Environment Concept Art 18: Desert Dwelling
Usually when I create a piece of concept art I take something from our notes and visualize it on my own. But this piece of concept art is different. This grayscale painting was created while Adam was watching the whole time to help plan the most complex location in the comic. It may not look complex but this is just the shot of the front door.
This is just the initial stage of the design process based on some preliminary 3D sculpts (after the jump).
When it comes to the consistency of large background elements like mountain formations usually a single painting is sufficient. But with this location you are inside of the mountain: a whole city that is carved out of it. That’s usually not such a daunting task except for [spoiler content removed]. So we decided to start the planning phase with a 3D sculpture.
I worked with Adam as I sculpted the cliffs, talking about where things would go and how it would need to be designed so that things in the story can play out properly. This part of the process helped us align our vision of the location and to solve some design issues. Then I took a snapshot of the 3D model and painted on top of it—again while Adam was watching and directing me. The sculpt tools can only go so far and some details are easier to figure out simply by drawing them.
With the rough 3D sculpt and the painting to go with it, we can take them both and create a new 3D model of the design, at which point we’ll repeat that process looking at the environment from different angles until we get it right.
Making this location iconic (like I did with the island) is also going to be tricky, and these paintings of the location at different angles will be revised until you can look at it and think, “Oh yeah. That location is definitely from Hackberry Hollow.”