Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: SR4 artwork
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Redhammer the Old
Maybe its just me but the one let down for the recent edition is that I think the artwork is not as good as some of the previous publications.
In my mind nothing beats the Paul Bonner cover of SR3, go folks with big noses! notworthy.gif

PS: On that note any idea what Paul Bonner is up to now? Have not seen anything from him since SR3 cover but he used to lots of "nice" orcs & gobbos as well..."
Ranneko
Not again, can't we just let this issue lie?
blakkie
QUOTE (Ranneko)
Not again, can't we just let this issue lie?

You're on the DSF, not one of those wierdo places that give dead horses a free ride. love.gif
Fortune
QUOTE (Redhammer the Old)
In my mind nothing beats the Paul Bonner cover of SR3, go folks with big noses!

I, on the other hand, think that the SR3 BBB has one of the worst covers in Shadowrun's release history. Even the (somewhat dreadful) SR4 cover is better that the cartoon imagery of SR3.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Fortune)
I, on the other hand, think that the SR3 BBB has one of the worst covers in Shadowrun's release history. Even the (somewhat dreadful) SR4 cover is better that the cartoon imagery of SR3.

Agreed. In fact, the only cover that I think is worse than the SR3 core rules would be Cannon Companion, for many of the same reasons. It's one of the few books I go out of my way to be sure to place face down when I lay it down somewhere.
Grinder
Both are at the same crappy level imo, but the SR3-cover at least has some action feeling. Looking at the SR4 LE-cover, i think that's the way a RPG book should look like. smile.gif
RunnerPaul
SR4's cover has echos of the original Elmore. It gives me an "honoring the past vibe" while at the same time reminding me "you can't go back there again".

Of course, there's more art besides just what's on the cover. Some particularly nice touches would be:
  • the shirt the Sample Character Hacker is wearing (a subtle reference to the movie Hackers, the TV show that Razor and Blade hosted was called Hack the Planet)
  • The artwork on p.37 that gets repeated on p.211 with all the augmented reality overlay message windows. By itself, it's what I consider to be prototypical SR crowd scene art. When it gets repeated, it communicates an important game concept. (And normally, I hate when art gets recycled.)
  • The Ares Predator IV looks very much like an evolution of the other guns in the line. While the original may have been a prime example of FASA's standard operating practice of "borrowing" an image from another source, the current version can stand alone as it's own piece of artwork.
  • The HK XM30. This is one sexy rifle system. It may be derivative of the XM8, which itself looks like it was derivative of Master Chief's Battle Rifle from Halo 2, but frankly, I don't care. This is just a yummy firearm.
  • The Stoner-Ares M-202. Back in First Edition, this was the artwork used for the FN-HAR assault rifle. I always thought it'd was rather bulky for an assault rifle, so it's interesting to see the old artwork get a more appropriate home.
  • The general orksploitation theme running through any artwork that prominently features orks. Makes me wonder what the theme from Shaft sounds like in the original Or'zet.
Redhammer the Old
@ RunnerPaul

wow great reply, great analysis notworthy.gif - have to agree that there some very nice touches throughout and some items are done very well

I was more looking at the execution of pictures like the underground on p82 ..

@RunnerPaul & Fortune

that is purely a question of style and I fully understand if you do not like the cartoon style - maybe it is a bit UNshadowrunny when compared to previous releases - execution if good in my mind though (but I am biased as I like that style..)

PS you must both also hate target awakened lands biggrin.gif
Gothic Rose
Of particular note, in my opinion, are the following pictures:

Page 133 is a particularly horrible picture. I find the generalness of the people to be...well, ugly.

Page 53 is, in my opinion, one of the best pics in the book. It's a nice style, and it really portrays, in my opinion, the camaraderie of a good shadowrunning team. Just the way the characters hold themselves, and interact with each other...it's spiff.

Page 23 is Bad Fuggin Ass. I consider it to be tied for my favorite pic in the entire book (tied with the Weapon Specialist). I just find the dragon over the bullet train to be...well, kind of a perfect example of just WHAT Shadowrun is all about. It's the setting in a nutshell.

Page 15 is also quite good, although I'm not sure if those are some sort of demony toxic spirits, or just really badly drawn Trolls. I hope it's the toxic spirits.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Gothic Rose)
Page 23 is Bad Fuggin Ass. I consider it to be tied for my favorite pic in the entire book (tied with the Weapon Specialist). I just find the dragon over the bullet train to be...well, kind of a perfect example of just WHAT Shadowrun is all about. It's the setting in a nutshell.

