This summer when Transformers hit the big screen, it soon raised up the heat in theaters all over the world. I even went to see the film again particularly for this artwork, in order to get a more vivid feel of the scene, as well as searching for ideas. It is very crucial for a creator to foresee the image in his own mind, and knowing if it would make a good artwork or not. I want to create a scene filled with tension and drama, just like a still photographs from the film.
这个夏天变形金刚们冲击着大屏幕，它快速在全世界的剧场掀起热浪，为了获得一种更鲜活的场景感受，我甚至为了 这幅作品专门去再看了一次电影，同时也为了寻找创意。对于一个艺术家来说，在脑子里有事先想好的图景至关重要，这可以决定作品的成败，我希望创建一个充满 戏剧性与紧张感的场景，就像电影里的静帧照片。
Design the Movement – By starting to plan the work, I wanted to bring out the tension and conflict as priority, which led me to an explosive dueling scene that would draw audiences into the work. It troubled me a lot when deciding the duel should happen during daytime or nighttime. In the end I picked daytime which can have a strong contrast and variation of lights as my background. First I started a sketch, designing actions.
设计动作-在开始计划作品的阶段，我希望优先表现出紧张与冲突，这让我想到一个激烈的决斗场面将会吸引观众的 注意力，但决斗究竟是在白天还是在夜晚发生让我颇费思量，最后我选择的白天场景，因为这能包含强烈的对比度与充满变化的灯光作为我的背景，首先我开始画草 图，设计动作。
Because the first design of poses were not very good, I decided to redesign the composition and drafted the sketch of the surrounding building. At this moment I begin to think of where is the source of lighting.
Architectures – I redesign the poses, as well as polished buildings. Even though Transformers were based on science fiction and they came from outer space, the story happened on Earth. So I wanted to bring in architectures that have a traditional feeling, something like a museum, in order to emphasize the contrast between high tech machines and classical images.
Dramatic Element – In the film, Megatron is pictured as the destroyer, and Optimus Prime as the protector. Therefore, if Optimus Prime is placed closer to the camera defense the attack, it would create the feeling of “being protected” for the audiences.
I was imagining: Megatron dashes out from the explosion, lunging at Optimus Prime with a crackdown. Optimus Prime is prepared for the attack; he raises his fist, slides forwards causing the ground with burning flakes, ready to give Megatron a death blow. The aim of this composition is to create a complete frame filled with drama and action.
To enhance the tension of the scene, I chose a radial composition that was similar to the basic perspective. The whole composition would look like an explosion itself, or an extending radiation
Painting and Progression
On color-wise, it took me a long time to consider the color of the sky, and it also went through a lot of changes. Originally it was sky blue. However after many adjustments, the color of the sky is now closer to yellow, which makes the whole tone of the picture more unified.
Coloring – First I polished up the sketch a little bit, and change the position of Megatron from lower place to the higher, that’s for strengthen the feeling of crackdown in the composition.
Then painted on the base color with brush under brush mode “color”. This was to create the basic tone of the color.
Then detailing OPTIMUS PRIME preliminary, and pay attention to the reflection of the flake, it should be strengthen.
Altering the Arms – Since the pose was designed by me, it was a difficult job to make sure Prime’s parts were true to his original design. I did a lot of researches through Internet; some were public still photographs from the film, and some were character designs for propaganda use. But these sources were all done in various stages, so there were a lot of differences. For instance, Prime’s head and arms already had many different versions; I had to pick the most suitable one that would look good from the angle I designed, and of course added up some imaginations. So Prime’s arm went through many adjustments before it was completed..
改变手臂-因为擎天柱的姿势是我设计的，要确保主要部分与它的原始设计相匹配时间很难的事情。我在互联网上做 了很多搜索，找了一些公开的电影剧照，和一些宣传用的角色设计图片，但是这些资源都是在不同场合完成的，因此他们也各有差异，比如，擎天柱的头与手臂就有 许多不同版本，我必须选择最合适的版本，从我设计的角色姿势的角度看上去效果好，当然还加了一些想象的成分，因此擎天柱的手臂在完成之前经历了许许多多的 调整。
Adding the Flake – Then I worked on the flakes under Prime’s feet – be sure to pay attention to the reflection on the feet, and make it like spurting in a high-speed.
