Sunday, 18 November 2012

Skate Graphics

Hello there,

Here are a couple of studies/stylization experiments I did this week. I'm experimenting with painting in a more graphic style using textured brushes within simple selections. It was fun to work this way and because I make all the selection masks first it's really quick to get a composition going and find out whether it's working straight away. You can paint expressively within the masks too without damaging the silhouettes. I chose skateboarding as the subject because I used to skate a lot in my yoot and skate photography is full of interesting and dynamic compositions.

 More stuff soon!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Hawken Made Me Do It...

Hey there,

I decided to take a bit of a break from my ongoing project to work on a few different ideas for a bit. Firstly, I've been playing Hawken a bunch lately and I'm really impressed by how much fun the game already is. I really think the guys at Adhesive are doing a great job of making the combat feel weighty yet maneuverable. The game looks fantastic too. So I decided to design a mech that hopefully wouldn't look out of place in the Hawken world. I wanted to go for a support/medic class with extinguishing/welding capabilities so I tried to get some fire truck design elements in there with all the other greebles. I also borrowed copiously from a bunch of ref I got from mech maestro Fausto De Martini (cheers Fausto!). Photobashing the details in there was really fun.

Here's the 3d base I started with. You can see a bunch of areas changed after I took it into Photoshop:


And this is my original thumbnail:

More soon,


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Cave Attack!

Hey there,

Here's another environment piece for the project. Last one with caves/coves for a while!

I'm going to work on some book layout stuff next. Should have something to show soon.


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Craggy Cove

Hey guys!

Here's an environment piece I spent a few hours on this weekend. It's inspired by a rock in Phang Nga Bay in Thailand called 'James Bond Island' that I visited, ohhh, 9 years ago? Man that makes me feel old!

And some head sketches I inked when I was really tired, which is definitely why the lines are wobbly. Honest.

Also, many thanks to Concept Art World and Kotaku for running articles on my project. It's very flattering to receive attention like that!

More soon,



Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Hybrid Characters

Hi there,

Here's a bunch of character designs for industrial workers toiling away in the factories of Dustrum. I want to do some architectural designs, like I did for the slums, to accompany these characters:

I took a slightly different approach to these guys and created silhouettes in Photoshop that I then printed out and used as a basis for the linework using a Colerase pencil. I then scanned the pencils in and coloured them up in PS. Here are the original silhouettes:

Also, a couple of people asked if I could show the process behind one of my pieces that uses 3d as a basis, so here are a couple of images for the Silver Dagger I posted last time. I initially did some doodles on paper for the design, but they were too crappy to scan! So after that I did a quick silhouette design in Photoshop:

Then I created a 3d model in Maya using custom parts and some kitbashed stuff from models I found online. I doodled over the top of a screengrab to get some ideas for how I wanted the details to look. I do this a lot (drawing over my work) often in bold red to remind myself of things I need to fix/add. I find it's really handy to do this when you leave a piece part way through as it helps you focus when you go back to it again. It's also a good way to quickly test out ideas.

 After the modeling is done I do a quick render as a start for the paintover. This model ended up being more finished than most of my blockouts. I often just render a simple directional and ambient occlusion render with just a default lambert rather than adding specific materials, but this time I decided to try doing more in the render and less in Photoshop:

After that it's just a case of adding details, overlays etc.Hope this is useful.

More stuff soon!



Thursday, 23 August 2012

What I did on my Staycation

Hey guys!

I've taken some much needed R&R this week and I've been having fun hanging out with my family and also doing a fair bit of work on the project too.

First is an enviro speedy that shows one of the later story locations; a frozen, ruined palace high in the mountains. I've been watching Tron Uprising pretty avidly (such a fantastic piece of work!) and one of the episodes had a sequence out in the snowy wastelands where all the backgrounds were these geometric, speedpainterly configurations that looked awesome. So I thought I'd try for something with a similar aesthetic:

 Next up is a vehicle design. I wanted to do a motorbike that was inspired by dueling pistols and ceremonial daggers, so it ended up pretty long. Not exactly sure how this thing turns! Maybe leaning combined with the cunning use of counterweights?

