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Rules of Thumb

June 15, 2009 - L4D Team


When it came time to photograph the box art of L4D1, our art staff had three goals. One, there should be a hand in it somehow. Two, the hand should have a thumb bitten off, so customers would look at the four fingers remaining on the hand and think, "Hey, four." Three, under no circumstances would we use Photoshop. L4D is a visceral experience, and its box art deserved the same approach. Valve artist and L4D1 hand model Andrea Wicklund was more than happy to help.



Sadly, the ESRB got wind of this, and cited some fake-sounding legal loophole about it being illegal to take pictures of people biting off parts of their hands. So for L4D2, Andrea used state-of-the-art eye-tricking techniques (tucking two of her fingers behind her hand) to create the illusion that her fingers were missing:



We're sure you'll agree: Pretty convincing. Granted, it took lopping the fingers off two staff members' hands to get the lighting reference perfect, but since those didn't appear on the box, we think we're legally in the clear.