Monday, May 04, 2009

Letting it Go

I have to bow out of Dominance War, I just don't have the time to put into it right now. Too much else going on. I'll try again next year.

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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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Monday, May 12, 2008

At the Airport

Speed paint from life, about 1 hour:

I don't get to do this often. Actually, I've never been able to do this before! I had a long wait for my plane in Manchester NH, so I set up in the Sam Adams pub there - where they not only have a whole wall of convenient outlets and seats for computer users, but free WiFi in the whole airport, bravo! - and painted. Very complex lighting situation, multiple daylight and artificial sources, I didn't quite nail it, but for the first time I think it looks okay.

Of course, then I see stuff like this, and like this, and I wanna bang my head against the wall...

Oh, also, my entry did not make the top 50 cut for Dominance War. Oh well. Now I can do some tweaks to it that friends have suggested, and make it better for my portfolio.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dominance War: All Together

Here's all three final images in a single post just to make it easy.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Model Sheet Complete!

Aaaand, I'm done! Here's the model sheet:

I'm happy with this entry. Hope the judges like it too... but even if they don't, it's a nice piece for the portfolio.

Ahh. West and wewaxation at wast. :D

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DWIII Concept Sheet

Here's the concept sheet that the contest requires.

I kinda did it backwards, I made this sheet after I finished the painting, though I had most of these sketches done separately. As long as it's done, heh. :)

Now, lunch. Then right after, I gotta do the ortho-view modeling sheet. Almost there!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Painting Complete!

Here's the final image:

Rock. I like being finished. Oh, except that I have to put together a concept art sheet and a modeling turnaround sheet for it. I'm gonna do that tomorrow though.

Finally, I'm actually happy with a painting.

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Gaining Momentum

Today's progress:

You really have to click on the image to see how the cracks and refraction work on the sphere. Took a while to figure out how to do it but once I did it went very fast. Not that much left to do, really... from here, it's all downhill.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Polished my Gnomes

OK, now I feel like I'm getting somewhere:

The gnomes are all done. This is a good thing. I only have a couple more things to do to finish this piece - the girl is pretty much done too. I need to put some things in her hands and then do some crystal effects to the sphere. Last will be a little bit of lighting effect, and that's it. Maybe another 3 hours total work, on top of roughly 8 so far.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More Dominance War

Here's where I'm at on the DW piece:

I'm still too damn slow. But it's getting closer. I decided that rather than painting all the gnome faces from scratch, I'd duplicate the one I had and then make changes to the copies. Much faster. I sometimes fail to remember all the sneaky "speed it up" tricks that one can use in digital, and wind up noodling too much.

At this point the gold thing is done, the girl is nearly done, and the gnomes are taking shape. Once I get the gnomes done, the final stuff will go very fast as it's mostly FX.

Update: HOLY CRAP, somehow the news never reached me that I had to do more than just start a thread on CGTalk to actually enter the contest. I was poking around the DW home site and saw that my image was nowhere to be found among the entries... then found some instructions that I had never seen before. I've followed them, uploaded an image and info... hopefully it will get set up properly.

Whew, I'm sure glad I saw that. Woulda really sucked to do all that work and have it not count.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dominance War

Here's where I'm at on my Dominance War piece:

I've only had the chance to put in about 3 hours total but actually I think my progress is good. I'm not going to render this to super-pixel perfection, because it's to be submitted at a pretty small size, 1000px square. I'm working at 3X that size so it will rez down nicely. It's gonna be a lot less work than the Artspace entry... thank goodness.

Here's the first progress shot, after 1.5 hours:

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