A couple of years ago I created this piece as a quick concept art test. Heavily photobashed, I added some vague ideas and never took it too far or corrected any design or anatomy concerns I had.
Lately I’ve been looking at my old work and trying to rework and pull out the ideas I had back then. I’ve noticed more recently that I’ve focused more on my skills (anatomy, rendering, 3D, etc) and not as much on the design or the ideas themselves, so I’m trying to re-awaken my creativity and look at the cool, half-finished stuff from my earlier art days.
For this piece, I started to re-work it by brainstorming a bit about the character itself. Who is she? Originally she was a generic sci-fi girl. Thinking more about it I like her as a non-fighter science fiction citizen or regular woman, maybe a service officer or civilian on a space craft. The sci-fi elements are there but her characteristics are more normal and average, wearing comfortable non-military clothes. I want her to be on-trend, maybe your average 20-30 something with a (futuristic?) Instagram account and cool haircut. Twist: She can have more sci-fi elements, maybe weird accessories or cyborg elements.
This is my initial brainstorm session:
I worked on different poses that better capture her attitude, and found references of more casual futuristic outfits. Many of these are militarized but I still want to avoid that. I like the design of Maya (Borderlands 2) since it’s a bit more fashionable and practical. The runway fashion is a solid example of this, although other personal favourites are Nilin (Remember Me) and the Halle Berry Storm concepts. I’m not a fan of hard sci-fi or heavy military sci-fi, I like the idea of making more futuristic outfits that retain some sort of modern practicality and similarity–why are there never sci-fi t-shirt outfits in concept art? or business clothing?
After this, I made some hairstyle concepts:
I wanted to stick with something fairly practical but fashionable and still a bit 2017-modern. Her old hairstyle was fairly rushed and although the purple was great I wanted something less bland. I went with the “in” hairstyle of shaved sides, I’ve seen that lately on different game characters but it gave some refreshing asymmetry and fit the description of a “cool regular person” in a sci-fi world. It also opens the door for more accessories (earrings, gauges, chokers).
Next was outfits. Since I was still finding the identity of my character I wanted to look at outfits that might apply to her life ranging from official (think a futuristic uniform) to party to casual.
After choosing a pose, I did the following costume concepts:
Keeping with the same colour theme and simple, futuristic feeling clothing, these were my created concepts. I like the idea of a very 2017-modern “rest” outfit (#3) since I am a fan of science fiction that sticks to a somewhat close-to-now, relate-able style. Think Bioware’s Mass Effect and the fact that there are still very standard casual outfits, t-shirts and pants, regular jackets, etc. For outfit #2, my goal was to create a more “out there”, fashion-heavy outfit that would feel more futuristic and function as a party outfit.
My next project was to work on a portrait of my character in the hopes of refining her personality and facial traits. I started with a greyscale portrait and added some quick colour, refining it more and changing the colour tones until I was happy, and rendering further.
I have a process video of my work from greyscale to colour, although it’s worth noting I worked on it further after the video ended:
Here’s the process and final image, and a close up:
Now that I’ve better established my character the next step will be to create final concept art of the character, and maybe an illustration featuring my character. I will keep posting these posts and update soon with my final images!