A pic that shows the Great Eastern Dragon Ryumyo's appearance on 24 Dec 2011, the event that nearly everyone considers to be the official start of the awakening? I couldn't think of a better subject for a piece of art for the history chapter. Well executed too.

Another thing I noted, was that the bellybutton factor was surprisingly low in this book. There's only approximately 10 visible bellybuttons, give or take, and they're divided evenly between males and females. Compare that to previous products, some of which had half the pagecount of SR4, but had upwards of about 25 visible female navels to like 3 male.

Not that bellybuttons are particularly a bad thing, mind you.
Gothic Rose
QUOTE (RunnerPaul)

Another thing I noted, was that the bellybutton factor was surprisingly low in this book. There's only approximately 10 visible bellybuttons, give or take, and they're divided evenly between males and females. Compare that to previous products, some of which had half the pagecount of SR4, but had upwards of about 25 visible female navels to like 3 male.

Not that bellybuttons are particularly a bad thing, mind you.

I guess it got cold in Seattle all of a sudden nyahnyah.gif
Fleinhoy
Counting belly buttons, oh my.

I generally like the artwork in SR4 better than the last edition, but the one of Ryumyo and the bullet train struck me as one of the weaker pieces in the book. Now don't get me wrong, the motif is really good and it captures the setting, but the style and the way it's executed doesn't do it for me. As someone said about the SR3 cover: it's too cartoony. Just doesn't give the associations to future upheaval and change to come that such and image should give.
I seem to remember too that thereís a lot of Orks going on, but this is largely natural: they are the fastest growing group of metahumanity, and they tend to be fairly visible walking down a street populated mostly with normal sized humans, donít they?
Roadspike
I have to say that although I miss Tim Bradstreet's gritty street scenes (love the old picture with the table full of guns and the guy in the leather jacket), SR4s artwork somewhat surprised me in how good it turned out. Some of the pictures are a bit cartoony, but others look really, really good to me.
PlatonicPimp
What's wrong with Cartoony?
Azralon
"Cartoony" typically conflicts with "Gritty." Joe Madureira is cartoony; Frank Miller is gritty.

It's just a matter of suitability. Most people don't equate Shadowrun to BESM anime or Hanna-Barbera because of people like Tim Bradstreet setting the visual style of the gameworld back in the late 80's.

Personally I don't like picturing my gun-toting cybertroll gangers drawn by Disney artists; Shadowrun is a hardcore game and should have hardcore art.

Mind you, World of Warcraft has a very well polished cartoony art style. However, I'd much prefer it if the graphic designers who worked on City of Villains were responsible for any Shadowrun MMORPG.
PlatonicPimp
Eh. I agree that a gritty street style is required for SR, but I disagree taht that is incompatable with cartoony. Cartooning is the art of exageration and simplification of features in order to convey a feeling or essence more than actual physical traits. Given a lot of the subject matter in SR, a little cartooning is required. after all, if you draw a troll too realistically, it doesn't look possible. (because realistically, it isn't.

Funny you should bring up Frank Miller. He'd be a perfect example of a cartoon style which evokes the gritty.

Now, I know what you mean when you say cartoony. you think saterday mornig cartoons, or sunday comics, or bugs bunny. And I really can't give you a different term to describe that other than cartoony, so I accept your premises.
eidolon
The art is hit/miss no matter which edition.

The most clear cut example I can think of right now: in 4th, one of the pregens (a female ork, I forget what she was, ninja looking thing) is the ONLY good art of an ork in any of the editions IMO. She's human looking, with tusks and slightly pointed ears.

Enough that she isn't "normal", but not so much that she's fucking stupidly cartoony like almost every other picture of "orks" in the books.

I think 95% of the art in all of them sucks. Some of the pics of humans are pretty good, most of the meta art is trash. But that's what my imagination is for. biggrin.gif Now if only I could draw.
FiveVenoms
I'll second that. Now admittedly, I don't feel I have much leeway to bitch, seeing as how I can't draw for crap (but hey, viva la Internet for unfounded complaints).

That being said, I'm against the majority of the new artwork in SR4, and as it so happens that most of the things I do like are from the past sourcebooks (IIRC). The portraits for most of the sample characters are pretty decent, but the only thing I recall standing out was the one Gothic Rose liked on 53 (I think.) Other than that, I'm pretty ambivalent about the new stuff.

