It’s an Eyebrow Thing


My name is David Baumgart and I’m the art guy here at Gaslamp. As such, I’m going to show lots of cool pictures unlike the boring text everyone else is going to post.

To start this off, I’d like to talk a bit about eyebrows. Yes, eyebrows! — In particular about how the eyebrows of the protagonist of Dungeons of Dredmor have evolved into the fearsome beasts they are.

The hero and most of the characters in Dungeons of Dredmor were designed and drawn by Bryan “Falthorn” Rathman who now works at some game developer called “Blizzard” or something, which means we’ll never, ever see him ever again.  From what I hear (he did this work before I joined the team),  he took inspiration from the stylized characters of old Lucasarts games, and you can see something like Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle in the whimsy of his work. See here the raw hero sprite, standing:

From Bryan’s sprite, I’ve done various splash screen paintings for the game. My interpretation of the character has evolved as time has passed (as has my digital painting skill, no doubt). It’s not always been easy, because his distorted style is unlike what I’ve worked with before. Every artist has their ways of doing things;  As I’ve done freelance art for video games, I’ve had to work in styles set by other artists before I’ve arrived on the job, so a degree of flexibility is necessary and even a bit of provocative fun to prod me out of my usual style habits.  Have a look at this collection of clips, paying particular attention to the eyebrows:

In that last image there, the eyebrow thing starts to take on a life of its own.

I was trying to liven things up a bit there; Dredmor is rather a silly game that deserves a spirited hero with equally heroic eyebrows. In truth, aside from trying to capture that sense of whimsy, the eyebrows came about as a matter of how to fit exaggerated facial expressions into the various small UI images. See here:

These are a health indicator, a couple skill icons, and an achievement (which, upon closer inspection, lacks the over-the-hair exaggeration of the mature form of the Hero’s Eyebrows).

I’ve drawn comics before and have found that you have to give each panel a reason for existing — a gag, or at least a mood. Obviously UI icons are a bit more subdued than comic-panels, but as the spirit of the game demands, ridiculously huge eyebrows have turned out to be an excellent device for making the Dredmor hero an expressive character all his own.

[And about last week: Remind me to never again do the web dev guy a favor and finish off his scotch. It doesn’t end well.]

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1 Comment

One Response to “It’s an Eyebrow Thing”

  1. Matt says:

    Watch FLCL, and you’ll never look at eyebrows in quite the same way again…

    { reply }

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