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 Post subject: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:40 am 
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I'm proud to announce the newest "Behind the Scenes : Feature 3" has been posted to the Official Quest for Glory II site. If you've been admiring the Sierra-quality character portraits in the game, you'll want to take a look at the development process in this particular sneak peek.

And, if you're as much a fan of Britney's work as I am, you'll enjoy these exclusive background pieces I dug out of our archives.

Enjoy them and please post all questions (and raves) about Britney's work here in this thread! She is present and in control. ;)

Enjoy!
-eriq


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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:28 am 
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No replies here yet, huh? Well, Miss Brimhall, I've been a big fan of your work since the King's Quest 1 revamp, and it's just been getting better and better. Your character portraits are excellent, better, I feel, than anything Sierra themselves ever put out (and they did good work). Anyway, you're an inspiration to all of us aspiring artists out here. Or at least to me, anyway. Keep up the good work.

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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:28 am 
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Fantastic! You have a much better sense of perspective then I could probably ever hope to have. Your work is consistently wonderful!


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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:20 pm 
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eriqchang wrote:
Enjoy them and please post all questions (and raves) about Britney's work here in this thread! She is present and in control. ;)

Does she control the horizontal and the vertical? :lol

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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:41 pm 
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I've always been a big fan of adventure game backgrounds (or rooms.. whatever you want to call them :).. it's always amazed me how much work must go into creating a detailed picture while still managing to perfectly blend it style and colorvise with the rest of the adjoing rooms, maintaining such high a level of consistency :) especially if it's a room that the player is probably only going to be in for about 2 secs as he runs through :D

when I draw stuff I sometimes don't even stay consistent on the same image :)

Seeing as I've just read through the workflow you use for creating character portraits, i'd love to learn if the workflow for creating backgrounds/rooms is similar... if you do the background design yourself from start to finish, or if someone else does the lining and coloring? at which point do you downsize your work to 320*200, and how much work is done on the image after the downsize has taken place? I haven't really looked into the palette you guys/girls use in the game, but does it change from room to room, and if it doesn't, what kind of difficulties did you run into when working with such a limited palette (or not, as it may be).

(and would you guys/girls ever consider showing us a less 'important' background in it's colorful glory prior to resizing? (see how many assumptions about your workflow I made there? ;)))

Thanks for any answers, if any need be saved for a later behind the scenes feature I can wait.. I've had a lot of experience in waiting over the last few years :D

Demanding, me? ;)


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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:12 pm 
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So ALL the backgrounds were done by one person?


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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:41 pm 
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No, some of them were based on sketches like these, others were based on screenshots of the original and all of them were given extensive refinement treatment by our touch-up artists.

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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:17 am 
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Brainiac wrote:
eriqchang wrote:
Enjoy them and please post all questions (and raves) about Britney's work here in this thread! She is present and in control. ;)

Does she control the horizontal and the vertical? :lol


We've got it all on UHF!


Anyway, yes Britney, you are very talented in what you do. If I could focus on one thing and be half as skilled as you, I'd be set for life. Carry on.

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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:02 am 
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The sketches above weren't actually used for the in-game backgrounds. Original, we'd intended to hand paint them all, but just ended up using the EGA screens as a base instead.

While it's not exactly a tutorial, I posted a little about the progressions, various stages, and reworkings that Britney's Al Emmo backgrounds went through (as well as the character animations) in the following thread. The backgrounds for that game were all hand-painted with acrylics and then digitally touched-up in Photoshop. You need to scroll about halfway down the first page:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=11826


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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:03 am 
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Brit, if you're still willing to work on free-games... I have a number of projects that would benefit from your incredible skill. :)
(Not to mention finishing your work at Hero6!!! LOL!)


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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:48 am 
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I think right now she's busy preparing for a three-month trip she's planning in november.

EDIT: It's a charity trip that people can donate to, btw. Seeing that people around here have been in a generous mood due to the game, I guess I can give the URL if someone's interested. It's http://www.herosquest2008.com/ .

