2D -> 3D (PT.8-Final)

Had a bit of a delay getting this post up.  My first time using transpose master went really really badly.  So the second time around I went more subtle with the pose.  This was also my first time using Keyshot and all I can say is "wow!" So many options.... such a powerful tool.  But lots of options can often make for a huge time sink, and the rendering process itself often takes a lot of time.  My own lack of experience, nearly infinite options, and a naturally time consuming process all add up to delay.  But I learned a lot that will help me to streamline this process the next time around.  

This was a ton of fun to work on and overall I'm happy with the results.  Of course, now that I've learned something about each step in the process, there are lots of changes I'd make.  But that's what learning is all about.  

So here it is, my first finished concept using Zbrush, Keyshot, and Photoshop.

Oh and in case you don't feel like going through the other weeks' work, this was for a class I took Jerad Marantz through Concept Art Workshop

2D -> 3D (PT.7)

This was a heavy duty week.  Luckily I had three public holidays this week and I'm only working part time anyway, so I had extra time to work. The extra time was needed.  I ended up creating a new set of wings because I just wasn't happy with how the other wings looked when they were folded.  I tried folding them in other ways but eventually decided that a different wing design would be best.  I ended up going with a more aggressive wing design based on scorpion flies.  This week we got into more technical stuff with Zbrush.  Decimating, Dynamesh, and Zremesher along with using alphas to get some texture and polypainting to add some color.  I worked right up to the last minute this week and still didn't get as far as I wanted.  I think it's starting to come together, but I'm looking forward to hitting this thing with some more wrinkles and skin texture and doing some more work on the paint.  After that, it will be time for some Keyshot renders.  I've never touched Keyshot, so, fingers crossed.

2D -> 3D (PT.6)

This week I jumped in and started hacking and slashing at this guy.  The biggest challenge this week was the wings.  Most of the week was trial and error just trying to get the wings right.  Other than that, I put a lot of work on really enhancing and showing off the anatomy to get a better, stronger design.  At a certain point I was really just looking at what shapes would give me what I wanted and figuring out how to make the anatomy work with that while still being believable.  Big improvement over the previous week I think.

2D -> 3D (PT.5)

In the fifth week we went a couple subdivisions deeper with our sculpts.  I didn't feel good about what I had to show but I couldn't quite figure out why.  After the class and seeing other students work, I realized I just didn't get aggressive enough with the sculpting.  Being pretty new to Zbrush (I took a class a few years ago, but haven't touched it since then) I was apprehensive to jump in to the deep end.  But I decided for the next week, I was going to really attack the sculpt.

2D -> 3D (PT.4)

For this week, I went back to a much more human design.  I found a face I liked more and really worked on trying to get a fleshy, insect humanoid that had that "fit and flow" and just... worked.  It's a weird, kinda invisible thing sometimes.  If it doesn't work, it's obvious, something stands out or doesn't feel right.  When it works, your brain should just accept it.  I didn't finish this drawing entirely.  I kinda stopped at the knee but at this point I knew where I was going with this guy.  I also worked up a few hand and feet design ideas but never completely fleshed them out.  I might have been a little impatient to jump into Zbrush, but I also really felt like I knew what I wanted out of this guy at this point. If I were handing the design off to someone else to model, I definitely would have put in the work to give them everything they needed, but at this point, this guy is pretty solidly in my head.

For this week we were very limited with the tools we could use.  Zspheres, create an adaptive skin, then, using only the move brush, get as far along as we could without subdividing the model.  I think the number one piece of advice everyone gets when they start learning Zbrush is "Stay as low poly as possible, for as long as possible."

 

After this class, I went back to the model at this same subdivision level and kept working with the move tool.  After seeing other students' work and Jerad's demo, I knew I could get more out of this level of polys.  As I'm writing this, I've moved on to the next step (going up one subdivision level and working with limited brushes) and I'm glad I went back to the lowest level and continued to work on it.  

This catches me up with where I am in the class now.  Next update will be sometime next week.

