Winner of Make Something Unreal Live 2013! Epigenesis is an online multiplayer arena sports game. In this ballgame of the future, the players leap across the rooftops of skyscrapers trying to get the ball and make scores against their opponents. Each player carries a gravity cannon capable of pushing enemies (and friends) down from the heights of the arena. When a player scores, he gets the opportunity to plant a seed and take over one of the rooftops. A team wins when they manage to capture the opposing team’s base platform in this way.

Report article RSS Feed Epigenesis Concept Art/Design Workflow Pt.2

Part 2 of Henrik 'Biscuitfist' Giang's workflow showing how he tackles concept art for Epigenesis. This time, it's about Black and White value painting.

Posted by Biscuitfist on Jul 31st, 2013
Intermediate Concept Art.

Greetings and good day/evening!
For those who haven't read part 1. I'm Henrik Giang, artist from Dead Shark Triplepunch.
I'm going to show you how I do Concept Art/Design for Epigenesis. From an idea sprung from discussion, to a painted object.
For these tutorials, I'm going to show you my process for designing and then painting a concept for an Artillery-plant.

As a note before we move on, I'm not going to go too deep into actual painting, that's a huge topic itself which you'll find better answers elsewhere. I'm just going to show you how I paint.

The reaason to why I mostly paint in solely black and white is to see if the values translate correctly to a 3D-object.

Remember these 3 from the last part? I chose the middle one to refine and show you the entire workflow of, so we're going to paint the middle one.

Reason for this? It's because the middle one seem most robust and stable thus look capable of firing a large projectile.

So we single out the middle one and enlarge it. Also hide the other 2 we won't use.

So here's a the bit in which we 'enhance' it a little. Mine ended up like this.
I added some gray values in background to be able to separate the white from the default white background.

As for the design, I imaged the cannon would have a sac of sticky goo in it's rotating part. I took inspiration from "Bleeding Mushrooms". Google it if you want real icky mushrooms. *shudder*
Anyway, the gooey icky thing there is an indication that the cannon expels something sticky. So players can anticipate that the cannon will shoot something sticky as well!

Now let's apply some values to this baddie!

So we bring up a new layer to use as our paintover layer. I now use white and opacity set to pen pressure to lighten the brighter areas up.

My result;

TIPS for values: Try to think of the object as a sphere with a cylinder on and imagine where the light comes from. Like this!

So where the light can't reach, we want to make it darker.


Now we want to think a bit about what material the cannon is made of. Here I thought the barrel itself would be made out of a wood-like material. So let's look up some wood!

The reason we look at this is because we want to know how well wood reflects light. The better it reflects light, the lighter it gets. The lighter it gets, the lighter we paint.

So from here we just paint!

I added the roots around the sac to attach the barrel on the sac. Around the middle of the painting I decided to use flower-petals instead of roots to attach it to the ground. This would save up a plenty of time for the 3D guys and animatiors later on since we don't need extra skeletons to dictate where the roots are stuck and can move or not.

By simply having a flower-like base we can 'hide' what's going on between the cannon and the platform thus removed the need of having roots attached to the platform. So by now we would have reduced amounts of skeletons needed from 1 per root, to about 1 (2 joints) for the entire cannon.

This now concludes part 2, my process of Black & White value-painting. In the next part I will start applying textures from photos.

Thanks and have fun!

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Developer & Publisher
Dead Shark Triplepunch
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Release Date
Released Nov 1, 2013
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Epigenesis Multiplayer Alternative Sport
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Unreal Engine 3
Unreal Engine 3 Commercial Released Aug 31, 2007
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Dead Shark Triplepunch
Dead Shark Triplepunch Developer with 10 members