Sangoma: Medieval Fantasy Shamans
Medieval Fantasy Concept Art
Creature and Character designs
A creative personal project, done in order to explore fantasy and medieval aesthetics.
For this project I contributed with: Zbrush sculpts, digital painting, illustration, marvelous designer garments, concept art for production.
The Idea Generation
Persona profile and mind maps.
To explore deep narrative design, oftentimes not only caring about what looks good but also asking ourselves, ‘Where is the emotion? ‘It’s about having empathy for who the character is.
With all these branches to explore within the map, we can try to tie some art+design together: Are they an introvert? What is a motif that can describe this? Maybe giving them a hoodie and a mask would not only fit the environment they live in but also be a nod to their introverted personality.
It’s about having empathy for who the character is, rather than just how they look. It’s about asking the right questions, or at least look for the right questions to ask. Which are oftentimes more difficult to come by than the capability of answering to them.
Looking to start a project?
To create a compelling narrative for these characters, I started gathering ideas, collecting references to then start experimenting with sketching, always piling up characterization on top of characterization, what can make the character more like the character and the story I want to tell?
Looking at subcultures of today, like hippies and the ravers from festivals like Burning Man and Boom Festival was something that I thought in many ways, to be analogous to medieval fantasy timelines and reverent to our world. It’s a balancing act of grounding the imaginary with what’s real.
Fun fact: Because I have some inside info of what this world looks like, as I was too part of urban tribes like this when younger, I felt like I could draw a lot of inspiration into the project that just came naturally to me.
Balancing Software Packages
To be efficient at executing what’s needed, a complete outfit for these characters, I resorted to Marvelous Designer, a software that is very present in the fashion industry and allows to quickly simulate garments and their gravity with high realism. The benefit of these is that they come with pre-made UV’s, which although not useful to a concept artist, can be very useful to a 3D artist later on, as UV’s are often time-consuming, very technical, and also laborious.
By the end of the project, I achieved another stage of mixing 3D and 2D techniques to come up with a polished enough marketing illustration and concept art that can tell what material is what with little to no interpretation from the 3D modelers, especially useful when dealing with outsourcing 3D artists who are tasked to turn concept to model.