Making of the Architectures – When drawing the buildings on the right side, it has to be notice the perspective, the farther the smaller. About the small square under temple roof, I draw a oblong then erased the Interval, then I made a column head and copy it, the column is made by the same way. Then I increased the brightness and contrast of the building, in order to enhance the lightness.
The leftest image is only the basic sketch of the building in higher right corner for me, then I use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to lasso the area of the pillar, then I copy many of that and polish the details, the architecture is almost finished.
Explosion – After all the other buildings were basically done
I painted the explosion, and added the reflects of the flame onto the car in lower right corner. The buildings in the far background and the sky were also dyed with color of the flame
To Add Texture – To add more texture to the picture, I added many brush strokes, more like a foggy or dusty kind of stroke. This thickened the feeling of battle flied, also made the perspective more distant.
This is the brush made by myself.
Composition Adjustment – The center of attention should be more in the middle of the picture, so I moved Prime and Megatron a little to the right.
Problem Solving for Optimus Prime
The biggest problem I came across with Optimus Prime was handling his appearance and comparing my design to the originals. I took two pictures for comparison, the left one was before and the right one was after. Originally Prime was not as eye catching as I wanted him to be, and that really bothered me. Except moving him closer to the middle, there were a lot more problems needed to be solved:
he Look – First was the look. Prime’s outline was definitely the key point, it would determine whether he looks like Prime or not. His waist and thigh on the left side are thicker. His broad shoulders thin waist, the curves of his thigh, these are also need to be indicated. His ears seemed a little short, so in the right picture I did some adjustments, which became closer to the original design.
The Lighting – Secondly was the design of light and shadow, the shadow has to effectively push the main character out from the background. I purposely painted a white highlight on Prime’s left side, not only giving him a more 3-dimensional look, but also adding the metal tone to it. Also pay attention to the reflection under the feet, which is another key point. The head was too dark before, so I increased the brightness, also brought in the light of the flame from explosion to add more contrast, making his head more noticeable. The glass on Prime’s chest should have a more brighter reflect, and I emphasized the contrast more on the chest, giving it a better
The Flame Tattoo – On the flame tattoo part, the character designs for propaganda use was different from the public still photographs from the film, and even the designs of the tattoo were not always the same. In the film Prime has the tattoo on his arm, but on the poster he doesn’t. Some flame tattoos have white outlines and some don’t, so I picked the one with white outline to make the picture more interesting.
Polishing up the Details
When working on the details, I used very small brush from the scratches on the metals. Adding stains would also make objects more realistic. And by filling objects with brush strokes would enrich the picture, also catches audiences’ attention. Usually default brushes would be enough for me
On the flakes part, except using small brush for the jumping sparks, I would also use brushes that have many tiny dots to give it a spurting feeling in motion.
In order to make the scene more tense and stressing, in the end I changed the shape of the explosion, as well as Megatron’s pose. He is now looking more like jetting out of the flames, making him and the explosion more related
I also moved the role on the right side to the right a little, and changed his pose so it would not interrupt audiences’ focus
On the lighting and shadow parts, I strengthened the reflect from the flame on the left building, making them both carry the color of the environment, so that the whole tone became more consistent. Comparing to before, the saturation was also brought up more in all. Now it is completed, and thanks you all for viewing.
About the Artist – Alon (阿龍) Chou (Freelancer/ 2D artist, illustrator) graduated from National Taiwan University of Art. Drawing to him is like a single frame of a movie, it is dramatic. In his angle, a drawing should be a complete presentation of plot, the emotion, the atmosphere…etc. and he would like to include all these elements into his drawings, and make it better, this is what he would like to do.
关于艺术家本人- Alon (阿龍) Chou（自由职业/2D艺术家，插画家），从National Taiwan University艺术系毕业，绘画对他来说就像是电影的一帧，非常有戏剧性，在他看来，一幅绘画需要完整的构思，感情，环境….等等，他喜欢将所有这些元素都放入他的作品中，精益求精，是他的一贯追求。