Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Past few months !

Not blogged in ages ! been very busy with commissions and work, but thought it best to throw out there what I've spent the past 5 or 6 weeks doing.
Lets start with the 3D work, basically my current computer can't even begin to run Unreal engine 4. So currently I am just trying to churn out tons of 3D assets that I can just drop into the engine when I get the chance. These 2 assets sort of belong together because they will both have a similar look and feel of damaged concrete & a lot of iron supports. I Think the tone of these assets will truly come through until the normal maps have been created, the normal will have lots of cracks and damage to really give everything an earthed feel. I spent a lot more time on these 2 than I usually would because I would like to use these a lot and have them repeated through the environment, I think that justify the poly count and time spent !
The next piece was this transport platform, I want to link up multiple environments and thought a big platform on a magnetic set of rails would be a cool way of doing it. Anyone who has played half life, I love the part at the beginning moving around the facility in a tram, it helps tell a story of the environment and is a good chance to drop little hints and clues to future events. Hence deciding to create this piece, I want to generate the same thoughts and responses using a similar method. I have been working on a big scene using this piece, but due to my current rig being piss poor and waiting for my new GPU to go into my new rig....I have had to stop......

Another piece was this helicopter pad, made up of a few modular pieces, the aim was not to make the most killer looking pad possible, it was meant to be versatile, so that i can take pieces of it and use it to fill space within the environment. killing multiple birds with one stone !

This was crazy fun to make. a rag tag revolver, which is stupidly big and heavy, want this to feel like it has some serious stopping power ! When we was talking about the character for the project this is for, we thoguht it would be cool if he wakes up with amnesia, and this gun. As he walks streets if the player pays attention to the news reports in the windows the reporter mentions crazy guy stealing weapon from military, show the image of this gun....hitting towards towards the audience that you are playing as a crazy killer !

Another fun project was this, I wanted to test a new art style, so thought what would be hard to draw, well myself ! I know me better than anyone else so any faults I will spot straight away, so this image on the right is what I drew from and a rough sketch to see if I liked it.

The final piece I really love, I tried to have a level of detail focus, I.e the detail being in the chest up and lower having less to draw the eye to the face. But all in all this test went well I really love this design and it strangely reminds me of me even with the block jaw line.

So this has been what most of my recent time has been invested into, believe it or not this is Charles, to anyone who hasn't read previous posts, Charles is a character I'm helping some guys develop, he belongs to the same world as Billy & Izzy. 
So who is he, well Charles is a mercenary sniper and a cyber punk world where the old world ( 21 century) is abandoned and apocalyptic and the new cyberpunk structures are simply built on top of it, symbolic of the hierarchy from poor to rich.

So lets talk about the old version, and I quote, ' looked like a posh git born with silver spoon up his A**.' So obviously some work needed to be done, I tried to give him a look of normality but the guys think there should be 2 Charles's, normal when he is around Billy and when he is on a job. So I really wanted to go for a technical look on his militant gear.

So some places I looked for inspiration, well multiple games, MGS serious, Crysis, Splinter cell and kill zone, I wanted to build a sense of layers with this guy, but also being one with his armor. Stuff like having his nervous system wired into the rifle. I had few people talk about the 3 eyes, the thought behind this is that he is never physically looking through them, they are cameras which he sees a feed into his helmet, the top one also acting as a range finder to help him locate targets and zero his rifle. the sort of visor I had in mind for the feed is a Crysis 2 style.

So here it is final painting and environment sketch . I love the dramatic lighting and really wanted ot get this across in the piece, the story of the piece is that he is scouting and Charles hear's gun fire in the area then foot steps in the halls around him.  

I hope you enjoyed reading please let me know any feedback about my work. It is always appreciated !

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

spare time 3D

I cant show all of my proper stuff for work reasons but if you are interested in seeing some assets i have been 3d doodling, well here they are !
Wall mounted retro computer - back

Wall mounted retro computer - front

simple bollard

sewage tunnel entrance 

large container

concrete chain gates


motorized stairs

cell block door

textured light

different take on a barrel

industrial pipe wall

grated floor

large oil pump

large barricade wall piece 
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Monday, 23 June 2014

The Billy re resign

I won't lie, when the guy I am working on this with turned around and told me he REALLY didn't like the Billy style or design, I wasn't the happiest camper. But now I have done the new version I can see where he came from and where he wants her to fit into the story, and as my college lecturer told me, 99% of the time your first idea is never the best .

