Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pacific Helm Avatars

Most of the time (like 100%) I surf through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, iChat etc. looking for people's avatars. In fact, there are several people I follow where I instantly recognize their avatar but couldn't tell you their first name. From my point of view, a good avatar is pretty important, so I really enjoy creating them for people. A few weeks back, I wrapped up work on a new avatar project for Pacific Helm. The task was the create new images for Brad, Jessie and Louie, and I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of my process.

PH_01 That's a good looking crew!

Above are Brad, Jessie and Louie in their human form, with their final avatar forms (no, not naked blue kitteh aliens) shown below. What I always find interesting is that, the less I know someone, the easier it is to draw them, whereas the more familiar I am with someone, the more difficult it is to capture their likeness. I've known Louie for several years now, and capturing the "right Louie" was really challenging.

PH_02 A bunch of Brads and Louies that don't look much like Brads or Louies.

Drawing is always key with any visual problem. I rarely ever find the right solution with any drawing I do, but it helps me loosen up and try different shapes and expressions. None of these really look like Brad or Louie, but I'm searching for elements that feel right together.

PH_03 I should have left Brad with pink hair

For me, red and magenta lines are "thinking" lines, so I often will draw in these colors when I'm building artwork. Brad has a lot of architecture in his face, especially with his glasses, so his evolution from sketch to final art was pretty quick.

PH_04 Reminds me of GEM. Truly outrageous, you guys.

Jessie has a lot of personality in her hair and a really soft nose. I spent a lot of time exploring hair and nose shapes. She's also rocking' the Mona Lisa smile. Eat that, art history.

PH_05 One can never have too many Louie Mantias

As I mentioned earlier, I've known Louie for awhile, so capturing his look took me a lot longer than Brad or Jessie. The heads above are just a few studies completed while trying to get the right Louie.

PH_08 PH_06 PH_07 Accessories are the best.

I like the ability to change avatars as well, without CHANGING avatars. I wanted to give the Pacific Helm crew lots of options when using their avatars.

Thanks again to Pacific Helm for allowing me to create new art for them. Be sure to follow Brad, Jessie and Louie to see what great things they come up with next!