Monday, September 30, 2013

Disney Infinity - MU Students

In video games and to some extent in animated films background characters need to be designed with duplication in mind. There are lots of reasons for this including saving memory, time, and man hours that should be spent on the star characters of the project.

But that doesn't mean they need to be exactly alike. Here are some concepts that I created to show how we could add variety to the Monsters University Students (background characters) for our game while staying within a small number of body types, surface textures, and add-on's.

This first sheet shows the individual pieces that made up our Monsters U Students.

This concept is a great example of the variety of students we were able to create by using the pieces above.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Disney Infinity - Monsters U Playset

In Toy Story 3: The Video Game we built a world filled with toys in what we called the Toy Box mode. Each toy had a purpose or function to it which added to the overall playful experience. When we started the Monsters U playset we wanted to incorporate many of the same ideas.

These two building concepts were attempts at turning the building designs from Pixar (in the film) into functioning toys. Notice where I called out different toy attributes like Molded Plastic, Stickers, and Interactive buttons. We ordered a ton of toys that now litter our offices to get a better understanding of what makes something a toy.

In concert with designing the toys I did some early map layouts of the Monster University campus. This helped us to define the play-space, it's boundaries, and the overall traversal from one side to the other.

Speaking of boundaries... This concept was created to show how the World Architects could enclose the play-space in a way that felt natural to the environment. The other side of the fence receding into the horizon is meant to be the sky-dome of the game which is non-interactive.


Monday, September 09, 2013

Disney Infinity - Cars Playset

Building of the Cars playset started early in the process of developing Disney Infinity, mostly because we had just finished up on Cars 2: The Video Game and the Cars franchise was fresh on our minds. It also helped that we had a ton of assets already created for use when blocking out the Infinity game. However, that created a problem, we didn't want to just rehash what we had done before and we had a deep desire with Infinity to create or own unique style to the worlds and its characters.

This was an early stab at showing how we wanted to exaggerate the relationships of Large, Medium, and Small shapes, as well as the use of flowing lines to create pleasing compositions.

 It was a struggle at first to apply some of the higher level rules that we established to the environments. The above shows an initial 3D blockout that I sketched over during the early development.

These two later concepts addressed the aesthetic rules as well as the lighting, population, design, and textural quality. In the end the Cars team really nailed the Infinity Style.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Disney Infinity - Incredibles Playset

How do you design Toy Buildings that fit into the world of Incredibles? That was the challenge that we had in the early days of creating the playset for the game. We worked closely with Pixar to make sure we didn't lose the flavor of the Mid-Century Modern design style that they used throughout the film. Here are some early concepts that I worked on for two of the HQ buildings.

It's rare these days in our Concept Department that one artists takes an image all the way through to completion. Sam Nielson has a great post describing the process as seen here. The above images were no exception. Special thanks to Emily Dunn and Ryan Neider for heavily influencing these designs.