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Karranthain

Stretch Goal - hire Justin Sweet to make portraits.

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I'll add my voice to this. Loved the art in IWD I+II far more than BG I+II.

Jason Manley was the portrait artist for IWD1.


Exile in Torment

 

QblGc0a.png

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I'd like to poiint out Kieran Yanner - who did the recently released PE wallpaper. He's really good. It might mean he'll do some more art for the game, or not. Whichever, the dwarven ranger suggests they have artists more than capable of doing colour portraits.

 

Justin Sweet would be a nice nostalgia trip, but might also clash with the rest of the game's art created by Obsidian staff artists.

 

Here's Kieran's website btw:

 

http://www.kieranyanner.com/

 

as for the cost of artwork, it's true the fantasy game market pays less than others. But big established artists like Sweet probably get a bit more than the average Joes. So for something like 20-30 portraits it could be quite a sum of money.

(depends on the detail and size, but a colour page could be anything from 300 USD to 1000 USD)

Edited by Merlkir

======================================
http://janpospisil.daportfolio.com/ - my portfolio
http://janpospisil.blogspot.cz/ - my blog

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What I like about Sweet's portraits is that they suggest character without saying too much. The player can interpret the character represented by the portrait as they choose.

 

Indeed, they tell a story, but one that leaves a lot to our imaginantion - and this, I think, is really important for portraits.

 

One thing I dislike about the IWD portraits is that far too many feature weapons that may not be used/usable by the character I intend to play. Perhaps PE won't restrict weaponry by class, but I'd still rather portraits focused on the person rather than their gear. A few portraits with conspicuous weapons are fine, but IWD portraits featured far too many swords and daggers in my opinion.

 

As for who should do the portraits, I'd recommend looking in-house first.

 

I personally didn't mind if my characters used different weapons than the ones that were on the display, but I can see why someone would.

 

3180187042_b11bd610cc.jpg

 

But what do you think about this piece? There's a sword visible, but it isn't pronounced; adds a bit of flavour to the character but isn't very restrictive. What do you think?

I always thought that was a paladin of Mystra... he'll take out his book and whack you over your head (doing blunt damage) while telling you to use your brains :)


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I always thought that was a paladin of Mystra... he'll take out his book and whack you over your head (doing blunt damage) while telling you to use your brains :)

 

Maybe it's one of the required texts? Or a penance?

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I always thought that was a paladin of Mystra... he'll take out his book and whack you over your head (doing blunt damage) while telling you to use your brains :)

 

Maybe it's one of the required texts? Or a penance?

Entirely possible. Maybe he's just reading the manual? Like in RTFM :grin:

 

I do regularly use that picture for my Paladin/Wizard though.


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I'd like to poiint out Kieran Yanner - who did the recently released PE wallpaper. He's really good. It might mean he'll do some more art for the game, or not. Whichever, the dwarven ranger suggests they have artists more than capable of doing colour portraits.

 

Justin Sweet would be a nice nostalgia trip, but might also clash with the rest of the game's art created by Obsidian staff artists.

 

Here's Kieran's website btw:

 

http://www.kieranyanner.com/

 

as for the cost of artwork, it's true the fantasy game market pays less than others. But big established artists like Sweet probably get a bit more than the average Joes. So for something like 20-30 portraits it could be quite a sum of money.

(depends on the detail and size, but a colour page could be anything from 300 USD to 1000 USD)

 

 

I really liked the wallpaper by Kieran Yanner. Pretty cool IMO.

Karranthain, what do you think of it?

 

 

 

 

Merlkir since you're also an artist, and I'm curious about this matter (for other reasons as well), how many work days does it take to do a wallpaper like the one Kieran Yanner has done?

And a pack of 20 portraits like the ones in IWD* and BG*?

 

As for the price I'm guessing it varies a lot, depending on the artist's location.

 

 

And is there such thing as reusability when making portraits?

For example, suppose making 1 portrait takes about 1 day of work. How long would it take to make 5 different facial reactions (neutral, laughing, angry, shocked, mischievous) of the character in that portrait? 2 days?

Edited by hideo kuze

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I really liked the wallpaper by Kieran Yanner. Pretty cool IMO.

Karranthain, what do you think of it?

 

Going through his portfolio, I can't say I'm a fan - it's well done, but leaves me cold.

I liked the PE wallpaper though, that scene was well done.

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I like some of Kieran Yanner's work but he or she doesn't compare up to the Justin Sweet's artwork. Compare these:

 

battleinthedawn_final.jpg

final05.jpg

 

vs.

 

005_FOOLWOLF.jpg

007_WHTDRAGN.jpg

 

 

I feel that Yanner's art is a bit too cartoony and lacks a certain touch of a classic fantasy feel. Sweet's art stirs up my imagination and feels like part of something bigger. Probably because he intentionally leaves some space for imagination. Cannot say the same for Yanner. His or her art feels sharply defined and constrained.

 

I get the impression that Yanner's strong suit might be more light hearted depictions. He or she might have been perfect for Disney type stuff (that is a compliment; I love Disney art and it's not something everybody manages to get right).

Edited by villain of the story
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Some good points there villian of the story.

 

It does seem Yanner aims more at realism, while Sweets aims more at a painting type of art.

 

After noticing this, it's interesting to look at the PE wallpaper again. And you can see a somewhat blending of the two.

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How did the saying go ?

 

"Tradition is preservation of the fire, not worshipping of the ashes".

 

Don't misunderstand me, I love Justin Sweet's portraits in Icewind Dale, they were integral part of the identity of the game and contributed greatly to its formation in the mind of players... which is kind of the problem for me. I'm not convinced bringing too similar an artistic direction would be good for the new game if it wants to have a distinct signature and identity.

