Sunday, April 28, 2013

New things.

Sorry for the lack of updates, it's been very busy the past week or two. We're gearing up for our big spring show and I'm prepping a lot of pieces for submission. Apart from that I've had some pretty intense freelance projects that have been taking up time. Here are a couple new things I can show from the last week:

New gun! It's for the same project that the Prince and Blue Guardian are for. The project has a name now, it's called the Empire of Shadows project, and I've been having a great time working on it. This is an enemy beam weapon - the concept is that the plasma it fires is highly volatile. If you get even grazed by it, the wound must be lanced because the plasma will continue to burn into you and cannot be put out, like the embers of a fire. So regardless of how critical the injury would normally be, the wound will continue to burn deeper into the flesh until it kills you and cannot be "put out." This makes it extremely lethal, as injuries that would not normally be life threatening become fatal if they cannot be lanced or amputated. I also imagine it hurts like hell, having live plasma fires burning through you.

Here is my first view of the Palace Seat in the capital city for Empire of Shadows, before it is consumed by evil:

It's not 100% done yet, but I like the concept for it. I posted thumbnails earlier and this is where I decided to go with it. This city is the largest on the continent, and during the peaceful era it was the heart of a cultural and scientific renaissance. The next step is to evil it up this week and show its altered appearance once the warlords take it over.

Here are some one hour cinematic speed paints from this week:

Captain America
The Big Lewbowski

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blue Guardian Finish

I've been down pretty hard for the past week and a half with bronchitis, but I'm starting to feel better now. Thanks to everyone who offered to bring me food, I'm lucky to have such good friends.

I thought I would do a post on the finish for the blue guardian character I've been working on. I'll probably let this sit for a day or two and tweak a few things then - if I make any major changes I'll post an update. Over the the past month off and on I've posted sketches and thumbnails relating to her, if you sift backwards through this blog you'll find a few. I designed her in tandem with the prince character, who I finished off a couple weeks ago. I hadn't had time to bring her to finish, but I got the urge to do a character yesterday so I decided to finally bring her to life. Here is the rendered front view, with the rough back view (with and without her wrap).

And here she is next to the prince character from a little while ago:

There is a complex background for these two, but the quick gist is he is a prince who's spent the last ten years hiding out in a tribal community. She is an exiled royal guard, who has spent the last ten years wandering. In their design I want them to feel like they belong to the same universe, but while he has more or less gone full-on tribal, she is a regal character who left her old life unwillingly and there are bits and pieces of her old uniform mashed up with costume elements she's picked up along the way. Even though current circumstances have brought her low, inside she is still a proud warrior.

Personally I'm proud of the wrap design - I myself haven't seen anything quite like it and I'm always pleased when I can create a costume element that is a) something you can make out of real materials, b) reflects the culture of the world it is a part of, and c) is something I haven't seen before. Those successes are why I absolutely love what I do.

Some people have expressed curiosity about my rendering process. I've played with taking videos but it often hinders my photoshop from running smoothly. This time I took jpegs along the way, maybe you'll find them interesting:

The process is pretty simple. I do the line, then block in flat color. Then I add highlights, then shadows, then slowly start removing the line by painting over it. Last I add texture elements, sometimes with photo textures, sometimes with spatter brushes. And yes, I use photo references for faces. I'm sure there are geniuses who can invent perfectly photo-realistic human faces from their imagination, but I am not such a one.

Here are a few new one hour paints:

Army of Shadows
Star Wars Episode 5
The Incredibles

Monday, April 8, 2013

Post GDC Recovery

Well another GDC come and gone. I had a really nice time and met a lot of interesting people. I can't wait for the vault to come online so I can catch up on all the talks I missed! However, since the end of GDC I've been completely destroyed by some sort of virus I picked up. You know that sort of cold where you can't stop coughing to save your life? I hardly ever get sick so this has hit me like a ton of bricks. As such, the past week or so hasn't been very eventful, but here are a few things I've been working on:

^ New environment, just felt like inventing an interesting place after a week of talking to people all day.

^Thumbnails for a palace I'm designing.

And below, some recent one hour paints:

Blade Runner
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy