Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bayonetta Redesign: Progression

I've been meaning to put these concepts up since Ignition's contest wrapped back in August, but just never made time for it. Each of these concepts were pretty large and had to be sized down for the web. Since the development of this concept had so many more steps, that also meant that I'd have to upload a lot of pix for this post. Well, I had a little time to spare, so I decided to get this thing together.

For those unfamiliar with "Bayonetta", she's the title character for an upcoming Playstation 3 game. My laziness would like to direct you to the wiki page for the full description.

Since this is a post regarding a re-envisioning of the character, then I suppose I should post pix of her in her original garb.

Alrighty, lets get right into it shall we?

The picture above was my first round of concepts. This is more or less a "warming up" peroid. The focus here is just to generate ideas. Before I start using reference for a character desgin, I like to see what I can come up with straight out of my head, get a feel for whatever directions I'm unconsciously going in already, and continue from there.

I was probably going for Victorian kind of look, but I decided not to go that route. However, it did remind me of some good reference. The anime incarnation of Witchbalde had a lot of good armor designs. The aspect that I wanted to utilize the most was that of the hair swooping down around the breasts.

I think what also reminded of it was the fact that Bayonetta's been described as some sort of witch. (Incidentally, Witchblade has supernatural elements, but actually has nothing to do with witches.)

The curvature of the designs seemed applicable since Bayonetta's "costume" is all just her hair. Whatever I did would have to convey the sense that her outfit is truly wrapped around her.

When Bayonetta uses her hair to attack, that means there's less of it to cover her body. In which case, she's nearly nude.

Soooo, near-nudity is another commonality between Bayonetta and Withcblade. :)

With all that in mind, I did the 2nd round of concepts. However, I wound up giving her more cover than I expected.

In a few of these, I started channeling one of Angel's outfits from "The Big O."

I was also considering using Erakah Badu's headwraps and reference.

At some point, in the midst of coming up with hair styles, I thought of "I Dream of Genie."

This was a big turning point in my conceptual process. The "look" had finally been established. She's just similar enough to Bayonetta, yet still feels like someone new. The djinn(genie) influences really sell the exotic feel I wanted to achieve. She even has the best face out of all the other drawings. I actually think that this concept embodied my aesthetic intentions more than the final product. You can be the judge of that shortly.

First, I decided to work out the positive/negative balance of the space. I didn't exactly know what pose I was going to do, but I had a general idea of how dynamic it was going to be.

Here, I drew some "lines of action" that turned into a loose gesture drawing.

Once I was fairly certain of how the body was going to be positioned, I began building the forms.

I didn't notice it at the time, but her left leg (on the right side of the image) came out kinda weird. I think my unconscious intention was to have that foot completely off the ground (As evident in the orange stick figure). I must have forgotten about this and put the foot partially on the ground. This resulted in and odd angle.

I like to start with flat values whenever I do digital painting. I also like to keep them in black and white, and overlay color later. This picture obviously has the values colored.

You'll also notice that my costume design started leaning more towards those small concepts in the far left and far right of that 2nd page of ideas.

Here I tried to add a little more "witchiness" by incorporating some funeral veil-esque fabric.

I finally fixed that leg, but I never changed the knee. Maybe I was just focused on meeting the contest deadline.

I also made a big change to the hair. I was having a hard time selling an exaggerated version of the "I Dream of Genie" hairstyle. Then I discovered another variation of it that worked better, or was easier to draw rather.

I kept the gesture lines to jazz up the background a bit.

The previous one had some minor issues. Not only was it too dark, but people also mistook those rings on her guns for handcuffs. The ribbons I drew in somewhat fix that. I don't think I had a function in mind when I drew those rings in the first place. They're mainly just there to fill out space and add some motion to the pic. They'd probably be less ambiguous if I actually came up with a purpose for them.

Overall, I think the final product is just OK. It's fine just as a finished illustration, but it's not a finished illustration imbued with any sort of spark. It's too boring. I feel as though I could've cranked up the sexiness and exoticism a bit.

I'll probably do another iteration of this concept in an attempt to satisfy myself better.

1 comment:

  1. looks like Bayonetta was take from part of several pretties women, with only Barbara Eden the designers convinced me about the good eye that they have.