Though, yeah, that argument might fall a bit flat in light of the art up till now released.

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Merlkir since you're also an artist, and I'm curious about this matter (for other reasons as well), how many work days does it take to do a wallpaper like the one Kieran Yanner has done?

And a pack of 20 portraits like the ones in IWD* and BG*?

 

As for the price I'm guessing it varies a lot, depending on the artist's location.

 

 

And is there such thing as reusability when making portraits?

For example, suppose making 1 portrait takes about 1 day of work. How long would it take to make 5 different facial reactions (neutral, laughing, angry, shocked, mischievous) of the character in that portrait? 2 days?

 

I'm not sure I should even guess, I'm quite slow. Especially compared to Kieran who's super fast (as I've heard ;)).

 

The wallpaper, knowing about Kieran's speed, 3 days? 4 days? A painting of this epic scope would take me a week at least. All those ghouly crawlers...

 

Anyway, he's on Facebook, so we could ask. ;)

 

For reusability, I don't think there's much of that. You could probably start painting other expressions from one neutral face, you'd most likely use one portrait to colour pick others...

Potraits such as those seen in BG and IWD would probably take about a day, perhaps two if one is slower like me.

 

Kieran's style is indeed more colourful and slightly cartoony at times. IIRC he worked for Disney for a while (or some other cartoon company), so it's natural it shows through.

 

I think he nailed the tone with the wallpaper for sure.


======================================
http://janpospisil.daportfolio.com/ - my portfolio
http://janpospisil.blogspot.cz/ - my blog

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As I recall, in Icewind Dale 2 a number of the portraits that got used were used because they had been created for BIS for another game (I seem to recall someone linking to Justin's page and asking about if the art they hadn't seen was from IWD2, Feargus said no it was from a cancelled project, and people asked if they could be added to IWD2 as portraits and that then happened).

 

Anyhow, if you can do custom portraits, I'm not sure who does the portraits will matter that much (other than making the game given portraits feel as if they "match").

 

I actually used some of the portraits from Invictus (horrible game) myself.

Edited by Amentep

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It seems that Justin Sweet wasn't the only one behind IWD portraits http://theartdepartm...ty/jason-manley

 

Yeah, it was discussed in this topic.

 

George Ziets is now (well, not yet, but I think that's only a matter of time) part of the PE team, great to hear that.

 

I'm hoping Justin Sweet is still under consideration too; I've asked Feargus on the Kickstarter about it - and the answer was that it's been discussed by the team. Fingers crossed.

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I'd prefer if Justin Sweet was not hired. It would feel like Project Eternity would be similar to IWD and think Project Eternity should have its own identity with new artists.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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It seems that Justin Sweet wasn't the only one behind IWD portraits http://theartdepartm...ty/jason-manley

 

Yeah, it was discussed in this topic.

 

George Ziets is now (well, not yet, but I think that's only a matter of time) part of the PE team, great to hear that.

 

I'm hoping Justin Sweet is still under consideration too; I've asked Feargus on the Kickstarter about it - and the answer was that it's been discussed by the team. Fingers crossed.

That would be Sweet :)

 

 

 

I'd prefer if Justin Sweet was not hired. It would feel like Project Eternity would be similar to IWD and think Project Eternity should have its own identity with new artists.

I'd prefer if Chris Avellone was not hired. It would feel like Project Eternity would be similar to PST and I think Project Eternity should have its own identity with new writers.

 

see what I did there? :p

Edited by hideo kuze

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I'd prefer if Justin Sweet was not hired. It would feel like Project Eternity would be similar to IWD and think Project Eternity should have its own identity with new artists.

 

IWD was intended to be the story-light dungeon romp of the Infinity Engine games. It was well written, just less narrative elements than the other titles. Remember, this helped with multiplayer quite a bit as the BG games were very hard to play in multiplayer. We are inspired by the art direction and level design of the IWD series, but Project Eternity will have a much deeper narrative experience. Fear not, my friends.

 

Emphasis mine.

Edited by Karranthain

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I like some of Kieran Yanner's work but he or she doesn't compare up to the Justin Sweet's artwork. Compare these:

 

battleinthedawn_final.jpg

final05.jpg

 

I rather like these, they remind me of the old Dragonlance art, and BG1/2 portraits . . . in a way, not as an exact. Not in content as much as 'some' portions of the style in sense of the brightness involved. They're more open less cluttered. Very clear about what they're depicting. Not a lot of mess or distraction from the core. I guess I'd speak to the difference as being, "posed fantasy art" versus, "something depicting action" in the other two.

 

I like the other two just fine as well though. :p

 

Justin Sweet's not bad, but I've seen several other's with more polished work Mike Daarken Lim is one who comes to mind. http://daarken.com/

 

amalurcover.jpg

 

This . . . however, I really dislike. I recognize the talent involved but it stinks of giant shoulder pads, giant weapons, over the top weapons and armor giant everything epic everything blah blah blah mentalities that I can't stand in modern RPGs.

Edited by Umberlin
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"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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I'd prefer if Chris Avellone was not hired. It would feel like Project Eternity would be similar to PST and I think Project Eternity should have its own identity with new writers.

 

see what I did there? :p

 

Kind of meaningless. How many titles has Justin Sweet worked on with Black Isle/Obsidian? How many tiltes has Chris Avellone worked on? You're suggesting Chris Avellone has only worked on Planescape Torment and no other titles.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II

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@hideo kuze

 

The problem I have with that edit is you're presupposing visual identity of a game and the writing style have the same kind of impact on players, of which I am not convinced.

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