ON January 30, 2015
Behind-The-Scenes with the Art Team
The art of Runaway is created by a team of three talented illustrators based all over the world. This morning I sat down with our lead artist Emma who lives here in New Zealand and called up Lars in Sweden, and Claudia in London for a quick chat about what they’ve been working on, and what we have to look forward to!
A lot of people have commented on the detail that goes into the butterflies and their animation. How do you make them so realistic?
Emma: We use flash to create the animations by skewing the wings at a lot of different angles, but the speed and the movement is all an AI made by the programmers. Early on we spent a lot of time at the Otago Museum’s butterfly house, studying how the butterflies moved. We wanted to capture that graceful yet frantic movement.
Lars: It’s important for us to find a really good reference images of the butterflies. We trace parts like the shape of the wings for accuracy, but we make the colours a bit more vibrant to fit the game environment. We can’t always add every little detail, but the main wing pattern is always true to the real-life species.
What were your influences when developing the art style for Flutter?
Emma: We were mainly inspired by nature. There’s also this nature photographer called Vyacheslav Mishchenko who takes incredibly detailed macros – we wanted to capture this mood with our art.
What do you draw when you’re not drawing butterflies?
Emma: Unicorns, pegasus… winged creatures. Mostly I draw nature or creatures I wish existed in real life.
Claudia: A lot of children’s book illustrations – and selfies, haha!
Lars: Robots and a lot of non-organic stuff. A whole lot of cute creatures.
What’s it like working with people all over the world?
Emma: It’s really cool. Because of the time difference there’s always someone working 24/7, so we feel really productive.
Claudia: Yeah, having the time difference makes managing our own time easier.
Lars: We have meetings every day which helps to establish a routine and keeps us in sync. Sometimes it’s hard not being able to just turn to someone and ask a question, but it’s worth it for the focus you can achieve working on your own and not having to deal with the distractions you’d get in an office.
Can you tell us what you’ve been working on lately?
Emma: We’re all working on a new project at the moment, but we’re trying to make sure that the art style is consistent with Flutter. Recently we finished up the latest butterfly set for the next event, which was a collaboration between all of us.
Lars: When I’m not completely happy with something I’ve drawn, someone can always take over so we never get stuck. Sometimes I’ll work on a butterfly from start to finish, but other times all three of us contribute to the process.
Claudia: We learn so much from looking at each other’s technique – it can be really refreshing seeing how another person tackles an illustration and balances it out.
From the Art Team: Thank you to all the lovely people who have sent in fan art. This has been one of the most exciting and rewarding moments of the job so far – keep it coming!