Monday, July 12, 2010

Going on Vacation...

...for a few weeks...but let me leave you with these bits of BADASSERY!

First off, the DLC G1 Starscream from the Revenge of the Fallen.  He came out pretty great, I loved him in the game, and was proud enough of the design to do a little poster, and then use him again for the TF:Continuum could he get cooler?

Here's how:

Print him out, like a paper cut-out? That is pretty cool.

OK, whoa.  He stands up in robot mode too...?

Because he TRANSFORMS!?!  So somebody made his kid's birthday invites out of Starscream, that actually transforms from jet to bot, revealing all the invite info.  AMAZING!  Awesome dad, awesome kid, hope he has an awesome birthday!

And then last night I get this email...

WhattheF!?!  My Soundwave SKETCH got tattooed on someone's arm!?!  At first, I was all...'but I did a full color final for that'...I have to say though, it's looks pretty cool - and as tough as nails.  I'd like to think that the guy who chooses the rough sketch over the color final, is the same kinda guy that chooses a tin can lid for shaving over any of those pussy-ass Gillette comfort razors.

I'm not really into the habit of posting other people's work on my art blog, (even if it's based on my own!) so you guys who sent me this, please take credit and post in the comments section.

I just wanted to say thanks so much for showing me this stuff...I really don't have the vocabulary, other than AWESOMEAWESOMEAWESOME!

Back at the end of July, folks.  Miss you already...

Friday, July 9, 2010

War for Cybertron - Prime vs Megs 03

This sucks.  This is photoshop hackery at it's best/worst.  I threw in a bunch of photos, and tried forever to get a balance going.  Stars, a pic of Mercury, a pic of Venus, some Grand Canyon rocks, a bunch of brushes and colors to try to get everything tied together.  Trying to get that Megatron to balance out in the frame with the planet behind him - it's just plain overdone.  I knew it already, but I had lunch with a genius art director yesterday who called me on it - Justin Thomas, the AD from the RotF game (among others).  I love you, JT!  I brought it along to show him, and he said no.  After confirming my reservations about this one...I did a rework last night;

Why is this better, young artists might ask?  It's not as flashy, it's not as colorful!  No, but it brings the focus back to Prime and Megs, and I placed some Dark Energon crystals in the background, making it actually relevant to the source material, the War for Cybertron game, unlike the comped images of organic-y, planet-y, crazy color fun time of the original attempt.  Also by placing the Dark Energon behind Megatron, it actually is incorporated into his form, balancing him out against Prime, better than any recolored planet could.
For the shape of the background, I kept the relatively horizontal base for their feet, but went abstract to create a little more energy in the frame.

So there kids, accept valuable criticism and be awesome.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

War for Cybertron - Prime vs Megs 02

Here's a work in progress of the pic...the problem with winging an abstract idea, trying to make it work causes some compositional problems.  Maybe I don't have Megatron turned towards Prime enough, Prime is traditionally smaller than Megatron, so does it read with the perspective and depth, and what can I do in the background to help fill out the gaps?

That's what this stage is.  Before all the effects and colors and finish, I take a look at it and see what I can do to tighten it up a bit.  I do have a weak composition, Prime is very vertical, and Megatron is much more horizontal, but I don't have a perspective that really helps that, so I need a band-aid in the background, in additional to maybe moving some stuff around.  Probably the easiest thing to do is bring Megs Mace over his forearm a bit, and maybe put a planet in the background behind him, to insinuate height, to balance against Prime.  In the foreground, I'm planning on them to be kicking up a lot of dust, so that's why the lack of detail on the ground and feet.

On to the final...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

War for Cybertron - Prime vs Megs 01

I...I think I finished the game...but I don't remember fighting these guys together.  Hmmm, sequel?  I'm not a big fan of the Unreal Engine, so I was a little worried about this game, but it pretty much rocks.  I have two gripes that keep it from being a '10' in my book - and these are done so well in the RotF game, so I'm a little biased - the ease of Transformation wasn't quite as organic as the prior game, somehow Luxoflux made it seem you could be a vehicle or robot at the same time, and exploit that to defeat enemies, I really missed driving full bore into an enemy and transform/crashing into him.  Also, the melee moves were a little frustrating, in that you would trigger the one (only?) move, and have to wait a little too long until it was done to continue, or set up another melee move.

