Tonality and Composition – Week 4

Moving on from the character design project, my team (Becca, Caitlin and Thomas) inherited a new populated world this week. The Sound world. There was a slight problem as the previous team had a notion of what the world was like but not an exact idea for us to work with which we kind of needed for this project so we had to have a quick “decision session” to cement what the sound world was. So we based it on a Vinyl CD. While the CD plays, the world comes to life! The sounds create formations/buildings (size and shape depends on music genre) on the flat plane of the record that almost looks like an audio visualizer.

Audio Visualiser (imagine this on top of a vinyl CD)
Audio Visualiser (imagine this on top of a vinyl CD) – sourced from Google Images

The characters, based on simple shapes and colours, change their physical appearance depending on the genre/volume/bass, they alternate between three forms; a head, a head and torso and then a full upper body (their legs however do not form as they don’t need them because they float around their world).

My concepts of the characters made by the previous team

This week our project is to create tonal compositions of the characters in their environments.

Thomas found these images on Google which are exactly what we were thinking of for the visualiser-buildings:

A few of our concepts:


Thomas’s version
Becca’s version
Caitlin’s version

These are a few of my quick compositions, using the techniques our lecturer Conánn showed us in class:

The characters in their world
The audio-visual pillars grow and shrink depending on the music playing
I love the idea of it almost being like a creepy wasteland
The hole in the middle of the disc is an extensive cave system, adding more texture to the environment

I loved this method of producing quick compositions, it’s so simple but genius. I thought Thomas did an amazing job on Paint of all things!, these are his tonal studies:


I love Becca’s studies they are so cute and she can really use light for a dramatic effect!

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Caitlin took to this like a duck to water and went straight for the jugular into colour using Sai:


I absolutely love that last one Caitlin painted my favourite piece from this project. Her studies are more abstracted than the rest of ours but it totally works; she’s captured that creepy almost-barren feel to the world. Love it.

One of my all-time-favourite concept artists is James Paick. Although he is not traditionally a tonal artist, his work for Uncharted was mostly tonal and it’s just amazing. Every single piece of his work inspires me any time I see it and I know I’ve a long way to go but hopefully one day I’ll be able to do work half that awesome!

Too much awesome.

Most of his work has multiple light sources so his concepts are well thought through and very detailed. I’m going to practice more of the tonal techniques we were shown and take some influences from Paick and just see where it takes me. Hopefully I’ll make something cool.



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