Legend of King Arthur Challenge: Game Character Winners Interview
Over 800 artists joined the Legend of King Arthur – Game Character Challenge. This time, participants from around the globe were tasked with creating a game character from The Legend of King Arthur rendered in a real-time engine with no paintovers, and a maximum polycount/tri-count of 100k.
Like in previous ArtStation Community Challenges, artists had the option of creating their very own original concept or choosing a concept from Phase 1 to base their entry on and make it their own.
Tell us about the concept for your character.
Antoine: The concept for my entry was made by Fino Feng. I picked this one mainly because it was a super badass knight in massive but elegant armor and it’s something I am not used to creating. I have been making very stylized black and white characters for the game Othercide over the past 2 years so I needed to play with colors and a more detailed sculpt/texture approach again!
I also wanted to push the character further by adding my own interpretation and story to this cool design. I wanted Arthur to feel like a hollow king, who, after years of battle, would have turned into a fierce beast with no feelings, crushing anyone who would stand in his way. That is when I imagined the final posing and camera angle where he is about to end his victim’s (the spectator) life.
Marat: I have Arthur‘s image as a tough warrior, honest, brave man with a kind heart. But now, he is standing on the battleground among bloody bodies, old and broken, fully aware of impending death. This scene is the last battle with Mordred when Arthur dies. I wanted to make it very tragic. For the King‘s image, I found some expressive photos of older men, Celtic costumes, medieval clothes, royal clothes, and jewelry. I also took inspiration from my favorite artists’ works.
Olya: As soon as the 2D was over and I had to start 3D, I sat down, poured tea, got comfortable, and began to look at all topics with character concepts. I really liked the awesome Mordred concept by Ferrari Jr. Llamzon. I fell in love with it at first sight. I made the decision to choose it instantly and began to make it in 3D.
Game character entry by Olya Anufrieva
What was your strategy for the challenge?
Antoine: My strategy for the challenge was to bring my own vision and personality into this character. I wanted to make it come alive with my own touch. While staying close to the original design, I wanted the viewer to feel the mood and emotion of the character. This is why I didn’t want just a static shot of Arthur in one pose and went for an animated idle, as they do with League Of Legends with their animated login screens. So, the strategy was to push it through animation, camera setup, video editing, and finding the right music (provided by Alex Roe).
Of course, the challenge doesn’t require all of this, and neither does a regular character artist job. But, after a few years of creating characters, I have grown to prefer creating stories and emotions through characters, rather than trying to reach technical perfection.
Marat: Concept, blocking, adding details, retopology, bake, textures, Marmoset. I wanted to have more hand-painted elements, so the most part of the time was spent on thinking concept out and texturing. I had animation in mind when started the project, but unfortunately, I was very busy at work, so I left this idea.
Olya: The strategy is always the same – to just reach the deadline. Do something interesting, have a good time and gain experience. I like the fact that I can add details or remove some and make the character according to the concept, but a little differently.
What was the most difficult part of the challenge for you?
Antoine: The most difficult part of the challenge was probably the blocking phase which I struggled a lot with. I couldn’t find the right balance and proportions. It felt off for a long time and I kept reworking the proportions even deep in the sculpting process, which I don’t really like to do – but well sometimes it happens! Animating the idle was a tricky part as I am obviously not an animator, and video editing was a lot of trial and error as well. In the end, I learned a lot on this project and it turned out pretty close to the vision I had!
Marat: I still don’t think that the final result reflects what I imagined 100%. More attention could be given to textures. I really like the hand-painting but such textures require much time, so I cut corners here and there.
Olya: The most difficult thing for me is to make a topology after sculpting. But this stage is very important, so I struggle with my laziness. It is usually difficult to choose a concept but this time I dealt with this task quickly.
What advice do you have for future challengers?
Antoine: If I could give an advice to future challengers, I would just tell them the way I do things and how it works for me: I just focus on my vision for the project and always try to make choices to push it further and reach this vision; even if it means learning a bit of rigging, animation, video editing. Of course, you need to be confident with your character first and have the final textured mesh in a state before going further. An important point is to not care too much about other people in the competition: it is cool to see people doing great work and it can be inspiring to share comments with them, but it is easy to fall into a vicious circle of comparing your character to others’. There’s the right balance to find. Most importantly, have fun doing what you do!
Marat: ll simply say – participate! I always feel lazy about long projects for my portfolio. Challenges are best for that!
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