Game Art MA Major Project

The Final Stretch: Rendering, Shading, and Polish.

Weeks 10-12: Polish Period.

The past two weeks have gone by so quickly, and yet I have achieved so much! Because I was in the midst of the final push for this project, I found I did a lot more rapid iterative practical work, and as a result did not spend too much writing down my reflections. So, this post may be a little shorter than the previous one

After the critique I received previously from Phoebe Herring, mentioned in my last post, I got to work straight away implementing her feedback.  

phoebe_paintover.png (261×641)
Phoebe’s suggestions, featured in my previous post.

My first step was to complete the other side and back profiles for the turnaround. This was very much a trial-and-error experience with a lot of references!

My Turnaround, roughly sketched in.

I found that once I thought I had finished, I then changed more details on the front pose, meaning these changes had to then be carried onto the other two.

Meanwhile, I wanted to research further into how to properly render my work so that I could achieve Phoebe’s suggested lighting and shading.  

I found this incredibly useful video by Marc Brunet which explained the rendering process using Ambient Occlusion in a way that was really accessible to me. In a way, this working from black and white to colour workflow reminds me of the workflow I discussed a previous post, which I was going to work for my environment illustration.

(Brunet, 2020)

One thing I really took from this video was the separation of different stages into categories that would still result in a piece that is publishable online. This was crucial for me during this final push of this project as once I had finished a stage, I felt like I would be able to publish the piece on ArtStation if I ran out of time. Luckily however, I was able to do the full process!  

This previously mentioned Marc Brunet video, combined with a lot of critique from friends and lecturers, such as Phoebe once again meant that I was able to take my character from this:  

Older version of my rendered character.

To this:

My final version of my character render.

From a follow up session with Phoebe, I learnt about the planes of the face, and maintaining the definition of these in mind while rendering my character. I found this resource after the session and used these references to ensure my character had more dimension to his face.

(Planes of the face, 2017)

In the final days of my project, I paid extra attention to rendering his face, as I wanted this to feel very alive and be a main focal point of his design.  

Another workflow that I picked up from a follow up session with Phoebe was using the Face-Aware Liquify tool in Photoshop. This tool allowed me to quickly change key issues with the anatomy of my character’s face, such as his oversized eyes, without disrupting the artwork too much.  

The features included in Photoshop’s Face-Aware Liquify tool.

While working hard on the rendering of my character, I realised that I had not incorporated the café logo onto the apron of my character!

I remembered when previously trying to include the logo, the text in the logo became very pixilated and unreadable.  

Logo I decided to take forward.

To remedy this issue, I decided to create a simplified version of the logo and add some more narrative to its design! I wanted this simplified version to actually be the older logo that the café used before Wynn took over management and renamed the café ‘Déjà Brew’, referencing his necromancer powers!  

This made more sense narratively, as instead of the café being named ‘Déjà Brew’ beforehand and it being a coincidence that Wynn just so happened to find it, he instead branded it after the other side of him. This also once again reiterates that no matter how much he tries to hide from the necromancer side of him, it still creeps through.  

In order to communicate the age of the business with the simplified logo, I decided to have the logo printed onto his apron and with age, be cracking and peeling off. To do this, I found references, and found a great website which provided textures to re-create this effect! (Merritt, 2021)

By using these, I was able to very quickly recreate the effect I desired! 

Here’s a full speedpaint of the process of the creation of the logo:  

After completing this detail, I was focused on completing the rendering and the presentation of my sheets! Then it came to submission! My final project can be viewed on ArtStation here:

I am incredibly happy with the outcome! I believe that although I did scope back drastically from my initial plan with this project, I have created something that clearly shows my increased understanding of the fundamentals of art (anatomy, lighting, perspective etc), which was my original aim with this project!  

It was also incredibly satisfying taking an old character and re-vamping his design, and I feel almost as if I have done him more justice!  

The previous version of Wynn I created 2 years ago.
The newest version of Wynn!

Thanks for reading this journey!

Make sure to check out the full ArtStation post to see all the sheets I created and some more speedpaints!  


Brunet, M., 2020. HOW TO COLOR YOUR DRAWINGS (in any software) 👨‍🎨. Available at: <> [Accessed 16 August 2021].

Thinking and Communicating Visually – G4, 2017. Planes of the face. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 August 2021].

Merritt, I., 2021. The Distress Effect: How To Create a Vintage Look for Your Custom T-shirt. [Blog], Available at: <> [Accessed 17 August 2021].

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