Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gladiator Progress

Definitely need to spend more time figuring out what exactly this characters helmet will look like. It going to be a nice selling point so we're going to have to go through some design callouts and nail this one. I'm also going to need to spend more time understanding the value shifts in this area. I'm thinking my best best is to render each metalic surface as though it's brand new and highly polished before layering the grit and grime and doing a final paint pass to make everything feel worn. But as-is those highlights and shadow tones are completely off :/

I'm trying to mash classical gladiator with a Siberian setting (see Nissa character post below) so there's elements I need to drop and some I need to incooperate so these two characters look like they belong in the same universe. Right now I think they feel a bit detached from one another design-wise. BUT! I'll make sure to pull them both back together in the final stages.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alley Quick Sketch

Another environment paint over. Started last week with a few 3 minute warm ups to figure out composition. Showed these to the SPRAWL guys and from there Adam provided me with a basic 3D screen from the current level build. To push myself and avoid noodling around with details, I made sure to 1) save any photo crops for later in the process and 2) stop finished or not at just over 2 hours to see how far I could get.

I went through Dylan Cole's Gnomon matte video again (i think the last time was well over a year ago) to better understand indicating detail quickly and efficiently. I've had issues in the past trying to figure out how concept artists construct urban landscapes that are so heavy in detail. But after going through both Dylan and Feng Zhu's methods I see now it's really just a TON of various mark-making with photos used to support the overall structures.

I guess my underlying goal here was to see how well I could communicate an urban setting without the use of photo crop and in a relative time crunch. Hopefully I hit that mark, if not at least landed somewhere close. Haha.

Also, came back from Kung Fu Panda 2 tonight. If you haven't see it already drop everything you're doing and get to the theaters.....now!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nissa Preview

I'll see if I can't finish her off by tonight. Thanks for looking!

Life Painting Progress Shot

It's been fun getting back into oil painting for the last couple weeks. Our models have been fun to work with and the costuming is better than anything we've done in the past. I spent the majority of Wednesdays session working out the face. Still not quite there but we're making progress. The model expressed an interest in purchasing this work once it's finished. She said it would be a nice gift for her mother and one where she was actually clothed, haha. So hopefully we can do it justice by the end ;)

In the meantime I think I'm going to knock out the clothing/torso region this weekend. I took photo's but haven't bothered using them because working from life feels so much more gratifying. That, and various other projects have taken up my weekend hours so the painting is usually saved for our Wednesday class.

18"x24" Oil on Masonite.

Monday, May 16, 2011



For my Computer Illustration II class, our first assignment is to illustrate 2 characters. The first is some sort of protagonist and the second is the antagonist. The focus is to practice rendering a certain type of material ie: fur, scales, skin, etc. But I've started to see over the years analyzing character designs for entertainment, hell even watching people around me, good design tends to incorporate a variety of surface materials in one outfit.

So I've decided to challenge myself a bit and push a few of these elements into both characters. The story I came up with involves a frozen landscape (I'm thinking Siberian plains) with a gladiator theme. The protagonist is some sort of female warrior and her opponent.....is yet to be determined.

Initial gestures and a semi-finished sketch of Nissa. Too tired to mess with hands and feet tonight :P

Already started thinking of a color scheme/rendering style so I'm hoping this all pulls together fairly well for the final piece. Getting pretty excited :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Post For Old Work

Wanted to share some older studies that I haven't posted here before. All environment related, sketches and color keys some reffed and some without.

These were some basic warm ups for a project I was fortunate enough to be apart of with Raul RamosBrent Pickrell, Stephen Ehrman and Jayson Miller. It didn't make it quite as far as we would have hoped but it definitely gave us all an insight into communication and working in a pre-production pipeline. I have a few other pieces from that time that I'l post in the coming months.

First set was 20 minutes a piece, second set took 45 min - 1hr.

These were some weekend studies based off various photos I found scouring through my friends Facebook photo albums. The video time lapse can be seen here.

This next set was fun to experiment with. A while ago I decided to fill 2 pages in my Moleskine with nothing but black and white environment thumbs. It was a quick way to practice composition and break down the value patterns into fundamental shapes. From that list I picked off a handful and spent 30 minutes or so laying in values and playing with the lighting. Definitely learned a lot working with these.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Small Update

A few quick renders of the building silhouettes from break. I've been busy getting a logo finalized for a new client, and school has started back up so I'm taking advantage of every assignment I get to  create another piece for the portfolio.

Between the Fubar and Sprawl mods, class assignments and personal work I should have a more well-rounded portfolio. That was something I was missing a few months ago, a nice balance between characters, environments and vehicles/weapons/props. So long as I can keep up with the sketchbook and continue producing development work AND illustrations I'll have the confidence to start submitting to the industry once and for all. And by that point I'll be able to showcase some new work that hasn't been seen before in my final grad show...

Thanks for checking!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Last Post Over Break

Haven't posted much in the past week or so. Been busy getting through an editorial piece for my dad's department, a new logo for the children of Africa as part of a new clothing line (information to follow in the coming weeks) and making more headway on the album artwork.

On the mod side of things, Sprawl has been working hard to get the demo out in the next few months. I'm still in the middle of getting through the city piece. By that I mean I haven't touched it since last post and need to set aside a solid day to finish up. Hope to make that happen this Friday. In the meantime I knocked out some quick and simple building silhouettes for the first level. Should have a couple of these fleshed out with the city so they work together on the final style sheet.

Also, if anyone is interested, we're looking for a few additional concept artists to help with the 2D side of things. If anyones interested feel free to e.mail Rui (with portfolio samples) at: rui.coelho86@gmail.com or check out the CA Thread, Blog, or Forums.

Fubar has had a bit of a challenge gaining members as it's just myself and one other individual drawing up designs. Just the beginning stages of James character thus far:

My progress took a hit with the cold that I now have (thanks little brother ;) and working on these additional projects. Its been a blast! But definitely a lesson in time management. Unfortunately that meant the 2 personal works I wanted to have completed before school started never made it. But with my new term schedule I'm hoping to have enough space to get focused on personal work for the portfolio.

A few people on deviantART were asking that I post a tutorial on the Cartographer piece I made a few months ago. Finally got around to it over the weekend:

Had a nice sketch day with Raul RamosJon BakerBrent Pickrell, and Vic (someone tell this kid he needs a blog already!!) over break. Was fun getting to sit down with everyone and just observing the people around me. I don't do that NEARLY often enough. Also gave me a chance to congratulate Raul in person on his new internship at http://www.direwolfdigital.com/!! I'm stoked to call this guy my friend and wish him nothing but the best. Can't wait to see the work he does for this new company because it's gonna be KILLER ;) Plus I owe him a sack lunch.

And Osama was killed yesterday so that's......news.