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ABOVE - Level One REV-D FINAL by fox-orian ABOVE - Level One REV-D FINAL by fox-orian
Main menu artwork for "ABOVE" - a game by Axolot games that I did all of the art assets for.

Click here to watch the trailer for the game: [link]

And check it out on the app store!




Here it is! Revision D as requested by Kacper with all changes made. More details, cleaned up areas, better sections of buildings, better shibuya street level details, added some little people, and a train car on the track. This train car will be tiled to form a full length train that will pull into the station and leave. I'VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS PICTURE FOR TOO LONG. IT FEELS AMAZING TO HAVE IT DONE AEISUIGHALSHGFIU.

Original REV-C Description:
You were thinking: "A super thin but tall submission?! It must be another tutorial!! WOO!" Then you saw the title. Hahaha sorry to disappoint on this one :)

Progress so far on the immense background for level one of the project I've signed on with Kacper Antonius. It's been one hell of a picture to work on so far. By far the most complicated thing I've drawn yet.

I've enabled critiques on this because I'm curious to get some information about what you, the possible players of what this still become, think about the look of this so far. Me and Kacper have been doing a lot of back-and-forth interaction about molding this background, but we haven't gone to asking anyone for advice. We were aiming for a graphic style that had a lot of atmosphere, yet utilized a lot of flat vibrant color, with most of the detailing done with line drawing. We've been working to not let things get so complicated that the player gameplay up front will get lost. When implemented, this background will use paralax scrolling in about 6 key places to provide a greater sense of depth and increased altitude. Note that this image is NOT a vertical panorama -- you are supposed to feel like you are actually getting higher off the ground. If you watch me and want to help us out a little, tell us what you think!

Oh for those not paying attention, this background is based off of Tokyo. In fact, there's a section taken directly from Shibuya.

::: ARTWORK PROPERTY AXOLOT STUDIO 2009 KACPER ANTONIUS — Usage of any form is strictly prohibited :::
Add a Comment:
Well, I absolutely love this.

First, the good things: as always, perfect choice of color, they all blend together perfectly, the subtle tint in the white areas are perfect. Your graphical style fit perfectly the picture, giving you the opportunity to add plenty of little details that makes the picture really interesting to look at, to dive in. The harbor at the end is great idea to "finish" the picture before the sky.

Now, the flaws: while you surely added a lot of details in the city, it seems pretty... dead. No cars, or people, or anything really to remind us that people live here, if not the abandoned bike and some trash. The buildings are streets are maybe a bit too clean. You used in your subway illustration some lines to show a bit of texture, maybe you could add some in here to give a bit more depth to it. (not too much though, otherwise it would affect the clean style that fit this image so well).
Also, the perspective troubles me a bit. As I read, the final player won't ever see the whole picture at once, but, hm, still. One example that bothers me somehow, is the transition between the park, the road and the buildings behind. It clearly seems that the building behind are somehow on a lower "level". While this is very plausible, the buildings on the foreground are on the level of the road... Is there really to "levels" in this city? It rather looks like some kind of Escher distortion to me...

But well, those little critiques aside, this picture is truly pleasing to the eye :)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
41 out of 43 deviants thought this was fair.

As a game background I think this is great (though please keep in mind that I don't by any means consider myself a gamer so take that advice with a grain of salt!). The colours are nice and work well together, and I think having the details relayed through the line art is a good idea if you're going to be overlaying this with players later.

I wonder, are the game characters themselves going to be the same colour palette or are they going to be darker? If they're darker they will show better on the background but I wonder if that will make the background overshadow the characters themselves? I'm trying to imagine it but it's hard to know without seeing it.

Also, (and this may just be a trick of all the lines in the buildings intersecting), near the top of the city scape, where you see the harbor in the distance, it looks like the perspective is slightly off. I don't see it on preview, but on full view it looks like the POV on the harbor is higher than the rest (and more so maybe than just being on a hill would make it)

