Selected Works

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Rounding out the year

As usual in the life of a freelancer, this year has been a wild ride. New clients bringing new challenges, as well as trusted clients from the past returning to recreate some magic. Insanely busy and deadly slow. Onsite, Offsite, and halfway around the world. Teaching, learning and creating. All in all, not bad.

To wrap things up, here's a piece that was a departure for me in many ways, the most notable of which was that to create it, I went back to my old nemesis, Corel Painter.

more after the jump...

Monday, November 28, 2011

The humble paint over: more Skylanders

Sometimes concepting can be a less than glamorous affair, such as when you're handed a screenshot and told to spruce things up a bit. However, there's usually a way to give things a little magic if you have a solid idea in mind.

The screenshot:

The paintovers:

and the layers that got me there ( click to animate layers )

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Freelancer's Guide part 4: Release

The best day for a freelance designer, aside from the day that the check clears, is the day that you get to show your work.

Usually this is a straightforward affair-once the project ships, you're in the clear to show your stuff. Sometimes, though, things aren't so smooth. The most common scenario is that the project is shelved indefinitely, which means your work is in limbo- you can't show it because in theory the project could go live at some point, but in the meantime it's just gathering dust somewhere. A canceled project on the other hand, though painful, usually means that your newly orphaned work is immediately showable. 

 Personally, I like to get a written release before putting anything up just to be sure. International release dates, "Art of" books and other ancillary material complicate your ability to self promote, so when in doubt, ask. I've seen more than a few artists drop something on their blogs and then get dinged for it within hours. This is especially true if your project is high profile.

 The reason for all these useless words is that Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is finally out!! It was a great project to work on and gave me a chance to work in a different style from most of the projects I do these days. I'll be posting works from this game from time to time, but for now, The Undead Dungeon!!! Make the jump for some swell pics...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Viborg, sweet Viborg

Just got back from another teaching gig at the Animation Workshop. As always, very inspiring to be in a room with that much talent. I think I may get more out of it than the students  ( many of which were industry pros for this masterclass ).

Here's a small sampling of the trip

 much greener than the last time I was here! And slightly less cold!
more after the jump....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Costume design

not nearly enough of this in my work, which is odd since i do enjoy it..let's see how many I can crank out..

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I really should have been a pulp artist. There's really no other job where you can paint such outstandingly ridiculous subject matter and get paid for it, with the possible exception of concept artist. It's also interesting to note that it's nearly impossible to try to mock the genre because whatever dumb idea you're thinking of, some poor uncredited shmoe in the 30's already did it, and dumber.

On another note, it's been ages since I've painted anything this directly in photoshop-I highly reccomend filters, gradients, or masks..just one layer and your favorite brush. Just like in the good old days, except without the toxic chemicals.

On an yet another unrelated note, I seem to have acquired the power to conjure Lee Van Cleef at will, so I have that going for me too, which is nice. I hope this power comes in handy some day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gardens of Babylon

I have gazed on the walls of impregnable Babylon,
    along which chariots may race,
    and on the Zeus by the banks of Alphaeus.
I have seen the Hanging Gardens and the Colossos of Helios,
    the great man-made mountains of the lofty pyramids,
    and the gigantic tomb of Maussollos.
But when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds,
    the others were placed in the shade
    For the sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus.

                                                                          - Antipator of Sidon,
                                                                                c. 2nd Century BC

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

playing around

Here's a quick landscape exercise from this morning...nothing fantastic but blobby alien guys floating through the sky is always fun.

The interesting thing is during the course of trying out some techniques, I stumbled onto this effect which is just the threshold filter:

I can think of about 7 jobs this effect would have really been great for...ah well...better late than never.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From the archives

Today we have some recently declassified concepts for a project from the good folks at Villian LLC.

Character design for games is always a tricky affair because there's a balance between tech and aesthetics that must always be watched. This becomes even more pronounced when the game is for the iPhone. Fortunately, with a strong AD, as they have in Tim Nice, it's possible to find a middle ground between being shackled by poly counts and joint limitations, and the crazy machinations of the concept artist ( what if we put rocketpacks on their feet and they could jump all over the place??)

some human trooper armor

and some crazy aliens

the tech restrictions really hit the alien designs more because all of the interesting things that would set them apart required more Tim chose to emphasize the surface material, since the shaders were the one thing that the engine was fairly forgiving in. A bit of that process can be found below:

personally, I'd have gone in a different direction with the heads, but in the end I think we got some pretty interesting designs out of it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Home at last

So, the last week of February I had the opportunity to teach at a lovely little school called The Animation Workshop, located in a neat little town in Denmark. To say that the atmosphere here is inspiring would be the understatement of the year. The senior class is working on several short film projects which I got to advise on, and let me tell you, these guys really know their onions.

Student studio space, which will prepare them well for the chaos of industry life

some very cool maquette work going on

very cool town that I got to wander around in

some members of the V├Žsen team

A couple of crazy swedes who somehow wandered onto the premises

All in all, a fantastic experience and a fantastic school...I look forward to returning.

check our their work here!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Social Networking

Exploring the social landscape and broadening one's network, before it was cool.

First post of the year and in a long time due to some long overdue down time. The idea of strangers in a strange land seems appealing to me at the moment as I'll be one myself in short order.

Hopefully more to come soon!