Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Spyro Love - Some favorite drawings

Time for some Spyro! Thought I'd share some of the drawings which I consider to be among my favorites from the body of work originally created for the character. The first drawing is the one where the final design was achieved and approved by Insomniac Games. These were created while working down the hall from Insomiac's offices at Universal Studios. Next one is the final design starting to come to life. Both of these drawings are dated January 23 1997. The next is a facial expression of Spyro whereby I was directed to make him look pushed to the edge on the verge of a rage. This is dated January 30 1997.

After all the years that have gone by along with the many Spyro games that have come out it's interesting to compare how the character was first envisioned. We'll see more of Spyro and his broad range of attitudes in upcoming entries.


Jacob Couch said...

So Charles, what do you think of the new Spyro design by E Wei Huang? Do you like it? I mean I personally prefer your design but I think you should contact E Wei because I think it would make his day to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Did you have any sketches of Dingodile from his Crash Nitro Kart design? I would love to see them :D

Matt said...

This is very cool! I didn't think Spyro would of been in development until atleast August 97! Spyro is older than I thought!

Pat Caldora said...

Ah, Spyro the Dragon. Back in 1998 or 1999, my brother received Spyro 1 on his birthday. Since that very day, he loves every little thing about the series. The art style, characters, gameplay, he loved it all. Even when Insomniac left to pursue other things (like Ratchet), he still played the later games and loves them too no matter what.

Insomniac, to me, is one of the greatest games studios out there, since their titles are such smash hits (see Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time and see what I mean). Not to mention they were side-by-side with Naughty Dog while working at Universal Studios.

Hey Charles, do you know that Spyro went through a reboot back in 2006. This was a whole new thing for the franchise, including new characters, art style, gameplay, etc... This was called The Legend of Spyro. This was done by Krome Studios, an Australian company, they were originally going to do a Crash Bandicoot game but Vivendi/Universal insisted on letting them do Spyro instead. I personally didn't like it because it change everything but my brother likes it.

Ironically Charles, the character art for Spyro strongly resembles your design, this was done by Jared S. Pullen:

Charles Z said...

DingodileLover - I didn't work on the character for CNK. Sorry to say but I don't have anything to share along the lines of Dingodile other than what I drew when the character was created.

Charles Z said...

Jacob and Patrick - First off thanks for the info on the revised versions of Spyro. My take on it is this... I wish they would've contacted me for some art direction or design consultation cuz there's problems with the later versions of Spyro. There's issues that show a less than thorough understanding of the fundamentals of character design. Specifically in the area of enhancing design appeal. I'm trying to be diplomatic but it's hard to ignore my feelings whenever I see the character. I can appreciate where they're trying to go with it but in some respects it's not working for me. Still I'd rather see someone else's Spyro out there than not see him at all.

Romney Vasquez said...

Love the expression.

Bryan Tingle said...

Hey, if your still responding to comments, I really enjoy your explanation of character design and appeal. I've always enjoy Spyro, Crash, Jak & Daxter, and Ratchet & Clank because they carry the fundamentals of good character design and appeal, such principles can be found in the art book of animator Preston Blair. As such, I've always admired the games and have practiced drawing in the same style of these games.
I try and try and can't stress enough the importance of these principles, which would be really great if you went into depth on, if you haven't already.
There is a project that I am working on myself that I hope you enjoy for my art:

I will continue to look forward to your art and drawings, I applaud you and encourage you to keep up the good work!

Charles Z said...

Thank you Romney and also Bryan Tingle for your comments.

Bryan Tingle I enjoyed reviewing your drawings. You're a talented artist with a good feel for character design. With some guidance you could take what you're doing to a new level. I plan on creating tutorials that help artists such as yourself to improve upon your work. I've started with a couple of them and will continue to move into specifics concerning the fundamentals of good character design. I also work with artists using Skype through my school The Animation Academy in Burbank. Keep focusing on the basics and practice as much as you can and you'll eventually reach professional quality. Good luck!

sailinq said...

Hmm ... you know I think I have to agree with you, Charles, regarding the later designs of Spyro. I've been a fan of the franchise since I was pretty much a year old (Spyro is a year older than me c':) and till this day he is my favourite character. While I never really realised it while I was growing up, it's clear now that the original Spyro design was always the best. The Legend of Spyro design always looked, well, a little strange and goofy. I wasn't really a fan of his face (I think it was his mouth that turned me off the most), and his body was really wonky as well, especially in the Dawn of the Dragon game. His design in that game was really strange and, frankly, anatomically horrible. But don't get me started on Spyro's design in Skylanders. While it has improved a little for the Skylanders Academy Netflix series, I have never liked the way he has looked throughout that series one bit. His squashed face is horrid and, personally, has no appeal to me whatsoever. Also not a fan of his chunky feet and ... really strange tail design. I can completely understand your disapproval(?) for the later designs of Spyro because I don't believe they've treated him very well design-wise. To me, and a lot of people as well, your original design for Spyro will always be the best because, well, he is the most appealing (and has the cutest face)!
And I am by no means a professional artist or designer (haha though I think I'd like to pursue it!!), but I've been working on my own personal design for Spyro (as well as some other dragons that my accompany him). Your work has been such an inspiration to me, and I wanted these designs to stay faithful to the original Spyro designs because yeah, they were the best. They're just messy, sketchy drafts, and you don't have to look at them because I understand you are very busy ... but it would be amazing to have your input!
[ http://67.media.tumblr.com/bc8ff5bfd3bc548de1d05f664ccaa954/tumblr_o6403dk4Jy1r7h2ono1_1280.jpg ] Spyro, Flame, Ember and Cynder ... still working on a good one for little Sparx though!!
[ http://67.media.tumblr.com/9c71d7a59441b1b764cea64f5bd9b276/tumblr_o6u9f6ot5g1r7h2ono1_1280.png ] Some other dragons that may accompany Spyro! I'm really not too happy with the red girl in the middle though, I'll def be revising her design in the future.
Thank you so much if you are able to get around to replying, I will appreciate it so much! Your work is so nice and I look forward to seeing more of you arts in the future!

(Also, it's great to see Crash making a return again, and it's such a relief that his deigns is so much better than poor little Spyro's. Because Crash is getting these new games for his 20th anniversary, I'm really hopeful to see Spyro getting the same treatment in the future!!)

Charles Z said...

Hi sailing. Your drawings are very good! I like the elongated leg look. A lot of impressive things going on. You did a fine job. Very nice. Enjoyed looking at your work. Thanks for posting and for your comments. Good luck to you. Long live Spyro!