2D and 3D Combination
I brought a screenshot of my environment with one of the posed characters into Krita, where I had originally worked on designs for the characters. Krita is very similar to Photoshop, but I prefer the brushes and can work quicker with them, which at this point in production is a necessity. My first test matched my chosen designs for the characters, but they were hard to read and looked quite weird. I decided to try incorporating something I had explored during my concepts, which was to have the face and hands a (flat) separate colour from the clothing. This worked a lot better and helped show where the character was looking, so I think I will continue with this following the positive feedback from presentations on it. I do think I’ll need to be careful with the hands disappearing against similar colours on the environment, so while I am reworking my bog foliage I will make sure that these warmer pinks are away from where we need to see the characters hands clearly.
Above: First test. Looks somewhat clunky. Below: Second test. Clearer to identify hands and face. Lighting helps bring out the forms that are lost with the flat colouration.
Having the 3D characters in the scene has sped up the 2D significantly and taken some of the pressure off of working out perspective and poses now. The other benefit of having these models is that they will cast shadows onto the grass that will work believably with my 2D work and be able to change as needed.
My steps for the 2D will be create all the flat colour poses, then arrange all of my lighting in Unreal. From here I will be able to use the lighting on the models as a quick reference for the 2D lighting to save me time.
Below: The light affecting the 3D model in Unreal according to my directional light. I can also change the material as I need to see the lighting more clearly than the black material.