Aside from that it looks great. Very much like a business/industrial district, which would leave a lot of room for variety of settings.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
33 out of 39 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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nilbritto Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
sMz-tampu Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012
IVbenjamin Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wish I could do this some day! Buildings are really hard to draw for me :(
Hyroar Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist
That's pretty damn good! :)
Crusaydor Featured By Owner May 25, 2011
This is amazing! would you do a tutorial of some sort explaining where you would start? Idk if I should start in the foreground of background
Onealjordan2011 Featured By Owner May 25, 2011
Alienware Area 51 ALX
pickledshoe Featured By Owner May 21, 2011  Student General Artist
dude this is so cool when i scroll down its like a screen pan in a movie
Batuxa Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2011   Filmographer
Cool... OwO
ZAviX-Triad Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the artwork but not the game. I've worn myself out of tower climbing games on ipods.
ZAviX-Triad Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was supposed to be posted on the artwork you did for axolot for the game "ABOVE". Somehow it posted here... :shrug:
The-Nai Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010  Professional General Artist
Rock on friend!
wow, this is pro! Its like a little comic book of its own!
estivador Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2010
i never think in the city view, with this large and fredom view =O
speedisWilson Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010
This is so cool! I love your artwork!!
Thisper Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010
Wow! I really like the elongated view, you did a great job of combining all the "levels" of spaces. The colouring is great, also :)
Very nice.
teapleez Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
I have this game, I love it.
orange-pearls Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
I just love this; the colour, the feeling of depth- fantastic.
studioenpassant Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010
Funny how when I saw the thumbnail, I expcted it to be background for a shmup.
Death-Bard Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2010
Even though I'm no good at playing games, I would still play just to see this:heart:
Jessisaurus Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2010
so cool. i love all the detail.
SamMooney Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010
supriya05 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010  Professional General Artist

*twisting into little knots out of a lack of words to say......................

EthioGamer Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
@__@ It's amazing...such detail.
ipreferblackandwhite Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2010
IceCoffin Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2010  Student General Artist
@yourlittleirs Likely a vertically-scrolling shoot'em up (like Raiden and Ikaruga.) I love the genre, and that's immediately what I thought of!

But if it's not, well... there's got to be some other reason for vertical scrolling... Also, scrolling upwards with the scrollbar on this piece makes for a pretty neat effect. I'm loving how the sky transitions so beautifully.

... although I can't get "shoot'em up" out of my head now, I'm already imagining some sort of boss fight at the top.
FiveFourthsDumb Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2009
This is awesome! I've never seen a submission done this way, I love it :)
SmAoBnEaR Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Young9tradition Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2009   Traditional Artist
Greatest baccground ever!!!!!!!!!
g3m1n1 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
what perspective is this? i'm slightly confused.
fox-orian Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Parallel perspective. Technically no orthogonals recede to a single point. I warped it though. By definition parallel perspective should never allow you to see the horizon line. In other words, this picture is COMPLETELY innacurate in terms of perspective.
juyideviant Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2009
i was impressed when i enlarged the pictures,
all the details are pretty neat !
yourlittleirs Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
i wonder what kind of game would need this type of vertically oriented background.
RealityInDreams Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Student Photographer
maybe it's the intro? the ds is about the same width, i think, so it could be a intro clip that pans down into the city... just an idea-_-
RealityInDreams Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Student Photographer
I just saw that the ds is much smaller....
Digifruit Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2009

So much for constructive criticism... seriously though, this picture is a truckload of the stuff that makes your drawings awesome, I love it.
WhipsmartMcCoy Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2009
Wow, this is amazing! I love the not-quite-vertical-panorama perspective, and the attention to detail is fantastic. I hope they're paying you big bucks for such high quality work. :nod:
k-herr Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
you should go down deeper, deep into the earth's crust where the smart dinosaurs still live!
Ponthion Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
wooah this is stunning! I love all these details, scrolling down was really like overlooking a real city. Great job :)
Azzen Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is this being put into a shoot-em-up? That's the only genre I can think of with these dimensions, though of course you may be doing something completely new over there.
fox-orian Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Nope! XD
Azzen Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Arrr, this is really hard to tell in that case.
smileychan Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Student General Artist
Can't wait for this game! I want to play it!
mastersara Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
Ahhh this is ~amazing~ nice colors lovely cityscape :D
linnyxito Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
:heart: You have NO IDEA how amazing I think this is! :heart:
StarDragon77 Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
It might not be a fair comparison but for some reason this picture reminds me of the cover of the Pink Floyd greatest hits albulm "Echoes" where when going through each window comes into a completely different area.
ashwara Featured By Owner May 31, 2009   Filmographer
Little people frozen in time.
Kaiazes Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Very impressive. It's a lot to take in at once.
Miyuli Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
Gosh, this is amazing!
Where is the horizon or the vanishing points? I really don't get it XD
fox-orian Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
This is mostly parallel perspective. Thus, there are no vanishing points.
Its harder to do than normal perspective because everything has to be mathematically correct. Granted, this picture is far from being mathematically correct, but it's still primarily parallel.
bountyhunter2 Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
I absolutely love this. Good job.
AsuraSantosha Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Student
The updates and changes you've made are great! Very smooth and successful! Fantastic! :D
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Submitted on
May 19, 2009
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