So a more organic and adaptable transformation, and adaptable (and multiple!) combat moves would make me give this game a 10, but those are really finesse aspects that could be solved in the sequels.  I don't really have an art bitch, it's not quite the way I would have gone, but really, it's unmistakably Transformers, and that's all you could ask for, right?  I think the only thing is that the transformation animations are a little sketchy, some of them looked like a kicked chicken...I couldn't see the logic in the flurry of the animation.

But really, it's a super fun game for anyboy, and if you're a Transformers G1 fan, it's near sublime.

I had a stick figure drawing set aside, of this basic scene.  I didn't know if I was going to do it at all, or maybe try my hand at a more abstract painting, but I was thinking of trying something more painterly with Transformers.  But now I'm not....going digital with this one!

I figured I'd turn the scene into the War for Cybertron versions...let's see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Wizard of Oz - Prep

Man...those bricks are a bitch.  The vision is that they vignette off into white, but I figured I might as well draw them to the edge, just in case I need them for compositional balance here and there.  I had experimented with washes, so I brought a little of that in, along with filling in the black areas with the opaque paint.  I added in some spatter for texture, but I still need to do some more blot texturing, and go in with a black pencil and bring out the features more in some of the characters.

So that's that for now, I have to put this aside for work, darnit!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Wizard of Oz - Pencils

After six months...I'm finally getting serious!  And after two years of this idea and composition* sitting around, at last it's being realized.  This is a big sucker, measuring 30" x 40", by far the biggest image I've done in 15 years at least, maybe ever.  I'm more a 11" x 17" kinda guy.  A little daunting, but if you're going to do, then do it!

This is the projected transfer, my studio isn't quite big enough to really handle this size, so there was a bit of trickery to get this to work - a lot of laying on my belly and drawing it out on the floor!  I got everything transferred, and began to redraw it with the heavier pencils.  In couple of places, I needed a complete redraw, the Good Witch's face, little troupe Dorothy's face, and the Scarecrow.  It got a little scary, completely erasing the transfer and freehanding back in the features (with the help of reference photos) but everything came out better in the end.  Those were the major fixes, but nearly everything got extra attention after the redraw - doing the practice sketches, and then the color comps helped so much to inform the final.

Overall, I'm really happy with the likeness, and it's ready to get prepped for paint!

*Longtime readers who know the original drawing from around Xmas of '08 may notice some changes, I did find a better image of the Cowardly Lion to use, and I added in some foliage to homage Munchkin-land, and created a new solution for the bricks, kind of a warped spiral, based on the beginning of the Yellow Brick Road, when Dorothy begins her journey...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bounty Hunters - Color Comp 04

All right, here's the final pencil colors picked out...those have been cataloged with the paint mixes, so this one will get set aside while I do some nebula testing, and get that big Oz painting finished!

Keep in mind that this is JUST paint and pencils, no real detailing, color punch-ups, or highlights - just the basics for now...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bounty Hunters - Color Comp 03

A lot of time mixing the colors for Fett and Bossk; turns out not so much time needed with the rest of the guys, as they all have a metallic rust undertone to their outfits.

The washes worked out pretty well, I used a thinner mix for Boba's greens, but I mixed a little too heavy for the yellows of Bossk, and his scales got lost a little.  It was a good color base of yellow with some brown and orange added for his shirt, then I put in some green to do the skin, but I didn't add in enough water, so I'm gong to have to keep that in mind next time.

Dengar and Zuckuss shared mostly the same color, then I darkened it for 4-LOM and IG-88, and the rifles.  When I get to the big one, I'll probably diversify the colors a bit more, but this is so small, the spray would just cover the previous pass.

Anyways, I'm pretty happy with what I would call a 'base set' of colors to get started with.  Time to break out the pencils and get a base set going for those as well!