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The Art Director's Notebook is a series of files featuring conceptual art and commentary from the art director (presumably Tomonori Takano) of Resident Evil 6. The files can be unlocked on Resident Evil.net after linking the account with a valid copy of the game. Each file is acquired for 500 RE Points.
After purchasing certain files, such as those for Carla Radames or Ustanak, a special golden file will be unlocked. These special files cannot be obtained without unlocking other files first. These files are marked below as "Special File".
"The J'avo were initially supposed to cry black blood from their eyes, so I thought I would make them look like they were in a lot of pain and were stressed by distorting their faces and giving them white hair."
"This was done before the J'avo design was finished.
I tried to make a modern design, but it wasn't strange enough so it wasn't used. They wanted the helmet to be strange and cool, like no technology ever seen before, but also be something that people would recognize.
I think we found a good compromise in the end."
"Variations were needed, so I had to come up with some, but cost restraints only allowed us to redesign the mask portion of the outfit; it was difficult trying to come up with something that was distinguishable only by its head part.
I had a lot of crazy ideas (heh heh), but in the end, we went with the most subtle version."
"It was "anything goes" at this point, and, considering the setting, I wanted this to be approved. If a new kind of soldier was needed, I thought it would be nice to have a commander-type with a weapon that no one had ever seen before."
"I kept this design simple and made the mask look like a space suit helmet. I also wanted to add in elements inspired by the jewel beetle and thought that maybe the constant reflection of the environment would keep the appearance of the mask constantly changing, which would give it a creepy feeling."
"I just did this because I wanted to draw something solid-looking!
If the mask was any bigger, the motion of the character would be affected.
Since this design didn't have much impact and was starting to lose the sense of a Neo-Umbrella soldier, it was dropped."
"This one is totally ignoring practicality in favor of design.
The animators would have had a hard time animating this character so it was dropped. Even though it wasn't very popular around the office, I still thought it looked pretty sharp."
"it's more like a shield than a mask at this point. If you looked at it from afar, it would have just looked like a big triangular metal plate
"After trying all sorts of things, I finally came up with this for the final design. The large metal jaw piece looks like a fencing mask, don't you think?
I drew this to stick with the insect theme and took inspiration from cicadas and grasshoppers."
"The cord protruding from the cervical vertebrae is the J'avo's third eye, which it can use to cause mutations in other parts of its body, sense enemies, and communicate with fellow J'avo from a distance.
The mask also keeps the J'avo's body temperature in check so that it doesn't get too hot, which would cause it to morph into a cocoon."
"This is my favorite mutated-body design. This creature doesn't have eight legs like a real spider, but six legs made it look insect-like, so I settled on this design. I drew this to show how the creature will flip over once its legs have sprouted."
"This is another version of the spider mutation, Noga-Trchanje.
Since this version would have been shorter than the player, it would have lost some impact, so it wasn't used."
"This version is more like a bipedal dinosaur than the final version. I thought about giving it a weighty feeling, but then I decided to make it a jumping type in order to make it seem more insect-like."
"I had to rethink the size of the creatures in order to fit with the pre-determined sizes of doors and windows in the game."
"I gave this creature some extra legs on its back to make it more intimidating, but they were difficult to handle in the game engine so we didn't use them in the final design."
"This is a rough sketch that is close to the final version.
Making it taller definitely makes this creature more threatening — it's big enough that it makes the player look up when it's nearby."
"You can see from the side how the legs fold up like a flea's, and then stretch out when the creature jumps.
I thought that by allowing the creature to change like this I could make it creepy."
"Even at this rough stage this creature was already looking extravagant.
I thought I would use the same lower body parts as I did for the spider-like Noga-Trchanje. This wasn't to lower production costs, but because I wanted the modelers to be able to focus on the wings of the creature."
"I had planned on making the shield, torso, and leg mutations have a shell-like texture. This would have given the creature high defense at the cost of fast movement. But, in the end, this creature was made more action-oriented in order to make the game more interesting."
"I gave this creature one stance signaling when it would grab and another one when it was just idle. I thought that since it could grab the player from afar, it would be best for the player to be able to tell what it was about to do. I wanted the creature not only to look good, but also to provide a good experience for the player."
"To help organize my thoughts, I drew a rough sketch of the creature grabbing a player who was taking cover.
The sketch on the right represents an idea for the arm to be normal and only mutate when it stretches out to grab. However, this was thought to be a little uninteresting, so it wasn't used."