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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:25 am 
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Really? hmmm... that's 5 weeks of good hard work!!
*went to look for a good and sturdy whip* :p


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 Post subject: Re: QFG2 Behind the Scenes 3 : Meet Britney Brimhall!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:50 pm 
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How exciting! Thank you Eriq for creating the newest behind the scenes feature :D

And thank you to everyone for your kind words regarding my work. I think creating art has two purposes for me; one, is I have the need to create. And two, I want to give to and bring joy to the viewer. Hearing your positive feedback makes me happy, because it allows me to believe I've met my goals in creating the artwork!

I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse, but I was born a Virgo. Virgo sun sign. Virgo moon sign. Virgo venus sign. Maybe even a Virgo rising sign--I never could figure that one out. But basically, I take a very typical Virgo approach when creating artwork for games. I am a workaholic and perfectionist, creating ridiculous amounts of artwork, and pixel editing the hell out of it, until it meets my standards. I was born on the Leo cusp, which fortunately allows me to be a bit creative, too.

What I've always wished, is that there were more hours in the day to create artwork. I've found that due to the massive quantities of artwork I've needed to create for the games, that I can't focus as much as I'd like to on any one picture. But, considering the sheer number of pieces I've had to create, I'm generally pleased with how it all turned out; although, I of course, always want everything to be better, better, better. Luckily, practice makes perfect, and I've found that the more games we work on, the more skills I develop and the better my work becomes. I'll always consider my talent a work in progress though!

As for backgrounds, thanks for posting the pictures and description of the process I used in "Al Emmo", Chris. I'd say the major problem for me, is when I realize I have to create literally HUNDREDS of backgrounds, I get so nervous at the monumental task, that I want to SPRINT to the finish line to decrease that anxiety. But in reality, the job is truly a marathon of sorts, and I need to pace myself to make it to the end. I sometimes will rush a picture just to finish it, and then afterwards, will not be satisfied with the results, and will go back again and again to perfect it.

With Al Emmo, I painted most background images by hand using acrylic paints. I would then scan that image into the computer, and add ample numbers of details in Photoshop using either a mouse, or later as I evolved, a digital pen tablet. Even after the image was resized, I would sometimes add fine details, trying to perfect the image--again, my Virgo nature! I always want everything to be better and better, and have a hard time calling any piece "finished".

After a while, I realized I could draw a pencil sketch, scan that into the computer, and just colorize the background entirely in Photoshop. I still find it neat though to have an actual acrylic painting in my hands--it makes the whole process seem more artistic and Sierra like:)

As for consistency, I found that to be an issue as well, and it just took tons of practice and messing up before I started developing a feel for how to make background images consistent. I guess it's like increasing stats in a Quest for Glory game. You just have to keep practicing before you become a pro! I remember in the early days, I made SO MANY MISTAKES, making background images that just weren't the right perspective or scale; after making enough timely mistakes, you start to learn your lesson :D

I guess that I've just been really fortunate to be able to work on so many projects that have required so much work from me. Without being part of the team, I wouldn't have felt obligated to fulfill my duties as an artist, and I wouldn't have forced myself to create such massive quantities of work. The work itself was really the best learning experience I could have ever hoped for, and the constructive criticism I got from teammates allowed me to go back, refine my work, and learn even more skills in the process.

Here's to a continued future of creating artwork, continually learning, and bringing at least a little bit of viewing pleasure and artistic enjoyment to the fans!

Thanks again, everybody :D

Britney, (aka Milan Easton/Anonymous Game Developer #1)

PS. As Stijn mentioned (thank you, Stijn!), I am going on a real life "Hero's Quest" starting in November. I'm going to be riding my bicycle across the wilds of Central America, and perhaps continue on through South America or even elsewhere in the world. I'll be meeting new people, sleeping under the stars, facing danger, practicing a new language, trying new foods and immersing myself in different cultures. I've got a journal online where you adventurers can enjoy the experience vicariously:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/HQ8

I've also got a website, which Stijn mentioned, where you can learn more:

http://www.herosquest2008.com

I've planned the adventure as a means of raising awareness and funds for a charity I support called the 100 Club. Basically, I'm raising money for the families of fallen police officers and fire fighters, as well as those who are seriously injured in the line of duty. If you're interested in donating to the cause, you can do so online here:

http://www.firstgiving.com/herosquest2008

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