The lights are on
What started out for Alex Ross as an assignment to design a preorder incentive poster for Watch Dogs turned into much more. The award-winning comic book artist and writer created a portrait of main character Aiden Pearce so compelling that Ubisoft will be using the image for the cover of Watch Dogs.
Ross put a lot of thought into portraying Aiden in regards to the character's focus on stealth and speed. Rather than show him in flashy garb or striking poses accustomed to standard superheroes, Ross focused his design on keeping Aiden low-key.
“Aiden is about blending in. He’s not trying to stand out," says Ross. "He’s not looking to be spotted on the street. So in a way, his heroism has to be blended with the idea that he’s skulking on the side, in the shadows. He’s not meant to be in glorious color. That requires a certain amount of restraint in the posing, but it goes with the context of the character. He’s not out front. He’s slyly to the side, brandishing his firearm and his weapon, which is his phone.”
In a similar fashion, at the motion capture stage Aiden was captured in raw, violent movements when fighting and nonchalantly strolling with his hands in his pockets (not as easy to recreate through motion capture as it would seem) when trying to blend into the scenery.
To bring these aspects shown on the screen to the canvas, Ross relies heavily on the use of perspective.
“In the earliest composition, Aiden was looking directly at his phone and, as it evolved, the request [from Ubisoft] was to turn him toward us so that you got a physical interaction," Ross explains."The body is turning away from us, turning toward the phone, but the hand and the face are drawing that connection back to the viewer. All these angles are unconscious energy conduits that are following the eye as you are looking at the whole composition.”
The distinction between his weapon and his gun is key, because of Aiden's reliance on his phone to hack into various systems of the city. His firearm is more of an afterthought or a backup weapon, which is why Ross chose to center in on the bright device rather than the gun.
As Aiden's link to the interconnected city, Ross calls the phone the character's "beacon of light."
Eager to see just how Aiden will be utilizing his hacker skills? Or maybe the questions of morality raised by Watch Dogs will interest you more.
Watch Dogs will be available November 19, 2013, on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Wii U. Releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are also planned.