Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Wereshark - Redesign

All good things come to an end and today brings the last monster I redesigned for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. We are down to almost the end of the alphabet with the wily, Wereshark. Here is how the final concept turned out...

Wereshark - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual - Redesign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Were-Anything can go horribly horribly wrong very quickly, especially with today's sensibilities and design styles. While I was interested in the Wereshark I knew it was going to be a rough one (or at least had a very high potential to be). The initial direction was to have the Wereshark be a large shark monster with arms and legs. While interesting... uh, yeah... I got to work on some thumbnails and tried my best. Here are how those original thumbnails turned out...

Wereshark - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Yup, sharks with arms and legs. While now bad, I actually like some of these a lot, these just don't feel 5th Edition D&D to me. Production acknowledged this too and we talked about a new direction. Sometimes you just need to see how something will look and then move on from there. I was asked to approached the Wereshark as it being more of a man with shark characteristics rather then a shark with man characteristics. The idea of it being a drowned pirate also came up and I  really liking where this new direction was leading. I got to work on some new thumbnails...

Wereshark - Revised Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Some of these are awkward, but I was trying to cover the gamut of safe to not so safe. "A" was the winner, obviously. Sometime I wish I new I had hit the mark and could stop there... but you never know, and you never know it one option just looks way better when compared to the others. It was now time to work up the drawing for the Wereshark...

Wereshark - Drawing
9 x 12
Pencil on Paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The drawing was approved and we were heading down a much better path for the Wereshark. It was time for the color comp and I was asked to make sure to play up the shark coloring and patterning to make sure it really sell the SHARK in Wereshark. Here is how the final turned out...

Wereshark - Final Redsign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Wereshark was approved and the last monster was all finished up. At this point I moved almost immediately into illustrating the Monster Manual. With the conclusion of the design phase it marked the last chance I had to work with Jon Schindehette on D&D. Jon has since moved on to other exciting projects, but it was an amazing treat to conclude our time working together with redesigning monsters for D&D.

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition!

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday for something new! Until then...

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