Time to add a little structure to this and define some direction. The other week I wrote down a number of core points that I wanted to cover with this – points that would also apply to how I would see it playing if it were a game –
- Awe at the beauty of nature
- Dramatic scale
- Joy ( The joy of soaring through the air doing cartwheels, for example )
I grabbed together some boards of things which I like and would like to explore, I’ve not been 100% sure of what i wanted to say as this is spread out into such small chunks.
One thing that I’ve felt pretty passionate about recently is how – when browsing bookshelves – a lot of dinosaur books ( particularly those for kids ) have replaced painterly paleoart with CGI renders and lifeless photo comps. A lot of the old paleoart isn’t accurate anymore, but there’s a mystical dynamism to it which really fires up the imagination. Everything is a little more colourful, a little more fantastical.
I guess the problem with taking existing art in the genre you’re exploring as a reference point – even if it’s not on trend anymore – is that I’m concerned about originality, like what’s the point of me making more art that looks exactly like this? It means I need to experiment, which is cool, but those thoughts can also turn into some nasty demotivation if they’re allowed to brew.
While I have ideas for background/environment, I’m not thinking about those in depth just yet. I guess the key thing I’m drawn to is a kinda dreamy tranquility, like magical realism but with dinosaurs? Lighting is important for this, as well as bold vs soft colours and moods. In a world with no non-natural structures, it’s still possible to tell and emotive story – wildlife docs do it all the time – and exploring this side of things may end up being more interesting than designing the characters…