07 September 2012

Rori Poster Process


In preparation for Anime Festival Orlando 2012, I wanted to make some sell-able merchandise for Fate Saga. I figured that, since this was my first time actively trying to sell anything for it, that it would be best to make items that are easy to print, like posters, as opposed to complicated, expensive or breakable products like mugs or statues.

For Rori's poster, I had the added challenge of figuring out what to do with her alternate forms. Rori has three states - 'human', were-form and wolf-form. She is predominantly in her wolf form in the story, but her were-form and human forms are much easier to work and pose with. The facial features of her wolf and were-forms are close enough that it usually feels redundant to have all three forms in a single image, so I had been debating which forms to use. I consulted with a friend of mine, Cari Simonetto, and she had suggested the human and were-form would have the strongest appeal together, so I decided to try that first.

Often, there are very rough, very early sketches of my artwork that I don't usually show. Even if there's only just enough detail to show composition, this was enough for me to see that this forward angle wasn't going to work. It's very stiff and straight down the center, and frankly a little boring. So I immediately scratched this layout and tried another one.

Here's my first attempt at Rori's new draft. This pose gives both her and her were-form a better silhouette. It's easier to show the wolf's face's silhouette from a 3/4 view, to outline her snout. While drafting Rori, I had a hard time finding a good pose reference, so I posed on my own in front of a mirror.

Here is a second, more refined draft of the sketch.

The were and human forms were inked on separate layers in Photoshop, and imported (still in separate layers) into Illustrator. Cari had made a good suggestion early on in the drafting process, to have the wolf fade into the background, so I wanted to keep the two forms separated so that I could play around with that concept.

Here, the flat colors are added.

Here, the highlights and shadows were added, the background was detailed, and I added a white to black gradient behind Rori and in front of the were-wolf, to make the were-wolf fade to black and have her human form pop in the foreground.

I added the final touches, with the logo and linen texture. The logo blended into Rori's legs a little too much, so I added a small gradient between the logo and the illustration to help it pop out visibly.

And this was the process I went through for Rori's poster. I'm pleased to see that, in DeviantART and amongst some of my friends, her design has been well-received. A great many thanks again to Cari Simonetto for her help!

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