Good vs Evil Star Wars Playmat

c’est ne pas une lune…
Ah puns within puns, art puns, Star Wars puns and even references to how many moons seem to appear in my mats, still as the first sentence points out its not a moon so clearly its time to look at another Star Wars mat!
Lets start by mentioning that I have gone with a photo of the mat rather than the usual scan this time for two reasons, firstly that it means I can have higher res images on the site so you can see more detail, the jaunty angle somewhat preventing the image from being reused plus just generally looking more professional. Secondly it allows me to talk about some of the special effects scanning tends to hide which I will talk about a bit more later.
This being the third Star Wars mat I have done means I am getting quite used to drawing Mr Vader and stormtroopers the rest of the cast were more tricky especially at such a small size but I let the shading and lighting effects do most of the work and am quite pleased with the results. Darth’s outfit especially had to take into account the various light sources in play and I like the effects on his helmet both because of how it turned out and as it is somewhat of a callback to the first Star Wars mat. I think that maybe the small characters could have been a little bigger in hindsight, theres a bit of space in the triangle they inhabit that could have got a bit more use though increasing the size would have started to infringe on the fight scene so its tough to call.
I always like to try and get some sort of narrative into the design of the mats, when you only have one character to work with it tends to be a bit more difficult but thats not really an issue here where we have the main fight scene, the ships preparing for battle in the background, the trooper making an arrest and so on I wont describe them all here its always best to let the viewer create their own storys.
Finally lets talk about special effects, this image will be the first one where they are apparent but a number of the other mats I have already talked about use the this particular effect to some small degree and a number of them that I will talk about in coming weeks use them more heavily and take them further. I discovered due to the interaction between the mat material and the various products I was using to draw on it that I could create a sort of simple holographic/lithographic effect. From certain angles and under certain lighting conditions I could get details to appear and disappear, luckily one of the angles things are most visible is when you are sitting down with the mat in front of you on a table so most of the detail should be visible while your playing (though lights do effect the overall strength of the effect)
Here the effect it used on the stars in the background and to pick out hi-lights on the ships and that thing that isn’t a moon but more importantly on the lightsabers to make them really pop. Its also used to a lesser extent on the characters eyes and Lela’s gun has a really feint smoke effect, the question being who did she shoot?
An amusing story has us talking about the mat part way through production and realising it should have been lego Star Wars, a dramatically different layout probably, just because of arm length and body shape more than anything else but the moment it was said we all knew it would have been epic, everything should be logo’ised.
Perhaps for Star Wars mat four…

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