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Riot Creative Contest 2017 (November 2017- January 2018)

Polycount hosted another Riot contest! This year I did a Walk Cycle and a Recall of an adventurer and her pet jellyfish.


Lessons Learned

1. Clarity

It's a habit of mine to make ideas that are overly complex or adding too many ideas, I've talked about it in previous shots. I don't believe this was one of those times! I kept the idea for the Recall simple, but I made some changes to make it more clear to the audience. I go over it a little in my WIP Polycount thread. I had multiple people tell me it took them a few viewings to understand that the Adventurer was, what I like to call, “searching in the Jellyfish's pockets”.

Part of this was due to the camera angle being high and part of it was due to the anticipation/motivation before the action. The original idea was for the Jellyfish to get bored and start sucking on its arm. The Adventurer was not pleased with this and that would motivate her to search for something else to put in the Jellyfish's mouth. Jason Shum gave me some great feedback and pointed out that, even though it may be a bit more cliché, having the Jellyfish point towards it's mouth (signally hunger) would be more relatable and clear.

There were a few more moments that also happen quickly so it's important to make sure they read. Such as on the Recall Winddown (when the pair return to the screen) and the lollipop is flying through the air. Making sure the Jellyfish is tracking the lollipop with his eyes and opening his mouth to show anticipation to jump up and eat it. There's a lot of motion happening so it's good to help lead the audience in more ways than just a body anticipation.


Things that went right

1. Style

League of Legends has a distinct style that includes exaggerated timing. I wasn't experienced or comfortable with this style in the last contest they held. This time I made sure to study reference and not be afraid of breaking the rigs. Although these characters may not fit visually into the League universe it was still my goal to make them feel as though they belonged there. 

2. Readability

This is a bit different than the “Clarity” I talked about above. When I say clarity I'm talking about “can you understand the idea that is being conveyed” and when I say readability I mean “can you tell what is happening from the game camera”. League has a top down camera, that combined with the relatively simple rigs provided some challenges.

I consciously made the decision to match the characters. Neither one overshadowed the other in terms of visual busyness and they both have appeal. The Cuby rig has a large central mass with stumpy appendages which made it difficult at times to make her read clearly from a distance. The Jellyfish rig had six arms that were positioned underneath him, which made it hard to see them from a high angle.

Knowing the camera and how the characters will be seen in game does allow you to take advantage of those facts, however. The Recall will only ever be seen from one angle so I was able to cheat some poses towards the camera. I took the opportunity to separate the characters on the Walk Cycle by popping up the Adventurer because having one character on top of the other can also muddy the silhouette.



Cuby rig- https://vimeo.com/francm127

Fish model- @quaternius 

Jellyfish rig- @ylsiew