Creating App Store artwork for Armageddon Wars

This is how I created the main “icon” for Armageddon Wars. The main App Store icon has to be 512×512 pixels, but usually is displayed much smaller, so the image had to look good even scaled down 10 times.

The shape of a painting is what most affects the composition. If you get this right you can get a great dramatic effect, but you need to start out very abstract. So, what I do is just start drawing random abstract shapes, until I hit on one that I like:

shape 1

shape 2

finally, this is the one I choose

Once you have a good shape you start adding details.

I had some tank models and city ruins done in Max, so I thought I would take advantage of that and made some test scenes in Max. This would also ensure that I got the lighting correct for the scene.

First, I had the turret facing to the right, which was ok, but everything was too dark because the light was positioned too low and far back.

So, I fixed the light and changed the turret and also have it almost facing camera.

Then I imported this into photoshop, added a background of an inferno (that I took from a photo) and started working on the barrel.

I started painting over the tank and buildings, making the turret structure more well defined. This picture had to recognisable at very small scale, so I made the outline distinct.

I added details on the tank and drew some burning ruins in the distance.

Those ruins weren’t that great, so added some burning skyscrapers instead.Then I added some smoke for the near foreground…

and then I rotated it – if you remember the original sketch was rotated as well, but that was somehow lost in the process. And that’s it!