Oh, and Happy Halloween Dumpshock-go out there and traumatize some small children, or whatever it is people do on Halloween.
PlatonicPimp
Bah, Orks aren't just Humans with tusks and pointy ears. Granted, they aren't universally ugly half wolf, half pig, monstrous looking humaniods either, but the difference between the metaspecies is much greater. For one, an Orc has a lower brow, similar to a neandertals. This is due to the shape of their skulls, and the slightly lower brain masses that help explain why they have trouble with higher logical thinking. Their nasal passages are also wider, like a neandertals, helping with intake of oxygen and maintaining even body heat. Unlike the neandertal, however, they have a strong chin, much more so than a normal homo-sapiens. This in turn supports the tusks you point out, as well as 1 more premolar. The ears are set slightly higher than a normal human's, and don't just come to a point, but usually come out to the sides as well (Though this varies individually). Skeletal frame is stockier than a humans: while the average height of an ork is similar to a normal humans, their breadth is about 1.5 times that of a humans. A paunch is normal for orks, and too many orks aquire symptoms of anorexia attempting to meet a human/elf centric body image. Skin tones range from red/brown to olive green, some shades being so dark as to appear black. Body hair is increased, but hair on the head, including facial hair, is lessened. An orks hands are larger than a proportional human's, and orcs show an increased likelyhood of exhibiting an extra didgit on each hand. The same is true for their feet. The head also sits slightly forward of the shoulders, giving the appearance of bad posture as if hunched over (Though again, it must be noted that for an orc, this is the correct posture.)
PlatonicPimp
So don't blame the artists if their orcs look a litle cartoony, it's just that they don't have any models to check their work against to make sure it's realistic. I imagine that the meta art for shadowrun will be much better in whatever edition comes out in 2030.
eidolon
QUOTE
I'll second that. Now admittedly, I don't feel I have much leeway to bitch, seeing as how I can't draw for crap (but hey, viva la Internet for unfounded complaints).


Bah. The whole idea that any criticism has to be constructive in order to be valid is a logic fault made popular by modern PC and corporate culture. In short, it's bullshit. I can see that a drawing sucks without having to be able to do better. You can too. So don't feel like you can't bitch about things. In fact, I say do it more. Maybe someone will start listening. /RLrant

@PP:
Point remains that the drawing I'm referring to is way better than say, the "ork" on pg. 50 of the SR3 BBB. Meh. I may have been overly harsh in saying that 95% of the art sucks. I was mostly thinking of the art for the metas, and even all of that isn't all that bad. Mostly it's the overly cartoony drawings that pop up all over the place that irritate me. The stuff in my head is still better, and that's all that matters while I'm playing/GMing.
++ [ tfxr ]3.0 ++
QUOTE (RunnerPaul)

[*]The Ares Predator IV looks very much like an evolution of the other guns in the line. While the original may have been a prime example of FASA's standard operating practice of "borrowing" an image from another source, the current version can stand alone as it's own piece of artwork.
[*]The HK XM30. This is one sexy rifle system. It may be derivative of the XM8, which itself looks like it was derivative of Master Chief's Battle Rifle from Halo 2, but frankly, I don't care. This is just a yummy firearm.

Thanks. The HK xM30 was fun to design and draw though i had to change the system to a bullpup to accomadate the underbarrel gl and shotgun both being clip-loaded instead of pump-action.

And you nailed how i went about designing the Predator 4 perfectly as i wanted to keep the basic look of the original and the Pred 2 from the Street Sam book.
Grinder
QUOTE (eidolon)
The most clear cut example I can think of right now: in 4th, one of the pregens (a female ork, I forget what she was, ninja looking thing) is the ONLY good art of an ork in any of the editions IMO. She's human looking, with tusks and slightly pointed ears.

There's a pretty good picture of an female ork in SSG too.
caramel frappuccino
I think most of the full color pieces are pretty damn good. The black n' whites are about the same level as SR3, and the cover totally sucks. However, I really like the layout and color scheme of the new book - it just oozes coolness from thirteen different pores.

Maybe once I get done with this massive work load, I can actually start learning the rules instead of merely admiring the pretty pictures.
Rotbart van Dainig
Most of the 'sketchy' gray-scales are not impressive at all, featuring even odd anatomy... the worst one is at the beginning of the gear chapter.

The vector art makes up for that, though. cool.gif
Grinder
I really enjoyed the sample char sheets. smile.gif
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012