So what was wrong with her ? Well for starters she looked to well kept, they are meant to be living in slums and barley getting by, and she looks like the cloths she is wearing could be bought in a high street store like River Island.....so there was the main flaw in her design. Few other pointers thrown my way to bear in mind during the design process, though she is the younger sibling to Charles ( who will go through a re design too) she should be able to look after herself, in a childish / cheeky way. Think of the cocky kids on estates in movies and TV, the kid from breaking bad who helps distribute meth springs to mind. Using that as a piece of inspiration, I want to design her on a Bike / scooter of some sort, just to place her in some kind of scene. In addition I will draw her with the old gun I designed for her, a sort of gas powered grenade launcher, using big chunky drum magazines which just snap in. 

And here she is, the new Billy. I have tried to improve the line work I usually do to make the finished painting sit nicer on the page, and tried to get her looking like she is harmless / innocent but hiding the weapon behind her back. I really think I have nailed this design, making her leggings scruffy, old boots, patched up hunters hat with buttons and studs sown on, I was going to have goggles hanging round her neck but with the dreaded / matted hair I think there might have been too much going on around her neck. 

I want to try a simple painting style, like flat colors with only other change in tones being shadows, I think I need a lot more practice in painting before I try the who realism / smooth gradients you see in a lot of graphic novels / comic books these days. Hope you like the new design and any feedback is always nice !
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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Females are back !

I am going to be starting the Izzy & billy designs again since my friend who they was for has come back.
Before I dive in I thought I would brush up on drawing the female form. But with this I looked over what may have let down previous drawings. I always said the same thing about them, they don't sit on the page right, and I think it may have something to do with the REALLY sketchy style I do my line drawings. It is something an artist called Luke eluded to some time last year, so with this line drawing I am trying to make it far more refined, hence trying to pick such a difficult facial expression. I have looked a lot at an awesome artist called Mike Ray, his drawings are insane, but what caught my eye is the line drawings before he paints, His painting always sit on the screen so well and something I think it may be down to is such a sound foundation in his line work.
Leading me to trying to really nail down the line work on this piece. I am not going to 'finish' it as it was just a doodle to get my self warmed up for painting the proper characters but thought it would be worth talking about it before posting my designs.

If your interested this is the line piece by Mike Ray that really caught my interest . Go to his site, he has such a distinctive style !
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Friday, 13 June 2014

Arcavious Painted !

Finally got the SOB painted !!!
This has to be one of the most pain staking paintings I have done, but also turned out to be one of my favorite ! I still need to paint a  proper background but that can wait !
But after the time spent on this I have very little to say. Hope you all like it !
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Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Arcavious re design

Few different doodles done, lets talk about a few !

So here is one of my more developed designs for Arcavious. Let it be clear this is by no means the final product, I am playing with way too many ideas at the moment to say 'This is it !' . So I have changed a lot, I have refined him to the point where I could justify and explain as practical. I got rid of the hood, I thought the scarf / poncho is far more dynamic, giving him the possibility to use it as a hood, as well as a poncho / scarf, which throws out many different composition possibility's. It also gives him a complex  silhouette  but recognisable  and menacing. I wanted to lose the symmetry of the old mask and also add the suggestion of functionality, the big respirator shows a working mechanism, I like the fact he has the output vent because in a scene that can be a very dynamic part. I can imagine a scene where Arcavious is stalking someone and the enemy keeps seeing wisps of his breath coming from it as Arcavious stalks in the shadows.

through loosing the hood I had to decide what to cover his head with, I toyed with a few ideas, flat beak hats, long wiry hair, but I decided on a beanie, practical and leaves space for re design if I think of anything better. His old torso, a raggy vest looked fairly average. This new vestment is far more interesting, with lots of buckles, and once painted in between the segments will be fastened using loose stitches and binders to allow movement, I will also have patterned segments to give it a more unique feel. I got rid of the shoulder pads because I though it was a detriment to his silhouette, I wanted a narrow sloping shoulders, a much more athletic feel, before he looked to rectangular. 

