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My Blog. My Art. My life.

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.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - June (Myst)

This little cutie is Myst Sheppard. She probably has the most thoroughly developed personality out of all my Dogs Of War characters. She's a bit of a free spirit, she's an environmentalist, she's spiritual, a little bit feminist, has an open mind about the world, is a positive thinker, is into astrology - you get the idea.

You might be wondering then, why oh why would someone like that be brandishing an assault rifle and a willing participant in a story about war? Well, while she cares about the environment, she believes all issues stem from overpopulation and that war is a speedy resolution to the problem. She also adopts a 'survival of the fittest' mentality. She won't hesitate passing up an opportunity if it benefits her. This doesn't mean she's completely without morals - it mostly manifests itself at battlefield looting.

Not that it really matters and I'm sure you don't care anyway, I've slightly misrepresented Myst's dog breed. Regarding animal characters in my Dogs Of War world, I try to adhere to their size relations. By that I mean characters based on small and large animals remain small and large respectively. Myst is a Shetland Sheepdog. These are small dogs, roughly terrier sized. This would mean she should be as tall as Stylene (a fox), however she is reasonably taller than that. Mainly this is because she is also Sledge's girlfriend and I didn't want there to be too much of a size difference between the two. The other misrepresentation is her intelligence. Shetland Sheepdogs are actually rated in the top ten smartest dog breeds (No. 1 is the Border Collie - Peter Edgewood's breed, incidentally). Myst isn't stupid by any means, but not super intelligent as her breed would suggest.

Design-wise, I'm still on the fence about whether to have her wear a skirt or trousers. Trousers would be easier for animation, but a skirt helps to differentiate her from the other characters.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - May (Sarah) 02

For quite some time there was an additional member of the Halo Blades team (yes, I still insist on calling them 'Halo Blades'. Deal with it). As I continued developing my Dogs Of War ideas, I came to the conclusion that I had too many main characters. I decided to cut the one I felt had the least significance and importance among the characters and series. I took all his lines and his unofficial role as the team's chef and gave them to Sarah. It was quite a shock how easy it was to replace him with Sarah. It turned out none of his dialogue was specific to his character - anyone could have said it. A bit of a shame, as the character I cut was technically, one of the first I created, even predating Dogs Of War itself by a few years. But not to worry, the culling showed me just how superfluous he was and it was nice to be able to bolster Sarah's presence and build her up a bit more as a character.

Friday, May 19, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - May (Sarah)

This is Sarah Edgewood - Pete's younger sister. The colours of her outfit aren't final, but I may end up sticking with it out of sheer laziness.

I developed Sarah shortly after I developed Peter. I figured I should give him some form of family. Sarah's much more chipper in personality than Peter is. As she is younger, she doesn't  remember being orphaned as vividly as Pete and hasn't affected her in the same way.

I first had Sarah as part of a mercenary team separate from Pete's unit. She and Pete crossed paths a few times in season 1 of Dogs Of War and I think due to various plot related reasons she joins Pete's team maybe by season 2. After a while I scrapped this concept and just had Sarah and Pete working together right from the start. It made more sense that way.

Apologies for the late entry this month. I'm currently working as an animator for a studio which has been taking up a lot of my time and am struggling to get around to working on my own projects - especially my animations for my YouTube channel.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - April (Peter) 03

Ooh, managing to squeeze in another picture this month. Getting a bit closer to what I had wished to achieve in the first place.

So here's Peter Edgewood again, but this time fully decked out in armour. This is why - on this blog - I tend to avoid drawing my characters with their helmets on. It gets rather difficult to tell who's who. The whole point of '12 Months Of Dogs Of War' is to introduce and showcase my characters and would rather not have their faces covered up all the time.

The reason I have my characters with so much armour is for plausible survivability. I tend to get a bit irritated whenever I watch a TV show or film where the bad guys always miss shooting their target, especially when they're trying to be portrayed as a powerful force. I wanted the enemy in Dogs Of War to be a dangerous and competent threat. For that I needed them to be able to shoot accurately and yet for my guys to all be still alive by the end of each episode. They're still vulnerable to heavy weapons fire, but fortunately the average soldier they come across doesn't carry the firepower to instakill the good guys.

That thing on the side of the helmet houses a torch and camera, in case you're wondering.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

12 Months of Dogs Of War - April (Peter) 02

Yes, Peter Edgewood has a sword.

Yes, he does sometimes carry it with him into battle.

Yes, that does mean he literally brings a sword to a gun fight.

The sword's something Pete was issued as part of his military training back in the day. Though generally considered more of a status symbol than for practical use, Pete likes to have it with him regardless.

The design journey was pretty swift. The initial inspiration came from the Goron's Knife from video game Legend Of Zelda Majora's Mask back from the ol' Nintendo 64 days. The two look nothing alike, but I started there and worked my way to what you see here. Why is the tip designed that way? No idea. I guess my intention was to make it a bit more unique. Again, status symbol over practicality.