Monday, March 13, 2017

I Got Interviewed on Creator Forge

I've been so busy with Creator Forge that I've neglected this page for a while. Also, like a lot of artists, I've spent a lot more time on Instagram and Facebook where you can likely see more of my sketching and digital painting than what I post here. In the meantime, the Creator Forge Podcast is picking up steam. If you haven't checked it out yet please click below. You'll find my own two part interview along with several other pro illustrators, concept artists, 3D artists, and animators. It's been a fantastic first 5 months.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Creator Forge

So, it's been way too quiet here for the last few months, but there is a reason for that. I have been very busy developing

Who is Creator Forge? 
We are a new educational organization dedicated to offering instructional media focused on how to prepare for work in creative fields in entertainment industries. We are soft-launching in late 2016 with a podcast. In early 2017 we will begin offering a variety of art and design instruction videos on Youtube and on our website. Please follow Creator Forge on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to receive updates as they become available.

We released the first 3 podcast episodes last Monday. Here's what the podcast is all about:

What forges great professional artists?
That's the simple question we try to answer every episode as we interview artists in fields like: comics, game art, animation, audio, illustration, creative project management, and more.

What Kind of Information and Content will you find in our podcasts?
Interviews with professional artists and promising, young art students.
Advice about art education (traditional and non-traditional paths).
Advice about breaking in.
Productivity and Pipeline Discussions.
The business of freelance art (taxes, contracts, dealing with clients, etc).

Who do we hope to serve with this podcast? 
Young artists who are considering going into an art career.
Art Students.
Professionals who are interested in the backgrounds and techniques of other pro artists.

Thanks for checking it out.

P.S. I have not abandoned this blog. I'll still post art and tutorials periodically, but there will also be information and announcements about Creator Forge, too.

Thanks again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Speed Sketching Stags With A Brush Pen

I just uploaded the very first video I've ever posted on my personal YouTube Channel. Give it a look and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Legend of The White Buffalo II: Environments

This consisted of close to 50 individually layered pieces that were displayed together as a two screen scene in the Unity Game Engine for the "Legend of the White Buffalo II", a slot machine game from AGS-Cadillac Jack Games. Most of this scene was digitally painted in Photoshop, but the distant star field was taken from a Unity Sky Box screenshot. For those that don't know, the Unity Game Engine is a 3D game environment. My 2D painted images were placed in Z-space by the programmer/game developers, and it was a huge trip to see the "camera" move in and out of my painted scene. 

The large empty spaces were left open to contain Logo and other graphics related to game play.

This is part of the top screen art for "Legend of the White Buffalo II" from AGS-Cadillac Jack Games.  The bison, clouds, etc were all digitally painted in Photoshop, and the distant star field are from a Unity Skybox that I partially painted over. 

All rights to this art belong to AGS: Cadillac Jack Games, an Apollo Global Management company.

To learn more about the Lakota Legend Of The White Buffalo:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Legend of The White Buffalo II: Characters, Creatures, and Props

The first Legend of the White Buffalo game was a break through success for Cadillac Jack Games, and they wanted to create a follow up with new features and art. See my archives for art from the first version of this game. These are casino games that display in adult spaces, so they wanted something a bit racy for the goddess character design. I heard them loud and clear, and my have enjoyed it, too...

The Wild bison symbol frame stacks similarly to the frames in Flight of Icarus from a few posts back. The electric bison head on the right is still only concept level. The final head was created and animated in 3D for the game based off of my design. It head-butts the "glass" while electricity arches all around it, and shakes the entire frame.

Below is the final symbol with a final paint and two GIFs. The first Gif Shows the 3 head states that I painted for the animators to work with (they made it look a lot smoother than I can), and the second GIF shows around 20 stages of the digital painting process for this symbol.

Ah, object design. I love it sometimes. Below on the left, the pipe is not only a Lakota/Sioux tradition, but it shows up in the actual creation legend that surrounds the Goddess Woope and the White Buffalo. Part of the fun of what I do is learning the design language of a given culture and attempting to create an object that seems like it belongs even if it never existed. This is one of those instances. I found reference for similar items all over the web, but nothing quite like this. Additionally, casino games usually call for high value surfaces (like gold) that would traditionally never be used to make a pipe.

On the right, this particular drum never existed, but similar instruments can be found all over the web on tribal-ran sites and I simply added my own twist to something that could easily exist in the real world.

My hope is that I honor the design aesthetic of the cultures I portray in my own designs, and to learn from them. Our primary customers are Native American casino owner/operators. The Legend of the White Buffalo series of games has been fairly popular with them, so I'm hoping that means that I accomplished my goal.

All rights to this art belong to AGS: Cadillac Jack Games, an Apollo Global Management company.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Flight of Icarus: Top Screen Art

Before I dive in please take note of the nifty, new "ArtStaion Portfolio" button located below my header art above! As of the writing of this post, I'm just starting to get my gallery put together there, but it will soon house all the art you see here and much much more in an easy to surf gallery. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

This is the final post from this game. Here is the original (unused) art for the top screen of this slot machine cabinet, but they decided to go in another direction. The wings would have been added in 3D in-game. This was painted in Photoshop on many many layers to prepare it for animation in After Effects. I'm loosely planning a tutorial video showing how I prep images for animation, but for now just imagine that each part of their bodies and armor are on their own layers.

When the decision was made to change direction on the top screen art we were in crunch time, so I decided to try something I've never really done before. I asked Brandon Moulton, of our 3D team, to render out some 3D figures and wings in the correct poses with loose lighting reference, and I painted over them in Photoshop. Imagine gray mannequins with no hair. Icarus was already built in 3D, so Brandon was able to give me his armor on separate layers, but the girl was a nude, bald figure that I detailed out and painted from there. This was a fun thing to try out, but I think my preferred method will continue to be an all 2D method for now. The following is what ended up on the top screen along with logo art and ads.

All rights to this art belong to AGS: Cadillac Jack Games, an Apollo Global Management company.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Flight of Icarus: Symbols

I hadn't tried any SciFi art for years. One thing I've noticed, looking at the history of SciFi art, is that there is a lot of crossover between SciFi design and the industrial design aesthetic of the day. Meaning, that cutting edge industrial design looks always show up in SciFi art of any given decade/era. So, I not only looked at a ton of games, movies, etc, but I also turned an eye to current day industrial design for inspiration.

The frames for these game symbols are an amalgam of current day SciFi shapes and modern car fascias... that's right. Do a quick google search for Honda or BMW cars and look closely at the front and rear bumpers and light assemblies, and you'll see these shapes.

The symbols almost always need more at than what you see in the frames for when we animate the figures. Here is an example of the full art that I did for Icarus' girlfriend... Oh, wait, I didn't mention this before, but in this version of Icarus, he ditches his dear old dad and makes off with a soldier's daughter instead.

Speaking of soldiers... this is where I think you can really see the Greek/SciFi aesthetic that I was going for in this game.

Notice the difference between the frame above and the frame in the final art. It was decided that the frames would connect and "stack" during game play. This was an additional design challenge, but I felt like it made the task and the final design more interesting.

Here, again, I looked closely at current day automobile design, specifically dashboard digital displays, to come up with the design for this Wild Symbol, which has compass-like dials that spin and initiate game scenarios.

All rights to this art belong to AGS: Cadillac Jack Games, an Apollo Global Management company.