Dominance War V - 2D - Amen-Rah - God of War: Kaltyr

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  05 May 2011
Dominance War V - 2D - Amen-Rah - God of War: Kaltyr

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I hadn’t much time since I got aware about this contest so I was creating this art in very special way, optimizing every step of creation process. So, this version is final one. I’ve set it first cause progress images couldn’t be found attractive till specific stage. Well, later I’ll describe all the story of creation.
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP1

I’ve decided to make God of War as soon as I was told about this contest. There are two reasons for me to choose this character. First – the name of the contest – Only God of War could be supreme in Dominance War Second reason is the fact that I was making casual games last two years and my military hunger should be appeased.
Well, first I used to define (for myself) story behind particular character and the form for its presentation. This time the form was chosen first.
The form.
I don’t feel the strength to compete with Chinese artists in the dynamic scenes with huge landscapes and numerous effects, so Old Good Europe will fight with classic arms – the gala portrait in full growth. It isn’t all considering the form. As we know gods are transcendental essences, so its historical appearance is also belongs to formal properties.
I’d like to keep it around XVI-XVII centuries as sign of the peak in chivalrous romanticism, the time of perfect armors ever made by humanity. (But I’ll avoid of the usage of firearms – it isn’t honor for the God of War to use pistols or muskets).
The story behind character.
I’ll make synthetic deity – the mixture of Kali (About Kali ), Hindu deity of destruction and death and Tyr (About Tyr ), Nordic God of victory. I think it is natural to combine Death and Victory in War cocktail. By the way both deities are Indo-European origin – so Northwest (Tyr) meets Southeast (Kali).
Well, I’ll take two distinct properties and naming from these deities and create new one, unique enough. New deity will have 6 hands from the birth (as Kali) and one of them cut off (like Tyr’s hand). That’s basic idea laying beneath all details layers.

About the name.
Let’s take “Kal” from Kali and “Tyr” from Tyr. Got it “Kaltyr”. BTW Tyr is pronouncing like T+”you”+R not like /ˈtɪər/ - so “Kaltyr” is very close to “culture” by the pronunciation. Small, but significant secret sign – Culture means War. Who will doubt it?

Well, let’s start the work!

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First one is horrible, I know, but it is fastest way to see the idea on the canvas. I have great set of epic sculptures so I took one of them as corps and several for limbs.
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP2

The horse.
I very like Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Equestrian portrait, so would like to place a Horse behind the God of War. Several references are okay. I’ve also added an eagle (later changed with panther, later completely gone) as an analogue of Odin’s ravens (or wolves). BTW about Odin (About Odin ) – I’ve started face drawing and stated that God of War should be one eyed just like Odin.

About the face (and thus the race of our God).
I always wanted to draw an elf without any Metrosexuality or Vampire charm Just rough real guy with scares! So that’s chance. As we all knows elves came from Norse mythology so I won’t be punished by the God of Logic

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  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr - Weapons

About the weapons.
Weapons set should be symbolic and show the power and (most important) supremacy of this deity.
As I wrote above I’ve already decided the armor set so have now to add proper weapons set. First one is surely double-handed sword (Zweihänder). It was never used by cavalrymen because of the lack of the hands As soon as our deity has five hands, he is able to control the horse and fight with two-hander same time. That’s what I call supremacy!

Secondary weapons took me into deep thoughts – you can see lance and smaller blade (which should be ceremonial sword – if it is taking out of the sheath – that means the beginning of War). But also I left one of left hands for cross-bow. If you remember I wrote that there will not be any firearms, but I still need some superior weapon which is able to easily kill even heavy armored knight. So it will be special cavalry cross-bow. I made it 3D cause wasn’t sure about position, rotation and direction of this cross-bow. So definitely modeling saved lot of my time.

It isn’t historical design, but I think it is gorgeous and that’s fine for me purposes.
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP3

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Well, I’ve painted more and made several significant changes. Ceremonial blade is gone. The crowbill was added along with newer double-hander. I think first one was very rough for our armor set and elvish face.
I made it in 3D Max and also received several versions for the dagger.

It is always good to have kind of construction set for particular item you are developing.
You can also see rough sketch of helmet (on the right side). I’ve planned to make it complicated with “beast” décor on the visor.
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP4

Several crucial changes!

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Scareface – it isn’t a grin on the God’s face – God of War is a entity survived many battles and covered by numerous scares – it is a scare on the mouth. The lance has gone! I don’t like it from the first view, and it makes our God looks like peasant. The crowbill has gone also (short life). As I wrote above, I made construction set on the basis of the double-hander’s hilt, so I’ve added big dagger instead of the crowbill. I’ve also changed several changes on the hands – “lance” hand now is holding the horse, one of the left hands started to hold the sword. I’ve changed the helmet – it isn’t now so complicated as I thought before, but looks modern (considering the armor).
There is also blue flag presented as the sign of the victory. I’ve already decided to draw several flags held by right hand in the scornful gesture.
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP5

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Just one more step, nothing to comment
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP6

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Well, except of more detail painting, I’ve removed cross-bow cause it impacted badly on the painting dynamic. Of course I kept cross-bow in my mind – it is good idea and effective weapon, so just gotta to find proper place for it.
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP7

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Big advance even if you don’t see crucial changes! The crossbow was taken back, this time it plays in the team. I’ve added the military flail to create one more secret sign. Now the God of War is also looks like Themis, Greek goddess of the Justice (one hand holds sword, second one holds the scales). But… There is no justice on the War – scales are just killing flail!
You also can see several flags (definitely belongs to the enemy ) now with signs. I didn’t mean to offend other teams but it seems to be very interesting move to show the God of War with the sign of CGSociety (golden order on the chest) which is my team victoriously holding flags of “enemies”.

And, finally (for this iteration), I’ve started to draw the foreground by adding some 3D – first there will be twigs added. I think it is same situation as for swords – I’ll be faster with 3D.
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP8

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Here we go with leaves and more details (like the exhalation from the horse nostrils). I’ve also removed contrast from the background to scope viewer attention on Kaltyr.
One more important move was creation of dynamics (literally) – moving leaves, flying sparks. BTW flying sparks are nothing but fallen warriors souls.
Well, I’m almost done with this art, but…
  05 May 2011
God of War: Kaltyr WIP9

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One unplanned iteration. I’ve decided to make the God of War bigger. It isn’t good considering the size of the horse, but it should be done for the composition’ sake.

Well, some conclusions:

1) I’ve spent 3 days (spread onto the week) on this art and one more for 3D (mostly for cross-bow, swords were made quickly enough).

2) There aren’t any “the-Hell-knows-what-is-it” items. Everything could be logically explained and derived from the basic ideas (and assumptions of course).

3) There are numerous hidden signs (like pseudo-Themis composition or “death benediction” shown by one of left hands (looks like I forgot to describe it before)).

4) I’ve probably combined the form and the style of performing – the classic formation for the portrait and eventually I’ve polished it with “Blizzard” style (although I hadn’t planned it from the start). So, I hope it makes this artwork distinct and none could label it “trivial” or “one more”.
  05 May 2011
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