View Full Version : Master's Project on Mood Creation

09 September 2008, 12:12 AM
Thanks for stopping by the thread! This is a project I'll be doing till December for my master's degree. The academy focus is mood creation, while the personal goal is to improve my abilities as a game concept artist in many dimensions, as well as creating worthy portfolio pieces for my upcoming graduation in December. Please speak your mind. Your honest opinion is much appreciated.


Project Outline:

1. Concept out a male and female character, a monster, and a scene containing three buildings.

2. Create color thumbnails experimenting with color, composition, lighting, and mark-making.

3. Create finished quality concept illustrations featuring one or more subjects from step 1 in different moods.



After spending his youthful years exploring the land as an adventurer, Marcus Linemen settled down in a northern border town called Silverfront and served as a town guard. As a natural leader with a strong sense of responsibility, he quickly became the leader among his peers.

Once a border fortress to fend off the northern barbarians, Silverfront has become quiet and peaceful over the decades since treaties were made. The people at Silverfront made a living hunting in the winter and farming during the few warm months of the year. Traders and travelers occasionally visited the town, but they normally left after a couple of days. When a mage known only by the first name "Jenna" started frequenting the town, Marcus quickly became both suspicious of and attracted to her. Adding to the mystery, Marcus started picking up rumors of strange beasts.


Three Stories, Three Moods:

This is my goal: Creating 3 stories with the same setting with very different moods. How would things play out? You'll have to see :)


Progress Thus Far:

Marcus: character design

Jenna: Character design

Mysterious monster: Creature design

Key buildings of Silverfront: townhall/fort, belltower, stable


I will be posting progress here also from today on. If you are interested in the process before this day, you are welcome to check out my thread ( on

09 September 2008, 05:27 AM
Umm wow. I'm speechless. You are great! I'm so jealous. I'd love to see more!

09 September 2008, 02:21 PM
These look great! A small suggestion: the guy's face is a little small, I would make it larger.

09 September 2008, 05:26 AM
Thanks guys! Well, I've realized there are anatomy and pose issues with the characters. Fixes coming soon...

On to the next step, trying to create different moods by keeping everything else the same and changing one variable at a time. The ones I did so far are on color and lighting. I couldn't help cheating a little and changing light color... I might just make the future lighting studies black and white.

Coming up: compositions and mark-making thumbnails of characters.

09 September 2008, 11:11 AM

I have requested that a moderator move this thread over to Speedpaints and Sketchbooks, as the WIP/Critique area is more intended to actually help you with Works In Progress, not merely be a "show and tell gallery" for generalized comments and critiques...

Please do not take this wrong, but the concept behind this is for members to assist with issues artists have, and provide suggestions beyond which color scheme looks the best out of three.

This IS some very impressive work, it just appears that you are seeking an audience, rather than actual help with a particular image, or part of your project, not a generalized overview "Show and Tell" of every aspect of your decision-making process for it, which is what it appears you are presenting. That is more for the Speedpaints and Sketchbooks section...

BTW, as far a composition goes, you have a very strong propensity to place the visual flow of your scenes, as well as your characters, in an 'S' formation. Feet, legs, poses, shadows, and even the physical mass of your buildings ALL are bottom left-heavy...

Rather than share various exercises, none of which are correcting your rendering problems, you might consider solidifying your compositional foundation, then worrying about color schemes...But that's just me...


09 September 2008, 02:52 PM
Well, I'm actually seeking critique from some fresh eyes. This entire project is a work in progress in essense :) Please feel free to move this to wherever you see fitting, thanks in advance!

Thanks for the crits by the way! I'll be sure to pay attention to my composition. This being a school project, I tend to get scared by the weekly deadline and move on before I should. There are many things I'm trying to learn all at once, and it helps me a lot when people like you point out exactly what it is that I neglected.

To clarify what the newer exercises are meant for... everything I've done so far for the project is preperation work, although some are intended to stand on their own for the practical proposes of helping me in earlier stages of job search. My intended final product of this project are a series of finished illustrations, subjects + background, that demonstrate different moods. Instead of proceeding to the final step and getting crits I have no time to implement then, I figured I'd start trying to get crits from step 1. I understand that there are a lot of things wrong with my pieces, and that's why they are posted here in the critique center. Believe it or not, I get so numb from staring at these pieces that I miss a lot of really obvious and basic issues. I have been doing this in another forum with good results, and I figured it can only benefit me further if I receive critique from another online community.

I apologize for not being able to immediately correcting problems from previous step - as a student my biggest priority unfortunately is to meet the deadlines, but the critiques will be implemented as soon as I finish the work that help me get past the deadlines. Ideally this whole thing would happen in a completely different order... I do appreciate and consider EVERY single critique I've received so far from both online communities.

09 September 2008, 05:20 PM
Here's the next two groups of thumbnails, exploring the effect of composition and mark-making on mood. I made sure to flip the canvas a few times, hopefully somewhat reducing the bottom-left heavy problem.

I will proceed to produce the first group of finished illustrations soon, and I'd appreciate some feedback on what you like and dislike, what works and what does not.

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09 September 2008, 05:20 PM
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