"This is another version of the snatcher mutation. There was a lot of trial and error trying to make the moment of mutation and the snatching action more shocking.
Even though the arm would fold up, this design didn't feel consistent with
the insect theme, so it wasn't used."
"I had a hard time figuring out how to follow the direction of having something that looks like a shield that grows out of the creature's body. If I didn't get the balance right, it would look too man-made and comical. I focused a lot on texture, shape, and movement to make this look right."
"As you can probably tell, I wanted to make it look like this creature was about to explode.
I thought that I could make the design simple if I just made his physical behavior grotesque.
At first, I was just going to make it so that its stomach swelled up, but I decided it would be best if the player was able to see the large swelling from all angles."
"This mutation causes the least amount of change to the infected subject compared to others. Even though this design doesn't represent the insect theme very well, the parts of this creature were inspired by the wharf roach.
In order for the pre-mutation and post-mutation animations to stay the same, I left the joints where they were and just changed their appearance."
"This smoke-shooting mutation was originally supposed to have only an arm mutate. I had to redo the design for the final version to make the head mutate instead."
"At first, I thought about giving the mouth on the head a lot of flare when it opened, but then I thought that, since the impact of that would only be seen during its attack, it would be better to give it a design that would have an impact on the player even when it wasn't attacking.
I tried to make the symbols for its weak points match those on the bomb mutations and other creatures."
"You would hardly notice it in the game, but there are faces growing on each side of the clamp-like head due to the fact that the head had to be regrown."
"The final version of this mucus-shooting creature turned out to look like an alien, but I had originally imagined it to look more like it had a mouth that looked like a vicious camel spider. However, when you look at the creature as a whole, it doesn't have much impact, so this design wasn't used."
"Since this creature was meant to cause chaos, I thought I would give its appearance a sort of failed-mutation effect. However, since the number of creatures was starting to grow and it would be hard to differentiate this one from some of the others, I decided not to make its head human-sized."
"I started doing thumbnail sketches at this point in order to get an overall idea of how the mutations were looking. I wasn't planning on making these the final versions, but a lot of them did end up becoming so."
"There was an idea for having aerial battles, so a flying creature was needed. I looked around for gross-looking insects and eventually used the plume moth for this design.
There were already a lot of humanoid creatures, so I wanted this to get used, but the need for a flying creature was dropped early on in development."
"I didn't think too deeply about the normal zombie design — I just tried to get across the general "zombie" idea. The director wanted us to focus on showing that these zombies used to be people who lived normal lives and
the player should see that in their design."
Zombie Dog Idea
"This is the first rough sketch I did for this project.
I like German Shepherds and thought it would be good to have them show up in the game, even if they weren't zombies.
Stray dogs are scary in their own right, and I really like the impact that hound dogs have, so this is something I wanted to put in the game."
Zombie Dog C
"I didn't think too deeply about the zombie dog design either, but just stuck to the old design. I thought it might be interesting to be able to kill them using a jaw-breaking technique.
This drawing's of a Doberman and I wrote a memo about how it would show up in the China stages, but it seems that would probably be inaccurate since most dogs in China seem to be mixed breeds. So I guess this drawing wasn't very helpful!"
"The game's door sizes were in the process of being decided, so I just did a rough drawing of this creature to be large with exaggerated muscles and left the details up to the modelers.
Originally, the player was going to have to shoot the Whopper multiple times until a weak spot in its stomach was exposed, but this proved to be a little too complicated so we went for a simpler design."
"I thought about reusing some zombie parts for this one, but after thinking about the overall collection of mutation types and their shapes, I decided to change the balance of this creature's body slightly.
The upper body is designed so that it will stand out from other zombies."
"This is a mutation with a chainsaw. I tried to make it look like it had been born fully mutated from a cocoon. This is the design used in the game. I had a hard time making the chainsaw look organic, so, in the end, I left it up to another designer."
"This is an idea for a creature that shoots needles. We didn't have the animal motif at this stage, which is why it looks more human than the final version.
Since we already had a lot of humanoid creatures, we wanted to make this creature stand out in terms of its shape and motion. I figured that this design would change eventually, so I didn't worry too much about pinning down exactly how it would look at this stage — which is why this drawing is so rough!"
"This was the so-called Hunter. There was no talk at first of the animal motif, so I just took the basic design of the Hunter-type creatures from previous games and attached some cocoon-like parts to it.
Strong armor was always a part of the design even at this early stage."
