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Episode 71 – Box Art Sketches

social_art_banners_the-incarnate-process_022616episodes_episode-text_071AKings_banners_the-incarnate-process_032616Box Art Sketch03

Box Art Sketch02

Box Art Sketch01

Welcome to The Incarnate Process Episode 71 – Box Art Sketches

Project: Ascended Kings

Product Tonals: Box Art

Discussion below:

Jason Allen
Jason Allen

Here is a zip containing some images that may help inspire the construction of Empyrnea. The two most important images have the word Aeterna in the file name. Just to clarify, Empyrnea is the continent where all the kingdoms reside. Aeterna is the capital of all Empyrnea. It is in Aeterna where the kings fight to the death in an attempt to claim the Omega Stone.

Since we will see Apsu looking out over Empyrnea from the capital city of Aeterna, it would probably benefit us to assume we are just depicting the city of Aeterna far below as well. Apsu is looking down from the highest point in Aeterna, he’s way up high up there, kind of like the Mount Olympus image I shared yesterday.

Rather than making it confusing by saying what he could be seeing below, this is why I just say “make it look like we are looking down at heaven”

Greek and Roman architecture obviously are most associated with what heaven may look like? However, I think what sells the association with heaven the most is the way clouds, light rays, etc are used.

To be honest I couldn’t really find an image that represents an “ascended kingdom” so to speak. I do like the two images in the zip with the name “Aeterna” in their titles the most, the others are just sort of idea-ish materials for architecture. I do like the pillar things though in the image named “heavensgates-229”. If you have other references for this idea they would be more than welcome.


Dylan Pierpont
Dylan Pierpont


So here’s the box art mock-ups for now. The type/logo is just a placeholder. Same with the cornerstones. That’s all in Anthony’s wheelhouse.

As for the cover art: Because of our conversation earlier, the composition and mood are already set. Not too much to iron out there. So the biggest decision is going to be with the architecture that Apsu is standing on.

Both the examples I’ve given borrow from the Immortal’s reference, and include the column and dome motifs represented in the .zip file above. Looking at the two they both feel open, airy, and “heavenly” in my eyes. The design in #2 explains a bit more of the architectural elements, while #1 is simple, open, and to the point.

I think either one can be strong contender, or a compromise of various elements. Just know this will be fleshed out further once I get into the 3D blocking stage, so things can move around a bit if need be. We just need to be cognizant of the logo and landscape details below.



Jason Allen
Jason Allen
These are stellar! You’re a badass.I like Sketch02 the most. It has the best view over Empyrnea, I think this clear open view helps to draw the viewer into the cityscape below, plus it helps bring attention to the Sentinels better. I think I would like to see Sketch02 without the dome in the foreground to further this effect.Sketch01 is very nice as well, and while I like the “ruins” appearance in and of itself, there are two reasons it wouldn’t be this way. First, this structure Apsu is standing on in the capital city of Aeterna is nearby and connected to the Grand Court Balcony outside of the Ylem Gallery; it would be palatial. Second, after having stated the clear view nature of Sketch02, when you look at Sketch01 we are faced with pillars jutting up where we would otherwise be getting more impact from the cityscapes below. Sketch02 is my choice right now for sure, having this opportunity to show off some of Aeterna’s architecture like the gazebo style structure there (as was shown in the Aeterna zip file, good work on that btw) is too good to pass up.I’m really excited about the cities below and the onlooking Sentinels, this is gonna be sick.

The lighting is fantastic, the way the sun appears to be setting – or having recently set – gives us a great chance to add the advesperating color to the sky in the way we discussed previously to showcase the title. Should prove to be a colorful piece.

I’d like to see Sketch02 with the foreground dome removed, and in its place: What do you think about adding a waterfall/fountain port in the wall there? What if it was a series of ports with water streaming out (of the walls)? Maybe the inner rim portion of the top wall could be a channel of water or something (maybe, maybe not)? What if the center of the platform was a pool of water? We don’t have to do that, but if you like this idea please let me know.

I think that you have clearly demonstrated that the capstones will not be covering up any crucial portion of the main illustration. From now on we can post future updates of the illustrations without the capstones for now. We will know more in the following days/week how we will proceed with the graphic design elements. I think its too early to know if the capstones add or subtract from the design at this point before seeing Anthony’s contributions as they are simply opaque white triangles atm (hang in there Anthony – I know your moving soon – I’ll have more info for you by the end of this week). Not to worry though, as they were placeholders as you stated.

Finally, the bust of the kings on the box walls is GOOD. I like this very much and am glad we decided it should be this way.

Thanks so much Dylan this work is amazing as always!

Posted 2015

Dylan Pierpont
Dylan Pierpont
As for the cornerstones, I also agree that they look a bit stark in their current state, perhapse even a bit large (maybe we reduce the size overall so they only come halfway down the side walls) But I think with some further exploration and T.L.C. we can decide if they’re working or not worth preserving. Just depends on how Anthony plans to handle the design. Neither of these wip’s showcase a border treatment either which could also help to tie in the corner motifs.I hear what you’re saying Jason. Thanks much for the in-depth response. I’ll move forward with another sketch based on the #2 option here and try to hammer down some final shapes. I like the idea of the waterfall(s), in place of the  central dome, and maybe replacing the domed astrological chart on the main tower floor with a pool of water instead. Could make for some interesting reflections. Will be sure to send off a revised sketch by tuesday.In the meantime let me know what your thoughts are on the cover proposal. I didn’t want us to fall behind schedule so I went forward with the sketches for now, but we’ll need to have a fresh contract drawn up for this one.Cheers! Looking forward to seeing this shot come to life 🙂


Dylan Pierpont
Dylan Pierpont

Alrighty. So here’s an updated sketch. I moved around a few elements, re-sized others, added the repeating waterfall streams on the outside of the primary tower, added some atmosphere and birds for scale and depth, and tried something new with the title.

Granted the logo isn’t my responsibility at the moment, but I wanted to throw out an idea I had when going over these sketches. While the logo is bold and graphic, it might also be interesting to treat the logo as if it were a 3D object in the scene. By layering a portion of it behind the left dome, and adding some light bloom and lens reflection to the graphic it sort of sits in the scene rather than lying right on top of it. Not unlike in a lot of films these days where the studio logo animates into the shot. Warner Bros. did this pretty nicely with the opening title on all the Harry Potter movies (it’s very noticeable on the sequence starting at 20 seconds in)

If we decide to add a border then we might have some moving around to do, but I figured I’d gauge the audience and see what you guys think.



Anthony Benedetto
Anthony Benedetto
This is looking really good. I would say move the leftmost structure’s roof down slightly to give a little more room for the title. I also think that it could be interesting to see the structure including Apsu a little larger bringing it closer to the viewer ever so slightly, and pushing some of it out of frame. Great start.

Dylan Pierpont
Dylan Pierpont
I agree. Title looks like it’s getting a bit crowded at the moment. Great points, and easy fixes all around.


Stay tuned for EPISODE # 072 – Focus Glyph Omega which will be posted soon!

Thank you for stopping by!

Artwork © 2015, Dylan Pierpont.

Artwork © 2015, Anthony Benedetto.

Incarnate Games Inc, Ascended Kings, Omega Mundus series, the Incarnate Games logo, the Ascended Kings logo and all associated marks, names, foci, characters, models, environments, illustrations and images from the Ascended Kings and/or Omega Mundus series are either ®,™, and/or © Incarnate Games, Inc 2013-2016. All Rights Reserved. Used under exclusive copyright rights by Incarnate Games Inc.

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