Hey everyone! This week Mat talks about the strange creatures of Light Fall and how he goes from a blank page to creating a detailed and fleshed out monster. Take a seat and listen to the man behind the art of Light Fall.
The creatures of Numbra are strange and unique looking, how do you come up with these?
To get visual inspiration for a monster, I first try to search for a behavioral inspiration. Let’s say I need to come up with a swamp creature that jumps, my starting point will obviously be a frog. Once I found my ‘model’ image, I start to get crazy and have fun distorting its silhouette. In the case of the frog, its silhouette is made of numerous circles. I will then distort these circles, stretch or squeeze them, replace some with other shapes to finally obtain what I call a silhouette database.
Despite the fact that the creatures of Numbra are all unique and different, is there something that ties them all in one way? A similar aspect?
I’d say the similar aspect comes from the silhouette database itself. Since I create and develop numerous monsters from the same concept bank (the database), most of them come from the same common ancestors. It feels a bit like the evolution theory, multiple animals that originate from the same model but had their shape and look changed with time.
Explain your creation process… How do you go from a blank page to a detailed and fleshed out monster? Do you discuss intricacies with the rest of the team?
The art of Light Fall is referred as the silhouette style. This visual approach can be explained as an idea that goes into a funnel closing up, then goes back into another funnel that opens up and finally closes up once more with a finished product. So it basically is a 3-steps process.
I like this comparison because at the beginning I start with a complete and detailed picture (my model), then I proceed to completely deconstruct it to its most basic form (its visual essence). This is the first funnel.
Once the image is simplified to its most extreme point, I take back its basic elements and reshape and modify them at will until I get new images. This is the second funnel.
Finally, once I am satisfied with the number of new images I created, I eliminate the ones I find the less appealing, present the best ones to the team and we decide which way to go from there. This is the third funnel.
What is the most fun and exciting aspect of creating a monster from scratch? On the other hand, what is the most boring?
I like the ‘’funnels’’ step, where I just play around the silhouettes and have fun with the shapes and things like that. It’s amusing to draw numerous little sketchs that are all so different. Refining these concepts can get tiresome at times : coloring the image, working the lines, splitting up the body members for the animation are things that can become tedious.
In your eyes, what is the perfect enemy in Light Fall?
The light itself, evidently! It’s a very old and basic theme… light vs darkness, good vs evil, but totally reversed! This is the only enemy the game needs, the rest is just gravy haha.