In this article we would like to provide our holders and followers with more insight into the conceptualization of the “Evolution Paths” and specifically Evolution 2 details for our Creatures. The stages below take Krawler as an example in outlining the steps and process followed by our team and community in conceptualising and creating its second evolution step.
Species: Krawler; Origin: Fire; Rarity: Epic — in its current E1 form:
Our internal concept artist team creates the initial sketches based on the lore of each individual pixelmon, findable on our website. The team designs a number of “evolution paths” for each creature, ultimately firming up at least 3 preferred options:
Note: the evolution paths are not meant to show extensive E2 detail as much as show E2 and E3 (and for rare cases E4) as a path, thus they also contain a first concept of the E3 stage.
The 3 alternatives are submitted to our community focus groups, where before detailed feedback comes in a path preference is picked — in this case the 3rd option — after which the concept art team starts focusing entirely on this path and meticulously adjust the design to suit each character’s personality, developing the finer details of each evolution:
At this point the concept art team starts thinking about the requirements of our 3D modellers, and as such start developing each character from different points of view — a necessary requirement to accelerate the 3D modelling process and ensure consistency between the creative vision of the concept team and community and the final output of the 3D team. This also allows the community to provide feedback on all aspects of the creature, having a view of all possible angles as they will be able to with the full 3D game ready assets in the future.
Multiple views per E2 and E3, with a deeper dive into E2 at this stage as can be seen above.
The fourth step happens in parallel with the third pretty much and it entails embedding community (focus group) feedback (most of which gathered in the second step) now on the details to improve about the chosen evolution path, this detailed feedback is merged with the feedback coming from the 3D design team (meanwhile armed with the multi sided views form step three).
In this case the key feedback was that E2 ended up being too similar to E1, a rework of E2 followed by the concept art team, with minor retouches for E3 as can be seen below in the rework tabs:
..and with more detail:
Once the designs are approved, the next step is to design and flesh out the Pixelmons appearance from all angles once more with the 3D design team requirements fully in mind:
The dedicated 3D modelling team (based in Japan and dedicated exclusively to Pixelmon for all evolutions of Generation 1) asks the concept art team to further detail some aspects of the model, in example “could you show a section of the tail?” or “could you show a detail of the scales and how they would move as the creature moves?”
Once the model is clear, both for Concept and 3D modelling team the next step is to provide the 3D modelling team with texturing direction, the concept art team starts detailing material directions for each surface of the Pixelmon, this is what ensures that each of our creatures, in their high poly NFT version, is complete of zoom in microsurface rendering details as for the E1 collection currently live:
Last but not least, the concept artists draw our the “storyboard” for the Pixelmon NFT animation, as perthe E1 all our Pixelmon in E2 and 3 will be complete of animations, and while these were purely idle stance animations for E1 they start developing into attack/defence or power-up animations for the subsequent steps:
Finally the final set of concept boards is handed over to the 3D team for development.
We will be walking you through the 3D modelling and the Sound creation steps in subsequent articles.
If you want to get more of these insights, keep checking out our Medium Account, Twitter Account and join our Discord!