Crafties is an exploration in texture, composition and abstraction. The intention is to make the illustrations look handcrafted with real world materials - clay, fabrics, wire, paper - while also using the computer to play with the image in ways that would be more difficult to reproduce in real life.
In this way we enjoy the best of both mediums: the tactile appeal of the real world crafts with the infinite possibilities of the digital world to push the medium further and trick the eye.
We break perspectives and have floating elements; the character here is suspended in the middle of the scene and the seeds she’s planting are in mid air. The shelves are not attached to anything, and the ladder’s perspective is completely broken.
Because with this project we’re trying to make the 3D images look like real handmade models and sets, our approach to the clothing has also been different; instead of all the tiny details we usually fill our clothes designs with, we reimagined the technique. To make the characters look genuinely handmade, we needed to think about how the clothes would be if we made them on real model characters.
The hemlines are bigger, as though made with clumsy fingers, the cloth falls as it would in that position. Often we use a wind simulation to make the character look like they’re in an action pose, just caught on camera, to make an image dynamic and feel like the character has more movement. But here we want the feeling of a real life set, so the cloth is loose and falls in position.
Finally, we have thick stitches around the clothing as though it’s been hand sewn together, and any details like buttons or zips are much larger in proportion to the character, as though we couldn’t find one small enough for our doll.
Our partners Huion provided us with the new Kamvas Pro 16 graphic tablet to create this project. The 4K screen is perfect for working on detail in complex 3D images and matching colour in 2D work.
These crafties are all built from an initial 2D drawing and we are attracted by the possibility of creating, as realistically as possible, this impossible scene, and confusing the viewer as to what they are seeing.