience. The time constraints tested my professional skills, especially my ability to create quality work that fits a specific theme.
Looking back, my work for the competition does not appear as perfect as it did then but I feel that it was a giant step forward for me as a digital artist.