Category: Practice 1 Media: 03 Nostalgia

Nostalgia -BATMAN – push the materials

Yeah so ultimately I decided that the Christmas card was not nostalgic enough and I wanted to do something else that took the lesson that I’d learnt from that and pushed it a bit further.

I decided to do a re-design of an old Batman toy of mine (as I grew up practically reared on the Bruce Timm animated series of the early 90s). I had a huge collection of Batman figures and thought it would be an interesting design challenge to take one of them as a basis and re-concept it.

So I picked Arctic Batman (obviously he needs all that gear to fight Mr Freeze, and he is a billionaire and all). Taking photo reference from the figure, I blocked out the basic shapes and threw some light/shadow on him to define form. But this exercise wasn’t about getting into the intricacies of the design, I wanted to push material separation.


Having decided that *just* using 2D painting was a restriction I placed on the previous piece, I carefully selected ‘thermal’ materials from various photo sources online, which I then created tillable versions of and constrained/warped to fit the character (the underlying strong structure sketch helped a lot)


Once I had the textures in place, I painted back over then into the image ‘re-claiming’ it and setting the lighting again, which helped to redefine the form.


Nostalgia – push the materials

So the brief this week is to create something Nostalgic. I actually wanted to use this as an opportunity to push my 2D rendering skills and denote separate materials in a way that can be read easily.

I had a similar idea in mind when I did the cylinder challenge back in January 2016:texture2bstudies2bsheet

I’ve since come a long way on a technical level since then (which is nice to see in my own work!), but I wanted to do something similar in a ‘live brief’ situation. I had a Christmas Card to design as a pastiche of the film poster of the 1983 film ‘A Christmas Story’ – see here.

The personal goal/learning outcome that I had set for myself was creating contrasting and clearly separate materials (with the link to ‘Nostalgia’ being that it was Christmas, duh!). I imposed a limiting factor on myself – no photo textures, so purely painting. I recognise that in a commercial setting for speed purposes it would be important to use photo textures, but then I wouldn’t have practised/learnt anything! Ultimately this was a very good image for it as I didn’t need to focus on anything else as it was a homage to the original poster.

I think this worked out in the end – I feel like it helped my own rendering ability.