This is some kind of mutated, undead trench hound. I posted the silhouettes for it last time and spent some time working it up. I've been looking at pictures of dogs in gasmasks from WWI (who doesnt!?) and it just went from there. I see these guys breathing out plumes of yellow mustard gas as they stalk the battlefields. They're pretty big too. I should have put Scaleman (tm) in there...

Anyway, enough with the work stuff, here's a couple of pics of Alex and me having some fun this past week:

Scoping some chicks at Pretend City in Irvine:

On a firetruck in Disneyland:

It all got a bit much for the wee fella:

We've not worked out how to get him to look at the camera....

I've got a character line-up I want to work on next and a sculpt in the works. More updates soon!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Dark Clouds and a Dead Dog

Hey Guys,

I've been a little slack with my work in the past couple of weeks, but I'm determined to up my productivity and I've got a few ideas on the go for the next update. Anyway, Here's a couple of odds n' sods.

First, a little speedpaint that I didn't put enough thought into beforehand. And I also ended up putting a tank in there as well despite what I said before (whoops!):

Also, some silhouettes for an undead trench mutt:

More stuff soon.


Monday, 30 July 2012

Tank Graveyard

Hi there,

Here's another story illustration for the project. I wanted to work on something that used a limited palette and had soft, diffuse lighting. I promise this will be last pic with tanks in for a while!

I've got some creature stuff on the go so hopefully I'll have something to show for that pretty soon.



Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sunset Meadow etc.

Hey guys!

Here's the stuff I've been working on recently. Firstly, a speed paint I did over the last couple of evenings:

Some very quick (10 mins each?) Edgar Payne studies. I've been working my way through his book, Composition of Outdoor Painting, and I'm making a concerted effort to be more deliberate about how I study and use colour. The book is full of useful info so I recommend picking it up if you can find a copy.

And some little scribbles for some previous works and a couple o' head doodles:

More soon, Cheers!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Back to the Project

Hey guys! I took a bit of a break from personal work the past couple of weeks. Mostly I was watching Euro 2012, but now that that particular bladder-kicking contest is over I am back to work. I took a long weekend and managed to fit in some pieces here and there. Firstly, a little diorama of one particular slum area in the city of Dustrum. I've not really done this kind of isometric cut-away before and it was really fun! I'm going to do a couple more different parts of the city at some point:

Also, here's some better renders of two of the character maquettes I posted some time ago. Many thanks to my buddy Renaud for teaching me the ways of Keyshot!

Finally, here's the next guy from the military line-up that I'm going to turn into a sculpt. BTW, I may have some exciting news regarding these character maquettes in the not too distant future :).

Thanks for looking! More stuff soon. Cheers, Nick.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A Bunch o' Bits

Hi there! Apologies for not posting for a while. I've been busy with a bunch of things in the past few weeks, but here are a few recent bits I've managed to get done. Firstly some homework for the class I've been taking at CGMW:

And also a design for a teapot-inspired machine o' death:

More stuff soon, although I'm pretty hooked on the Euros right now so maybe it'll be a couple of weeks before another update! Cheers, Nick.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Story Frames

These are some thumbnails for the project that I've done for the class I'm taking at CGMW. I'm going to be working some of them into finished illustrations in the coming weeks.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

'With Zither Music by Anton Karas'

Hi there!

