The Shameful Secret of Skyrim’s Dragons
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The Shameful Secret of Skyrim’s Dragons
28 December, 2016
The recent article of Andy Hartup for GamesRadar is based on an interview with Jonah Lobe, former Character Artist on Skyrim. He talked about the creation of the game’s mysterious creatures – dragons, which play such an important part in the story. He actually did a lot of other creatures: giants, mammoths, trolls, dragon priests.

“The goal for me was to try to create these giants and these dragons and these mammoths and not to just make a super-epic monsters that had… all these crazy features, it was much more… my goal was much more to convey a sense of realism. That’s why I didn’t make the giants hulking or mean-faced or any of that stuff. What I was going for was this: it’s the sheer size of these things that really wows you, but if I can create, within that, a sense of believability; the way you look at these things and you can see weight, and you can see age and you can see personality, and you can see that they have lived a life – if I can convey that then my job is done.” You see this in every aspect of the game’s bigger monsters. The giants, rather than being savage or overly humanised, are rather sad old creatures that carry the weight of long lives in every aspect of their demeanour, from the way they lollop across the world, to the way they turn instinctively yet alertly towards you whenever you approach their mammoth herds. Their behaviour reflects this too – they’re essentially territorial beasts protecting their turf – and their shabby, rugged appearance fits right in with Skyrim’s harsh landscapes. And their craggy faces? Well, Lobe admits: “I think the biggest visual inspiration for the giants may have been my father, because they actually look like my father…”

Jonah Lobe, Character Artist

It’s a very interesting piece, which details some of the cool choices the concept artist makes when facing the harsh reality of game production:

There was a lot back and forth, initially, with the animation of the dragons and the size and shape, because a lot of the original concepts had the dragons with very, very long necks. It turned out that in a first person shooter, when you put a creature with a very long neck in front of the character, with the way that perspective works… all they see is just a big head and then 30 yards away, very distantly, the rest of the body. So we had to change.

Funniest thing is that dragons in Skyrim, if they were real, couldn’t fly! Read the full article over at GamesRadar.

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