"The director wanted a zombie that had a motherly form and gave life to new zombies, so I tried to do that with this design.
The muscles being pulled back make it look like it's laughing, which gives it a creepy look."
"In the beginning, the only thing decided for this creature was that it would attack by stealth, so I tried out various ideas.
I thought that it could look like a sneaky deep-sea jellyfish that hides and attacks stealthily."
"This is a rough sketch of a water-dwelling creature inspired by small sharks. It looks fish-like, but I designed it with the intention of it retaining the human victim's muscle and bone structure.
I originally designed it to be capable of attacking the player both in the water and on land."
"This is another version of Brzak. I drew this one to look like an ugly mermaid.
I wanted to keep traces of the human victim apparent in this design as well, so I pulled the legs together into a tail fin and flattened the basic human skull structure in the head."
"I did this sketch when the only thing decided about this mutation was the area that it would appear in. I thought I would try something new, so I made a huge creature whose cells were bubbling out of its body.
I designed it so that its body would be constantly forming and falling apart in a fluid, water fountain-like fashion."
"This is another version of Ogroman. I had done a skinny version and a fat version, but the fat one was too much like a creature from the previous game, so I went with the skinnier, pale-skinned version in the end."
"This is an idea for a scene where Ogroman is brought in with restraints. I thought it would interesting to see such a big creature being carried like this.
I remember trying to work out which parts of him should be restrained and in what manner in order to get him into this pose."
"This mutation for Deborah was actually planned out very early on. I wanted to make her erotic, so I kept the human form and just gave her a creature-like texture."
"The only thing decided for this creature in the beginning was that it would be called "Infinite Transformation."
I tried to show its large scale by drawing human figures alongside it. Instead of thinking of this as just a creature, I like to think of it as a natural disaster instead, like a hurricane. Having an enemy that looks impossible to defeat gives you a reason to strategize."
"This was drawn in the early stages when we only had a loose idea of the plot and setting. I thought that maybe Carla hated Ada and that it would be interesting to have them bicker as they fought."
"This is a sketch of Carla coming after Ada as she eats through a room. She has lost control of her own power; the crazier she gets, the more Ada's cool headedness stands out.
I thought that, as long as the pair had good dialog, this contrast could be emphasized with over-the-top visuals."
"In this image she stands before a giant face that looks like her own.
Even though I drew this, I wasn't really convinced of its plausibility, so even now I feel like this might not have been the best idea!"
"This is Carla attacking an aircraft carrier.
I think it has a retro feel to it that makes me want to play a level like this in a side-scrolling action game. :)"
"In this sketch, she is being attacked by multiple copies of herself. If time had allowed, I would have drawn this more in the style of a religious painting.
Being attacked by yourself in this way seems to me to have some kind of hidden meaning."
"This is a sketch detailing the different elements required for the mutation.
I had created an enemy with a similar design in the past so I used the same techniques when designing this one. I told the modelers that I wanted Carla's mutation to be like the claymation work done by Jan Švankmajer. I was very pleased with the final result."
"This was the first design I came up with for Ustanak, which resembles Nemesis. I wanted to make him different, but, in order to make him look strong, I also wanted him to have the same amount of body mass as Nemesis. I did this design at a time when hardly anything about the game was even decided, so I just focused on making something large and humanoid."
"This design is basically just a skinny Nemesis.
I kept it simple because I figured that once it was in the game it would be brought to life in ways that would make it work."
"A concept sketch of Ustanak in battle. In Jake's scenario, he and Sherry fight Ustanak together, so I tried coming up with battles that would be interesting for both of them."
"When I made this design, I thought that it might be a cool idea to have the weapon on his arm change for each stage.
Since the idea was to have him capture his prey, I gave him giant claws. I imagined that he would use the leather clothing hanging from the sides of his waist as body bags for his victims."
"I had to come up with ways that Ustanak might go after Jake, so I made a rough sketch (right) of him investigating Jake's trail. This shows Ustanak's intelligence."
"This is my second idea for an in-battle scene. This time, I focused on using stealth to fight Ustanak. Here one character is captured while the other is attempting a rescue. Although we got rid of the iron maiden, this is close to what was in the actual game."
"This design has Ustanak as more of an executioner than a hunter. Here he is carrying an iron maiden — a word that had come up in discussions. I also got a little inspiration from Frankenstein's monster and made the face out of patches of human skin."
"In this design I kept the executioner idea and gave it a harder feel, but it ended up looking too much like a robot so it wasn't used.
