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C R A S H   B A N D I C O O T
b a c k g r o u n d   s t u d i e s

"Cortex Island & N. Sanity Island" Color Environment Study
The world of Crash should feel logical. Progression through levels is based on the topography of three mythical islands.
(UCS) (G)
"Ruins at Sunset" Color Environment Study
Correct use of color was an important goal for Naughty Dog's artists. Use of mutually accentuating colors is the theme here.
(AE) (Acr)
"Island Caves" Color Environment Study
Elements of this were used in Koala Kong's Boss round. The ancient ruin elements in Crash tie different environments together stylistically.
(AE) (Acr)
"The Jungle" Color Environment Study
This painting set the direction for Crash's jungle levels. The "3-D path" gameplay is evident here.
(AE) (Acr)
Jungle Environment Sketch
We first sketched each environment, just as feature film animators do for their backgrounds. We were focusing on harmony and style here. Later, additional individual elements were designed and created.
(AE) (P&P)
Ruin Environment Sketch
Naughty Dog wanted an overgrown, organic look for Crash. We worked to completely avoid straight lines and 90 degree corners.
(AE) (P&P)
Castle Interior Environment Sketch
Dr. Neo Cortex's castle was created atop the highest mountain in the islands. The castle has to reflect his twisted nature.
(AE) (P&P)
Village Interior Environment Sketch
The islands Dr. Cortex chose to use as his headquarters are not deserted. The local villagers descend from the ancient civiliaztion that created the ruins littering the island chain. Their style and subjects have not changed, but their technological regression has led them to carve wood instead of the stone their ancestors worked witih.
(AE) (P&P)
Sketches 1
A Naughty Dog artist sketched every single background object in Crash before it was modeled. The artists had to make the best use of textures, and aggressively reduce geometry.
(ND) (P&P)
Sketches 2
We often juxtaposed dark and light elements to create visual interest and to separate geometry. Naughty Dog artists would squint when sketching, texturing, and playing levels to make sure they could play by light value alone.
(ND) (P&P)
Sketches 3
Note how the top image in this sketchbook page shows intended use of light and shadow to guide the player into the log. The bottom sketch shows how visual flow can be achieved. Players' eyes are guided upwards from the path toward the gameplay-relevant boulder.
(ND) (P&P)

    (ND) Naughty Dog: Art done by Charlotte Francis, Bob Rafei, Jason Rubin, or another Naughty Dog...but never a programmer...we promise.
    (AE) American Exitus: Sketches done by Charles Zembillas and Joe Pearson, professional cartoon designers that worked with us to design the characters, backgrounds, and atmosphere of Crash.
    (UCS) Universal Cartoon Studios

    (P&P) Pencil, Pen, and Paper
    (Maya) Alias | Wavefront Maya on SGI or NT
    (PA) Alias | Wavefront PowerAnimator on SGI
    (Acr) Acrylics Paints
    (G) Gouache
    (PS) Photoshop on the Macintosh
    (NPS) Naughty Dog's Proprietary Renderer
    (SGI) game backgrounds grabbed from SGI version of Crash Bandicoot


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