Now the legs and claws, I wanted a really heavy set lower body, it gives him a real sense of sturdiness.I think the thick lower body gives the feel of the powerful athletes who generically thick legs, I can imagine his movements being planted at the feet with lots of mobility in the hips, shoulders and sternum. Then when he does throw a kick in the mix it would be an extremely hard / slow hitting one.

I think I watched too much dragon ball Z as a kid, I have designed his legs to be so heavy because I have an image of a scene. throughout his life he takes on everyone with minimal effort, and one day he comes up against someone who matches him, he would trip the huge metal plating off his legs, and as he drops them you see how heavy they are because it crushes the ground underneath it. Like he takes his fighting to another level. 

An idea I am playing with is this huge mechanical arm, for 2 reasons, one I would like to have this clash of styles, mechanical and natural, I think it would look awesome having this huge mechanical arm holding a big natural weapon. 

The second reason is a look I think would be interesting his having his mechanical side having a huge poncho / cloak that covers it, and it becomes a interesting secret why Arcavious never uses his right arm during combat, and again have the dragon ball Z moment where he needs to and unveils his arm.

I have done many different style for this and will continue to experiment and see where I end up. it will be interesting !

So before I finish up, I wanted to talk about what is under the mask, now at this moment in time i don't even know ! but I have a vague thought, I want him to go from this majestic, strong and respectable figure when in his gear, to a clearly diseased form. And most importantly, I want him to give off a vulnerability ! The aim is to really create a sense of contrast .

I haven't decided on the course of this, could be the crystal crafting, all the past experiments in alchemy, and attack earlier in his life, I liked the idea of Bane in the Chris Nolan Batman wearing the mask because he got between half to death whilst protecting a child, and thus needs the mask to suppress his pain. But at the moment it is all speculation and I haven't made any decision as to the reasons.

Thank you for reading and I hope you found it interesting ! 
Here is the beginning of whats to come, ENJOY !

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Lore of Arcavious !

So lets talk lore, the most important part of making your character believable.

Perspective is a brilliant thing when you develop a character, and it helps make the character deeper and have layers. All the great story's  that have engaged me in the past, has been based on characters that I am constantly learning about, they are never just black and white, here is the good guy, here is the bad guy and that's it....that's boring !

Walter White, in a nutshell is a victim of circumstance. He starts as this weak, helpless normal guy who as the audience we assume he is the protagonist....the good guy. Then he starts cooking meth, and as the audience you know he is doing wrong, but you justify it, and you still label him as the protagonist. But then the boundaries of what we can justify becomes more and more blurred. Now for me the point that I thought. 'He is just bad now !' was when he stood and watched Jesse's Girlfriend choke on her own vomit. I think he stops doing something bad for the ones he loves, and does something bad to help himself. and as the seasons go on these decisions get worse and worse, and he turns from out and out good guy to this enigma who you aren't sure about. Now enough of my admiring / being a fan boy and onto Arcavious.

So in the universe of Arcavious, lets explore him through the eyes of the inhabitants of the world, we will get to the FACTS when I post the drawings later in the week. Lets take your average civilian, they would think of Arcavious as a ghost, a horror story which at the end they laugh off and say, ' but don't worry, its just a story.'  

He is never seen by your average Joe, Arcavious lives in solitude away from the world, living in the mountains harvesting caves for crystals for his sculpting. He uses them in his alchemy and crafting his claws, Some say he uses them to power the breathing apparatus on his mask, at this time no one knows why he does, in the 'story's' he is said he doesn't speak like most, he speaks in the third person and as if he lives with hindsight. 

Why the Mask ? Arcavious has never actually told anyone the reason, people who know of him assume he has an underlying health condition but the official reason has never come to light. With Arcavious living like a nomad, he has no family, no friends and no one to share these secrets with. One of the reasons I made him like this was because he lives like a monk. 100% dedicated to his training, meditating, and his crafting. Though he has this spiritual lifestyle, he has a black and white outlook on life, if you wrong him, consider yourself dead. if you help him you have a hell of an asset on your side. 

Though he works so much in the field of alchemy, in his eyes science is one in the same, so he is also a genius in mechanic workings, making all his equipment. Choosing to learn this trade to avoid as much human interaction as possible.

When I saw this piece it really got me thinking about the idea of clashing to polar opposites in design. Having mechanical under laying with rag like clothing on top covering it. This is something I will try and reflect when I put my drawings up. 

And on that note I think I will explain other things around the actual drawings.

 Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it !
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