Creating Lineless Art

During my senior game lab class, I conducted freelance work for my classmates in established development groups. One group was working on their new game Hook King, and had multiple art assets to have freelancers work on. For this, I chose to do the X formation sword and shield ornament they plan on using in the environment for the game. Due to the fact that the game is in a soft-shaded lineless 2D art style, I needed to make sure my piece matched. 

For the software, I used Adobe Illustrator. While Photoshop is very useful for making 2D art, Illustrator is best for making specifically polygonal art assets, as the software forces the pen and pencil tools to automatically smooth each stroke the user makes. It also makes it easier to move and manipulate objects in more intricate manners. From there, I import a source image to base the general design off of and to get an idea for the color scheme. 

After laying the image down, I have three different layers specifically designated for the different parts of the ornament, the shield, the two swords, and any extra details added to the shield. The I begin using the pen tool, line tool, curved line too, and rectangle and oval tools to outline the general shape of each part of the ornament. Once I'm done, the asset actually looks pretty ugly, as it just looks like a bunch of barely connected shapes. 

This was done on purpose however, as the line work is simply the template for the colored pieces. Unlike photoshop and other art software, Illustrator's paint-bucket tool is very unorthadox in how it's used. I first have to create paint layers out of the different areas of shapes. I select all the linework for the shield and turn them all into one paint layer, making it a single object that I can fill the spaces in. I then repeat the process for the swords and the edge pieces of the shield. 

The last part, and most fun/simple part, is coloring in the different shapes. For this I simply got the best fitting colors, making sure they're all at least somewhat dark to match the metallic texture of the objects. Once I'm done filling in, I get rid of the edges of each object, making them lose their very polygonal appearance and instead leaving smooth and colorful shapes. 

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Email: matthewrickards01@gmail.com

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Twitter: @rickards_matt

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