Rayman 2 is a fan-made project by @new_dawngames composed of many members (from developers, 3d artists, digital artists, and more). I was asked to be a concept artist for the whole redesign alongside with other 2 other artists. My main job was to explore the early development with sketches of the pirate’s patrol stations and fortresses using ships (either whole ships or broken pieces).
A redesign is meant to deconstruct the main idea/result and make it more refreshing and interesting without losing the nostalgic touch. Rayman 2 has a lot of copy-paste elements of duplicated pieces/ideas (nothing wrong with that). In this case, I researched as many ships as I could to redesign the main ones (max. 6 pieces) for more duplication without looking boring or repetitive during structure development.
I proposed to the team to create the 3 stages or structure of the pirates’ patrol stations: the first stage is messy and not logical when it comes to patrol stations with incomplete setups or broken pieces, the second and third stages are more organized and can endure more due to resistant, appropriate and durable materials such as metal.
I also explored some background designs using interior setups, and different locations with perspectives and settings (night or day). One of my main struggles was learning the concept art language. In Rayman 2 the pirates were crazy and lazy with their structures, so before I could actually learn to do it correctly, and consistently I was given some constructive criticism.
As you can see, these were my first drafts. I was a bit overwhelmed by the process and usually had a hard time establishing and defining the perspectives. I have a peculiar way to work first in grids or blocks in order to tackle the most difficult part, then working on elements by playing with shapes. You can appreciate the struggle I was having creating these. The designs seem rigid and made with fear. After a little brainstorming, research, references, and a few words with the team, I was able to go with the flow. You can now appreciate how organic my drafts became in the last picture.
For the second round, we were asked to begin the environment design for the Fairy Glade level. They needed the main level drawn in various alternatives, including individual elements as assets. The director compiled a PDF document about R2HD Artstyle Guide with other members for protocol, I call it “The Bible”. The main task was to create props and environment concepts and/or breakdowns so that the modelers could work the 3D renderings of our work. My first task was creating assets for the tree bark, with “a balance between putting too much detail and not putting enough”.
After creating several concepts and polishing details, I was able to pull off the “putting too much detail and not putting enough” in the last tree. Coincidentally, that same tree was the one I was not satisfied with after many attempts of recreating a specific texture in the broken parts of the wood’s texture. Below, the modelers, I believe, were having a hard time constructing the vines since they didn’t have a breakdown concept of it, besides the image of a flat pattern of vines from the Rayman 2 screenshot. So they asked for my help and gave them a few alternatives to work around.