Selected Works

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Paintover #2 : Mirko Failoni

For today's paintover, We'll be looking at the work of Mirko Failoni 

Mirko's in class study shows an adventurer in a mountainous landscape.


While the space and tone are reading pretty good, I think we can push things a bit, but more importantly, I want to see if we can push the details a bit to imply a bit more narrative. 

More after the page break!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Paintover

For my students from the IDEA academy in Rome, I'll be doing some paintovers on their final assignments from our workshop- and first up is the talented Annalisa Leoni


Annalisa had concepted a very cool character living in a barren futuristic world, and she started this piece as part of the environmental assignment. I like the mood she's created here, but I think we can push things a bit to make the scene read better, with just a few tweaks


These would be my suggestions to help to establish a more epic feel, as well as to emphasize the graphic look she is leaning towards:



1. The background mountains are all the same height in the composition, and are quite low- I'm going to bring them up and make them a bit uneven to give a better sense of depth and danger. I'm also going to touch up the furthest mountain to push it farther in the distance. Notice that with this light, I will give the mountains some details on the dark side, as well as a bit of direct rim lighting

2. we want to give the sense that the character is really moving into the scene, so I'm going to create some compositional elements to lead the eye in that direction

3. The artist created some really nice lines in the landscape to establish the space- I will simplify and enhance these lines

4. Finally, I will adjust the tones and lighting on the character as well as her shadow to help place her in the scene.

you can see the steps on this GIF






and the final image ( with some simple lighting to give some extra epicness)!






These are all really simple tweaks that any of you can use to help give you works that extra push! Now go out and paint!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Paintover!

One of my Academy students, Emre Ekmekci recently turned in a prop assignment for critique, and it thought it would be good opportunity to talk about some lighting concepts.

here's his original:


As you can see Emre has a solid start but we could probably tighten up the lighting a bit help with his render and also the overall feel of the piece and push it even further with some simple tricks.




To start with I'm putting down a couple markers to remind me where the lights are coming from. The Warm key light is coming from the left, but it feels a bit patchy at the moment. The Key is generally the most important light in the scene, so it's a good idea to make sure that it's consistent and unified on your subject.



On an new layer I've brightened up the light side, paying special attention to any edges or plane changes which might catch a bit of extra light. It's important to note that although I've chosen to brighten the highlight on the barrel of the gun for this demo, the important part of this step was to unify the lighted surfaces so they feel consistent. I could have stayed with his softer bright spot but it would have been a subtler look and not as obvious for the purpose of the demo.



Likewise, I did a pass with the secondary light, making sure to hit all the surfaces that are facing downwards. I also gave the light a bit of overspill on the upper surfaces- this is not really accurate to the position of the light, but I just wanted to give a bit of separation from the background.



As a final step, I went through and adjusted some drawing issues, such as the ellipse on the scope and scope hood{A}(it's still off, but hopefully you get the idea), as well as fixing the perspective on the butt of the gun{C} grip.
Finally, I knocked the lighting down a bit on all the front surfaces of the gun {B} since this would be receiving the least amount of lighting overall

I purposely didn't address design issues this time around because as a baseline, your concepts should communicate the forms clearly-you don't want your render to be a distraction! Perhaps in future paintovers we can talk design more!I hope this has been useful!

j


Friday, August 16, 2013

The Freelancer's Guide Part 6: The Return

So, after making the Choice , you may find your self someday facing the Return. After the better part of a year working at LucasFilm on the Emmy winning show Clone Wars, I find myself back in the freelancer's seat, thanks to a helping hand from Uncle Walt and the Disney Corp.

 I'm not gonna lie, it's a bit daunting going from paid vacations and Jelly Roll Wednesdays to chasing down payments and doing all nighters. Sometimes, you don't find freelancing, it finds you.

 And on that note, I'm happy to show one of my first works to be released since being back in the driver's seat, the cover art to Blood and Bacon, available now on xbox live!

 

Here's the evolution of the idea as it first started from the sketch phase:



No one ever picks the flying jump kick/shotgun blast :-(



If this all seems familiar, it's because we went through all this when I did the cover for Murder Miners 
(which is now the #1 rated on the indie section of XBLA and one of the top sellers. Whether their awesome cover has anything to do with that, I"ll let you decide.*)

*yes it did.

Hit the jump for a fabulous step by step gif!

Monday, March 11, 2013

At Last: Part 2!

                                         
 Is there any time more glorious than the day a project launches and you get to show the work you did? Well, I certainly hope so. But here's some work I did on Dead Space 3 anyways.




More after the jump!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

At last


Finally, some time for a quick study...quick, name that scene!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Freelancer's Guide: The Choice



Given enough time, every freelancer will eventually get a call from a very pleasant sounding person offering them a fulltime position. This person will tell them all about the fabulous benefits of working for their company, such as getting paid regularly and complimentary electricity. At this point, every freelancer must make a choice of whether or not to keep their lance free or not. If this should happen to you, I recommend you make a list. Here's an example:

Benefits of Freelancing:
Make your own hours
Pleasant commute
No annoying office mates
No stupid meetings
Pants optional

Benefits of Accepting Fulltime work:
Free office supplies
Attractive Key Fobs and Decorative Name Placards
Dirty coffee mugs mysteriously vanish from the sink and appear in the cupboards the next day. ( I'm told this is normal)

I recently faced this very choice recently. After some amount of consideration, I chose to accept this opportunity, at the very least for a few months. Unfortunately that means I'll not be posting project work as much for awhile, but hopefully I'll still find the time to put up sketches and whatever backlogged art that hasn't gone up yet. I'm not going to lie, I'll miss alot of things about sitting at this desk, but on the other hand, it's a nice opportunity in a new field, so it's forward progress, so that's something.

 I wish you luck when you get the chance to make your own Choice.