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My Blog. My Art. My life.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - August (Trevor)

I did say that I would showcase my characters in the order I created them, but for the bad guys it's a bit difficult, as I created most of them at roughly the same time. But let's give it a crack regardless.

Here's Trevor, the strongest out of all the dog characters within my Dogs Of War series. Like Sledge, he is also currently surnameless. It was briefly 'Hellstorm', but that was too stupid even for me, so it was dropped. Usually when I name my characters I choose something that pops into my head naturally - I don't try to force it. But even after all these years, I've come up with nothing.

Not really much more to say about ol' Trev. I haven't exactly put much thought and effort into developing his character. He's enthusiastic about guns, but that's about it. He's also one of the few characters where I haven't decided what nationality he is. As far as the bad doggies go, they tend to have a bit of a European focus. Not that I wish to portray Europeans as evil - heck, I chose Europe because I LOVE the region - it's just that I prefer to think when this team was recruited by their superiors, they were all picked - without too much thought - from roughly the same training area.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - July (Mitch) 03

Mitch's assault rifle was something I developed quite recently. His initial weapons of choice was his sword (same type that Peter has) and an automatic pistol. Neither of which are that useful against a heavily armoured opponent. Mitch and his team were created specifically to hunt down the Halo Blades - a team that fields heavy armour. The equipment of Mitch and so on needed to be able to pose a threat to them.

Mitch did used to have an assault rifle, the idea being that it was the result of fitting his automatic pistol with some attachments to convert it into an assault rifle. This idea was dropped as it still fired pistol ammunition, which wouldn't have made it any more effective as a rifle weapon. Also, it would have meant that Mitch's primary weapons would be a pistol, sword and assault rifle, which was the same loadout of Peter Edgewood and I didn't want the two characters to have identical weapon types.


However Mitch really did need an upgrade to his arsenal, so I got designing. Not long after some basic concepting, I came across a YouTube video from the Forgotten Weapons channel about the H&K SL-8. I found it interesting as it bore a resemblance to what I had already been designing, so I used it for further inspiration. To make it more useful against armour, I added the RPG launching section.



I'm quite happy with the current design - it's one of the better looking weapons I've come up with in my opinion. A little bigger than I would have liked, but you can't really slap an RPG launcher onto a rifle and expect it to remain titchy. And yes, I do realise placing the rifle barrel significantly lower than the sights may make it trickier to line up accurate shots.

Monday, July 17, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - July (Mitch) 02

For a long time the outfits worn in battle by Mitch and his team were - for all intents and purposes - their civvies. I decided that this had to change. Since they are an official part of a well organised military force, they needed a uniform to give them an image of professionalism and discipline. Their regular outfits made them look more like a mercenary team, which was misleading juxtaposition against the good guys - who are an independent unit - use a standardised uniform. Plus, a common uniform means I only have to design it once and don't have to come up with different designs for all the characters. For a while the battle suits the good guys wear were all different. I'm glad I later standardised it.

The uniform of Mitch and his team is based on the attire their human counterparts wear, but with a few alterations to make them stand out and be unique, with the practical reason being that the equipment allocated to them is custom designed for their duties.

Friday, July 7, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - July (Mitch)

Ooh, we're into the bad guys now. I like this bunch. In a way I find them more interesting than the good guys. They have complexity about them. They're not your typical 'we are the bad guys and aggression is our only recognised emotion.'

This is Mitch Haettennschweiler (named after a font I saw in Microsoft Word) and is the leader for the team of dogs formed to fight the Halo Blades Squadron (HBS). In the same way Peter Edgewood is based off my favourite dog breed (Border Collie), Mitch is based of the next favourite, a German Shepherd. He is intelligent and strong, making him a dangerous adversary.

I'm not quite sure where the inspiration came from to create a rival team for the HBS. Maybe I just thought a group of dogs for the bad guys was appropriate.

Mitch was also a good friend to Peter, both of them having trained at the same military organisation. Yes, I know - two characters once friends and now bitter enemies - highly cliche. This rivalry has become a slight problem. It's annoyingly another case where I'm putting focus on Peter as a main character when it really should be on Stylene. If anything, Stylene should be Mitch's nemesis - leader vs leader and all that. The problem is while both are shrewd and clever team leaders, Stylene is in no way a physical match for Mitch. I'm not trying to be sexist in saying a female can't beat a male, but facing the reality that a German Shepherd would pound a fox into the floor. 

One thing I like about Mitch is the expressiveness I can get from him. There's something about markings around the eyes that sells it. I think maybe it helps define shape in the face or something. Look at the characters from any Disney animation. A lot of them have eye markings, regardless of whether or not the animal species they're based off actually do have markings around the eyes. So obviously it's doing something to help.

Oh, by the way, despite his surname and the fact he is a German Shepherd, Mitch is not German. Well, he does have German heritage, but he was born and raised in England.

Monday, June 26, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - June (Myst) 04

I've run out of things to say about Myst, but here's a picture anyway. Posting four pictures a month for each character was a goal I wanted to achieve in the first place. Also taking the opportunity to practice my Photoshop colouring skills. Still got a ways to go. Especially with blending.

That wraps up the good guys showcase. Next month - we start to see the bad guys. Oo-er!

Monday, June 19, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - June (Myst) 03

An idea that I've been playing around with recently is giving Myst a butterfly 'pet'. I say it in inverted commas as it isn't a living creature, but a little robot, built for Myst as a birthday present. She likes butterflies and this is something of a physical extension to her personality. It has practical uses as well - as a robot, it contains cameras and for all intents and purposes fills the role of a small surveillance drone. It can spy on the enemy without drawing too much attention. Well, as long as they don't look at it too closely. 

While it does have a few personality traits - courtesy of its AI, I'm not intending for this to be considered an additional character for the team, but the idea of a robot butterfly pet presents itself with a few gags to use throughout the series and I feel it's interesting enough to merit inclusion.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - June (Myst) 02

Myst was the last member of the good guys that I came up with, first appearing in an abandoned episode idea. The Halo Blades (bar Peter Edgewood) had been captured and Pete gains the help of four other dogs to rescue them. Myst was one of these extra characters. I can't remember if this was related to it, but another idea involved the HBS recruiting a few dozen extra auxiliary members for their team. I felt that the HBS needed a much larger force to pull of the successes against a powerful militarised foe. But this aspect was eventually relegated to the cutting room floor as I was ending up with a ridiculous amount of characters.

The next phase of including Myst came about in the first episode of the second season. She was to be a new member for the bad guys (who we will begin to see, starting from next month). At this point in development for Dogs Of War, I had the idea that the bad doggie characters undergo extensive genetic engineering and cybernetic enhancement between seasons one and two. The HBS convince Myst to join the good guys, using the argument that the bad guys may force her to undergo similar modifications, which she didn't want. This was another concept I abandoned, freeing up Myst once again.

Finally I just had her be one of Stylene's friends who joins her to help fight the good fight.

Myst had also been imagined as being the 'sexy' female character. This is something I had hoped to achieve whenever I created a female character, but each time I tried to sexy them up, my drawing style couldn't match what I had wanted. I'm much better at drawing now, but the sexiness factor has since fallen out of favour. She was also going to be a love interest to Peter Edgewood, but I later had other ideas for Peter and made Myst a love interest to Sledge instead.