Thursday, April 16, 2009

DW IV - more designs

Last night I did some War Machine designs:

machine designs 1

machine designs 2

I like the stuff on the first page. The second page isn't as lively, although the image I have in mind of the large thing at the bottom is from a low angle on the battlefield and this particular design might look pretty cool as an illustration if not as a designed object.

Really, I have to remember that, like designing stuff seen in a movie, I probably only have to worry about this thing from one angle, even with the contest requirements of a concept art sheet. Designing for a video game, you need to design the whole object from all angles and think a lot about how it's going to move and act and be lit and all that. For this task I really don't have to worry about that - I just need to make a "pretty picture."

Hmf. Looks like I may be in a bit of a "shape rut" too. There are similarities between the Machine and Demon designs. I think I'll try a bit of Vyle's random brush techniques and see what happens there.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dominance War IV: Main Challenge Begin!

It's time for the Main Challenge of Dominance War IV. It's another character design/render, and this time we have 3 races to choose from with 3 classes in each race. I've looked them over and decided that I will do either a Demon Lord or a War Machine - both are supposed to be huge creatures bristling with weapons or magic or demon-whatever.

Tonight I started doing some shapes and silhouettes of Demon Lords to see what kind of ideas I could come up with:

Yep, that there's quite a pile of ugly, to be sure. I like most of these enough to go to a more detailed sketch phase, especially the ones up top. I'm the kind of weird guy who, when someone says "do a demon," I want to do something that is not human-shaped or possibly not even vaguely humanoid at all. Something really nightmarish and mind-bogglingly hideous. If there's one complaint I have about Dominance War, its that the competition really favors some particular types of humanoid characters. I like to buck trends like that... of course, it may mean that no matter how well-designed and rendered my piece is, it won't make the cut.

Anyway, I'll be continuing this work on my UStream Live Video channel most weeknights from 9-midnight and Sunday afternoons from 3-6pm Pacific Time, from now until the end of the contest, which is May 11th. Tomorrow night (Wednesday 4/15) I'll be continuing with some design work on War Machines.

Here's my official contest entry thread on CGSociety, too.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Dominance War IV: War General Final

He's done! Total time 9 hrs 22 min:

I'm happy with this guy. I don't really have any gripes with the final product as I usually do with other stuff - for instance, the Steampunk thing I really like a lot, but the gripe is that it's not really "finished" finished. This one here is finished and I can totally leave it behind. Cool.

Right! Well hopefully the judges will like it. Apparently there will be more of these "mini-challenges" before the main challenge, so watch this space for more updates, and if you follow my UStream channel, I'll be painting all this stuff live. The schedule will be posted on the channel as far in advance as possible. Also, I always announce when I'm going live on Twitter and Facebook.

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Dominance War IV: War General 4

Worked on it some more tonight, as the deadline is tomorrow, wanted to try to get closer:

I thought the chest armor was too bright so I knocked it back a bit. Tried to bring the face tentacles forward a bit and separate them from the rest, not sure if it's successful. I can always take it to Photoshop and lift stuff off, brighten/darken, etc.

At this point apart from the getting those tentacles to pop out, it's all frills and details from here on out. I'm probably gonna wing that stuff, just stay zoomed out and slap down chunks of paint to make decorations and medals and all that. Maybe a chain-mail pattern on the mantle around the neck on the inside...

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Dominance War IV: War General Mini Challenge

Today's progress:

Kind of incremental. I added some armor to his chest to extend the bluish titanium colors to another part of the piece, worked on the front tentacles a bit. I will be coming back to this tonight to work for a couple more hours most likely, as it's due tomorrow.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Dominance War IV: War General Mini Challenge 2

Today's progress on the War General:

Added color and adjusted the lighting a bit. Still quite a ways to go but I'm pretty happy with him so far.

I'll be working on this painting again this Sunday, March 1 at 12 noon Pacific Time on my UStream channel. Come watch and say hi!

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Dominance War IV: War General Mini Challenge

Once again I throw my Art Fedora into the ring for an online challenge; it's time once again for the annual Dominance War contest, which starts with a mini-challenge: portrait of a "War General." Here's the value pass where I'm at now:

First pencil sketch, on letter-size copy paper:

Then I did a trace & transfer to a piece of Bristol, to do a cleanup before scanning:

I originally wanted to do a pretty detailed pencil piece, but the time is too short to do that. Hopefully I can come back to this cleanup piece and detail it out in pencil and ink, which I'll then put up for sale.

I did all this today, it represents roughly 2 1/2 hours work. This part of the challenge is due this Monday March 2 - 9 days total - so I'm going to try to be speedpainting and shortcutting a lot, unlike the Steampunk piece.

I will be UStreaming a lot of this work live as I paint; join my Twitters or Facebook Fan Page to find out when. I will try to announce a few hours in advance!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Steampunk Challenge - Details, details

I've been working on this most of the day and though there's visible progress, I feel like I'm going nowhere. Pretty sure now that I won't have this thing to a point where it will be competitive in the Challenge by the deadline on Monday. I'll still turn in what's done, of course, but I'll still have a lot to do to finish it. Well, here's where I am:

I've started taking screen grabs at various points to show progress in more detail. In this one, I laid down some lines to show me the sun angle:

Made them on a separate layer in Screen mode, then turned the opacity way down so they're just barely visible. Then I started working on some details in the Tortoise and Arlo:

He's a cheery, florid fellow, basking in the glory of his underdog upset win:

More details on machinery and clothing:

Here he's pretty close to finished, tho there were more tweaks before I grabbed the top image:

Then I moved on to some work on the Hare, let's not leave out our villain Commodore Rasmussen:

I like how the image is going and I think it will work pretty well when it's finished. Usually about now I'm really hating the painting, but right now I think it's okay and even though it's a lot of work it will be worth it.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Steampunk Challenge - Today so far

I've put in some time on the people in the lower right:

Here's an enlarged version so you can see it better:

I never used to have fun trying to paint realistic-ish people, because it's hard. But after doing something like 65 of them for the Sopranos video game, it's a whole lot easier. These were fun to do, coming up with some little story in my head for each one.

Unfortunately, with them painted in I can see that they're too large for where they're standing, so I will either scale them down or I'll scale up the Tortoise. Not sure which yet, still have a bit of time to figure that out.

Time to take a break, it's been a busy day...

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