I kept the mask to remove the need to draw a face."
"Here is Ustanak using his claw device in the midst of battle, similar to the very first fight you have with him in the game."
"This is a sketch I did when everything about this mutation was still undecided.
I thought that it could be partially transparent and flow through a room like a tidal wave. This was in the early stages of development and I was trying to challenge myself to create something visually new."
"The plan for Haos was for it to be a biological weapon under the control of Neo-Umbrella that would spread zombie gas around the world, so I came up with this design.
The creature would have to traverse oceans, so here I drew it to look like a sea fortress."
"This sketch was based on how I thought a deep-sea creature boss that hatched from a cocoon might move.
I had imagined it would turn into a kind of humanoid creature, but it was a challenge to keep the
design believable due to the creature's fantastic size."
Simmons - 1st Mutation
"This is a scene from the battle with Simmons' first mutation.
The side of the train running alongside the creature is shown being shot and destroyed."
"This is the scene where the two run through the train and Simmons jumps out. It wasn't used, but I think the final version had a lot more impact anyway."
Simmons - 2nd Mutation
"This is the dinosaur version. Here, I have the mutated Simmons igniting a car like a bomb and throwing it at Ada's helicopter.
The direction was to have something that could hit Ada's helicopter while using pre-existing materials."
Simmons - 3rd Mutation
"This is an idea that wasn't used. This form was supposed to show up mid-way through the Quad Tower battle.
I thought that since the first mutation was mammalian, and the second was reptilian, I would make the third insect-like."
"My final draft for Simmons' third mutation.
I based this on the violent camel spider.
I had to take into account how Simmons' previous mutations worked, so this took quite a lot of time.
I personally liked this design more than the ones I did for the first and second mutations, so it was disappointing when they decided not to use it."
"The large jaws on this creature give it a very menacing look; they are based on those of the camel spider which uses them to grind up its prey.
Incidentally, the bits around the head are made out of folded up arms."
"I drew this to get an idea of how the creature might look from a human's point of view during battle.
Since the usual strategy to take out large enemies is to aim for their legs, that's where I put Simmons' face, which I thought I'd make a weak point."
Simmons - Final Mutation
"The director was proposing that zombies could mutate into something like Simmons as well. So I thought — what if the zombies could merge with Simmons?
With this in mind, I added needles to the legs for the purpose of injecting zombies with a virus to cause the extra mutation."
"The things on his feet that look like needles are actually zombies merging to become a sort of wing. Since it was a giant boss fight, I thought it would be cool if the player could grab on to the creature's legs.
Since the spider idea (see 3rd mutations) had been scrapped, I tried out
this insect-like design."
"This shows Simmons being finished off with Ada's rocket launcher.
I thought it would be interesting to use the helicopter in the battle, but it was scrapped, as was the final blow with the rocket launcher."
"This is an idea for Simmons before the merge.
You can see how much the insect has evolved through each stage. Bringing believability to each part of this design was the most important thing, and the model artist added in the detail for the final version."
"I thought about all of all the different choices regarding the Simmons designs and tried to work out what would work best in the game. Then I selected the most interesting and realistic parts and worked with them. This is one of the things I find really fun in the game development process."
"I decided to give Simmons the head of a fly, so I had
to come up with an interesting transformation effect.
it's hard trying to deceive the player (heh heh) with believable transformation effects for Simmons in all of his forms, and since the player has already seen multiple transformations by this point, I decided
to go with something simple."
"Another idea. Here, zombies are merging together to form a giant face that resembles a beetle.
I went a little far with this one so it wasn't used.
I drew it with the idea that if you attacked the face, mutilated zombies would fall from it."
"Yet another idea. Here, zombies are swarming together and merging with Simmons to form something like a robot as his body falls apart.
I thought it would be interesting if his arm turned into a dinosaur when he attacked, he ran on four legs, and did other things that he did during his previous mutations.
I wanted it to be a strategic boss fight like the one with Wesker in RE5."
"Ideas always seem to get a little out of control towards the end! This is Simmons duplicating himself and using other zombies to transform. It wasn't used, of course."
Scenario Selection — Leon
"I was told that not having movement in a scene would make it drag out too long, but I believed that if it was composed correctly it could work.
This intro to Leon's scenario features a zombie in the foreground with a dolly zoom in on the car's headlights transitioning from the main menu."