Just some studies from me this week. I'm taking an environment design course at CGMW with Jason Scheier for the next couple of months. My first assignment is to do 10 studies from a visually striking film. I decided to choose a black and white film so I could concentrate on composition and value grouping. The Third Man is one of my favourites and it features tons of great shots (maybe they went a little crazy with the Dutch Angles!) and lots of striking lighting setups. Here are the first five studies that I knocked out this afternoon:

Here's the second half of 'em:

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Mechs and a Mask

Hi there, I'm a little late updating this week, but here are a couple of recent noodlings. Firstly, a bunch of silhouettes for some ridiculous armoured vehicles. That's probably enough military stuff for now:

And here's a lighting test I did the other night. I learnt a couple of things on this, but it came out pretty stiff as I was concentrating on not screwing up too much! Hopefully I can loosen up a bit once I've internalized some more of this stuff:

I'm off to the mountains with the family this weekend, so no update for a bit. More stuff soon though!



Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Few from the Masses

Hi there,

Here's this weeks doodlings. Firstly, some background characters for one of the story's locations:

And a sloppy speedpaint for a story moment. Who's that giant in the foreground? I'll be working on that soon.

I went to a tank museum (more like a graveyard to be honest) in LA this weekend and snapped a load of ref photos. I'm going to work on some bulky mechs and tanks next, I think. I also found my brush pen in the back of a drawer (woooo!) so I might do some studies with that also.



Saturday, 24 March 2012

Bunch of Posers

Hey there,

I've pretty much finished this three character diorama. I might go back and add some details to the base (rubble, barbed wire etc.) but I'll leave it as-is for now. This is just a quick Zbrush render with a quick lens blur alpha and some colour gradients that I added in Photoshop:

More stuff coming soon!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

'What's a Diorama?'

Hey there,

I'm working on a a little Zbrush diorama featuring B.R. Avery, this guy below and the robot from the same character line-up. Here's some work in progress on the little gas mask wearing mole-man:

Also, as a bit of extra stuffage, here are a couple of quick Oga Kazuo studies I did quite a while ago but forgot to post. This guy is just the absolute best (unlike these studies!) and I really recommend tracking down the blu-ray of his Studio Ghibli works:

Should the diorama maquette finished soon.



Sunday, 11 March 2012

Bunch o' New Bits

Hi there!

Here's a bunch of stuff I did this past week. Firstly, a thumbnail for a story moment that I ended up spending a bit more time on:

Also, a simple costume design for a female character sculpt that I'm currently working on. I was thinking of champagne flutes and Venus flytraps when I worked out the dress silhouette.

Finally, let's file this one under 'what the hell were you THINKING?!?!' heheh.

I've got another sheet of character sketches I need to work up in PS. A few other bits on the go too. More stuff soon.

Have a good week, all!

Cheers, Nick.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Rally at The Mountain Pass

Good evening,

Here's a speedpaint of a mountainous location for the project . It started as some choppy polygon lasso selections that I built up and then skewed pieces this way and that. I kind of like how all the scattered little triangles are suggestive of trees and also reinforce the sharp, angular feeling of the mountains. Poor, lonely little car...

More stuff soon.


Friday, 24 February 2012

Keep it simple, soldier.

Hi there,

I've been trying to find an approach to character concepting that feels efficient and enjoyable for a long time. I've dabbled with drawing directly in Photoshop a fair bit, but I never feel fully in control and I end up redrawing lines a lot which tends to kill any sense of movement or spontaneity in my drawings. Also, it never feels as fun as sketching on paper with a blue Colerase pencil. I think the method I used for concepting these guys is what works best for me: Linedrawing on paper which I tidy up a bit in PS. Then I just block out some simple flat colours and then paint choppy shadows within those flats. Quick and simple! I know this is a very standard approach, but it's taken me a long time to realize that it's the best method for me. It means I get to do more 'real' drawing too! Anyhoo:

Hopefully I'll have some more stuff over the weekend.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Mere Rifle

Hello there,

I've not had a great deal of time for personal work this week, but here's a design for a rifle that I finished up. I might get the chance to do a bit more stuff tomorrow, but I'm also teaching a class at Blizzard this week so I should probably do some prep for that! :/

More soon!