You get used to doing things a certain way. Sometimes things come along that force you to stop and look a little differently. Today we rotate 90 degrees to look at my first mat in a portrait aspect.
Not so Brief.
Super robots are tall. Something of an understatement but accurate. The point is if you just want one on the mat your either going to end up with a lot of free space around it on a typical horizontal mat.
You could always cut the lower half off. make the top the focus and fill the mat with a flashy dynamic pose. No, not what your after?
Let me think about this then. Hmmm. How about doing the mat vertically? Bear with me you want the whole robot on the mat right, well he’s pretty rectangular and mats are rectangular so if you turn one of the two 90 degrees both will match up right, you can fill the mat completely.
You want it to look like a blueprint? OK, even better, a skyscraper would be doe this way too right? I don’t want something too static though, how about making it an exploded diagram? You know so we can see the inner workings. Yes? Cool.
Mass Production Type.
You want to know something else about Super Robots from card games? They tend to be low on reference material and/or high resolution images. finding reference got so bad I even watched the episode of the cartoon this guy shows up in and there were still parts of the body and more importantly aspects of the transformation mechanism I wold have to make up. It’s a good thing I know my transformers.
As for the design itself there was a lot of revision. Getting the angles and perspective right took some time. it’s exaggerated further in this image but the main way you make something look tall is to place the viewer close to the bottom of the page looking up. this has the effect of lengthening the legs and shortening the torso, a useful trick for both robots and humans. The bigness is further emphasized by placing a silhouette of a person in the image. as humans we know how big people are instinctively placing one beside the robot helps describe scale. other scale popular scale animals include birds and fish.
If the pose looks familiar I thought it would be cool to have a nod to a previous mat Place them next to each other and they can have a pointing contest. not that Starcream would be happy about it.
The hardest part of the process though was that blank mats being as they are, blank, meant that in another twist from normal I was going to have to colour everything but the lines. Worse the bulk of the colouring would be limited to a single colour. I was just going to have to go vey carefully, it quite tricky to make something white again..
Near the end I added the boxes of darker blue to push certain areas back giving the image more depth. the leg on the right does stick out a bit but I wanted to make doubly sure. Plus it breaks up the large aeas of the same blue. Text and symbols were added to tie the mat as callbacks to the original card.
Something else I discoved while working on this project? its quite difficult to photograph a mat this way around without losing detail somewhere so apologies for that. It was a fun challenge, working with shape to create line is something I enjoy, the whole vetical thing though? Probably best saved for situations that really need it.
Next time, things stay this way up, but get rather a lot smaller