Scenario Selection — Chris
"Here, you see the silhouette of what looks like a human; then you hear gunshots and the bottom half turns into the Noga-Let.
I was in a rush when I did this, so I reused an existing background. That was a little disappointing — I would really have liked to have created unique resources for every scenario if I'd had the time."
Scenario Selection — Jake
"This is Jake and Sherry running away from the Ustanak.
Keeping things simple helps keep focus on what's important."
Scenario Selection — Ada
"For me, Ada's cube gadget and submarine made me think of her theme as being water, so I wanted to have her reflection be a part of this design.
After a lot of revisions, though, the final version ended up being a Joro Spider spinning its web on a bowgun."
"Again, nothing was decided at the time, so I thought about having each character's scenario written out as if they were individual movie titles. I wanted to make it seem like there was more than one game inside."
Character Selection — Leon Scenario
"This was supposed to transition into a cut-scene.
The camera would show a split-screen with the two characters on either side of the room and a shadow in the middle — the zombie president.
The final version ended up as a scene in a subway train."
Character Selection — Chris Scenario
"This is the scene where Piers is searching for Chris in a bar in eastern Europe. I planned for this to include sounds from the bar complimented by camera work showing the two characters. The final version ended up being a BSAA helicopter heading for China."
Character Selection — Jake Scenario
"This is the scene where Sherry is searching for Jake in a building in eastern Europe. They can see each other through a window in the wall. I wanted to give Jake the apple that often appears throughout the story. The final version ended up being a scene inside of a building in eastern Europe while it snowed."
Character Selection Screen
"I wanted 3D close-ups of the characters, but I also thought it would be good to have some information about them as well, so I wrote some down."
"This is the storyboard for the opening. It was mostly OK to go, but some tutorial elements were added at the beginning of the project. Those elements were then toned down once things were tweaked in the latter stages of development.
The final version's camera work was a little different."
"This is a scene showing two characters running into a back alley; I think it has a feeling of despair.
This storyboard was to be recreated in-game, so I made sure to pay attention to the details. You'll notice that this isn't that much different than the final in-game version."
"This is when Leon is searching for healing items for Helena.
The BSAA vehicle has crashed into a wall, and its passengers have been infected. There had to be a lot of cuts for this scene which proved to be a lot of work for me."
"This is a scene where a zombie shows up. The scenario writer already had dialog written for me, so I drew this with that in mind. When the dialog and events on screen just couldn't be matched up properly, I had to work with the game designer on my floor to change the lines as we went."
"This shows the player's first encounter with a zombie, so I gave it extra attention. It sets the tone for how zombie fights would be, so it needed impact. The zombie's attack is very tenacious in this storyboard, but an event planner eventually simplified it for the final version."
"This area is the same as it is in-game. The director wanted Leon to search for anything useful as he prepared for the next battle. The pace slows down a bit here."
"This is where the action starts to pick up in preparation for the climax. I tried to put in as many over-the-top elements as I could think of. The staff here couldn't help but laugh."
"A theory arose that maybe Hunnigan was a spy, since she only ever led Leon and Helena through dangerous areas. :)
This is around the time that a missile carrying the virus was dropped, causing panic in the area. I would have liked to draw people in the street running around in pain if I had the time."
"Leon never gets a break! Check out the wave of cars flying down the road from the explosion. The people on my team thought this would be great to do if it was possible, and, thanks to the staff in the event section, we pulled it off."
"Even though I had entered the latter half of storyboarding by this stage, I had to have everything finished within a week. Lots of adjustments were needed, compromises had to be made, and it was a difficult time — it felt like I was walking on a tightrope."
"I wrote a note that the helicopter's flight should be acrobatic, but that's probably easier said than done.
This is the first stage you play in the game, but it was the last stage we created in development."
"Having an agent like Leon as your main character is pretty convenient when you have a game where the main character needs to be able to handle any kind of vehicle.
I don't know if the building he crashed into was where he wanted to go, but he made it to where he needed to be."
"it's a mystery as to why there are so many zombies under the floor here! My guess is that when the missile dropped, everyone took shelter underground.
The storyboard shows a chandelier here, but we wanted something that would make the player feel more like they were in China, so it was changed for the final game."
"This is the final scene where our heroes witness what happens to the last remaining BSAA member.
Well, thank you for your time. Now play the game to get the full story — you could even try watching the finalized cut-scenes alongside these storyboard images!"
- Resident Evil.net, Resident Evil 6, Summaries / Files, The Art Director's Notebook.