Hello everyone! Today we're introducing a fun new Avatar Artist Spotlight Series!
From time to time we'll be sitting down to interview one of the creative paws behind upcoming/newly released Avatars to get an artist's perspective on the process. From unexpected hiccoughs, to happy accidents, to what snacks really get the creative juices flowing, you never know what you might learn!
Our first guinea-pi... I mean lucky artist, is Jade Ravenwing! Jade was lead designer for the adorable new Corgen!
Can you describe the design process for this avatar?
The design process for the Corgen was pretty straightforward and simple. I was given two avatar choices and I picked the Corgen/Corgi. I think that Corgis are adorably awesome, and I tried to mirror that during the creation of this avatar. I’m pretty confident that I succeeded. James designed the nifty remaps for the avatar, so he gets credit for that. They allow for some pretty cute and awesome color choices. Like Panda-Corgis. Who doesn’t love Panda-Corgis.
What was the hardest part?
After working on the Snapdragon (Primes save me), the Corgen wasn’t difficult for me at all. No wings and extra frilly bits? Yes please (though frilly bits can be fun too!). The “hardest” part would have been figuring out the mechanics of the bounding animation, but that was more of a sequence of small, trial and error edits rather than anything truly difficult. Getting the shading of the neck-fur right was a struggle as well, I think James and Degu saved the day on that one for me, and my thanks goes out to them for that.
Technical-skill wise, getting the head right on the NW laying pose was difficult; I had to rotate the head around and reshade it so that it fit the pose without looking awkward.
What was your favourite part?
I don’t often have a “favorite part” of doing an avatar, I’ve found. Where a lot of people enjoy the entire process of creation, I find I often enjoy the small accomplishments scattered through the process more. Avatars have lots of small steps that have to be confirmed throughout the creation process, and my brain seems to enjoy that. Specifically for the Corgen, I’d say the bounding animation was my favorite part to get completed. The on-the-back laying pose was a happy accomplishment as well, as I was very nervous about attempting it on my own.
What problems did you run into during testing?
I didn’t encounter any major problems this time around, thankfully; just little things that were relatively easy to fix. A couple examples would be making sure the north-facings didn’t look too flat/side-on, making sure the butt was big enough to look properly isometric (this one always makes me giggle: “Needs more butt!” or “The butt needs to be bigger!”), and the feet sliding oddly during first positioning passes. All things that would make the avatar look “not right” in-game, but surprisingly easy fixes sometimes, if you can spot them.
How do you feel about the finished product?
I’m extremely proud of the final product. I think it’s the first avatar I’ve actually finished before the original/tentative due date, and I’m really proud of myself for that. It’s also one of the few avatars where I came up with the first standing and north standing (mostly) on my own, instead of editing one to final product. I’m really excited and pleased that I was able to do that. I think it’s a big step for me in avatar creation. I do have to give James credit for the idea of implementing a bounding animation, it was brilliant and really fun to create. Overall I really enjoyed working on the Corgen, and I really hope the community loves the avatar as much as I do. It’s a digo I’d definitely buy for myself and/or for my friends.
Anything else you want to share with the community about the making of the Corgen?
Not having school/university homework looming in the back of your mind makes for A++ focus during the creation of avatars. The Corgen is officially the first avatar I’ve done completely after obtaining my degree, and I have to say the process is much more enjoyable now.
Thank you to Jade Ravenwing for taking the time to answer our questions, they were truly insightful!