2D -> 3D (PT.3)

In our third assignment, I went in the wrong direction.  I screwed up and lost some believability in the character.  This is part of the process though.  Mistakes are educational.  My thinking was that I needed to get more of the dragonfly influence back into him.  I was worried that he was starting to look too much like the classic "gray" alien.  I did some exploration with the body proportions and some head sketches and played with some color options. Jerad pointed out that my finals had lost something and I had to agree.  Then I remembered something that Carlos had said to another student in one of my previous classes about how everything needed to "fit and flow."  But I had lost that in my newest version.  It wasn't as subtle as the sketch I'd done during the previous class so I would end up drawing it again as well as jumping into the first stages of Zbrush before the next class.  

 

2D -> 3D (PT.2)

After some art direction from Jerad, we were instructed to further develop our three chosen concepts for week 2.  Here I started digging in to reference more deeply trying to get a better sense of believability.  No matter how fantastic the creature it needs to be grounded in something the viewer can relate to.  At this point, I'm almost trying to get it wrong as much as possible to get all the bad ideas out of the way. Exploration, iteration, asking "what if" a lot.  These aren't all the sketches I did but they're what I turned in for the assignment.  Eventually my humanoid was chosen as the one to proceed with and develop further with the option to also develop the carnivore.  Since I'm still pretty new to Zbrush though, I thought it best to just stick with the humanoid for now.  Better to have one good piece than two that I didn't get to spend enough time on.

I was really trying to figure out a way to make that second set of arms work with a modified pelvis as well as incorporate a double hinged mouth, similar to what you see in a dragonfly.  I ended up abandoning both ideas eventually, but at some point I'm going to create another character that uses the pelvis idea.  It's just going to need some refining and the right character to make it work.

Jerad brought up a great point with this creature in our previous class.  The head was mostly based on a gharial, a relative of alligators and crocodiles.  That head is built for quick, snapping attacks, and the original body I drew (left) was built for speed, pouncing style of attacks.  After some thinking and sketching, I went with a more reptilian body based on the gila monster and the alligator snapping turtle.

I did a ton of variations on the legs for this creature (most of them not shown).  I really wanted to give him insect inspired legs, but they just never quite worked.  He felt too "springy" and like his neck would snap if he had to run quickly.  So I eventually went with more giraffe like legs.  I also did a lot of exploration with his neck as well, trying to get to a more believable creature.

The sketch on the right I did during class (and a little after class) after getting feedback from Jerad.  I always listen to the critiques of all the other students in class because there's something to learn from everyone's work, but I also needed to strike while the iron was hot.

2D -> 3D (pt.1)

I'm about 5 weeks into another class.  This one is another character/creature class, again through
 https://www.conceptartworkshop.com/  

This time around the class is taught by Jerad Marantz https://www.artstation.com/artist/jsmarantz 
You've seen his work in TONS of movies and video games.  

This class I'm finally getting into Zbrush and exploring 3D a bit more.  Years ago I took an online class for Zbrush and loved it at the time, but in the final weeks of the class it became clear that my computer just couldn't handle the higher end functions of the program.  Time passed, I couldn't afford a new machine, new jobs requiring super long hours, things came up.... life happens.  But no more excuses.  I have the time (although I should probably be sleeping more) and my current machine should be able to handle whatever I'm going to throw at it.  This class was perfect timing for me. Having finished two 2D classes I've been feeling energized and wanting to push further into creature stuff, and I had just started re-teaching myself the basics of Zbrush when this class was announced.  We started in 2D and last week we started creating our designs in 3D.  I really love the design process and I'm looking forward to seeing how my design will translate into 3D.  I'll post my assignments for the first week here and the rest above, along with brief descriptions of the assignment and any insights or thoughts I might have.  If anyone sees this I hope it might prove useful to you in some way.  

Week 1 assignment was to design three sets of creatures.  Each set with 1 herbivore, 1 carnivore, and one humanoid. We also had to include our reference, but I don't think I'll bother including that here.

This first set was actually the one chosen for me to take further in week 2.

Set 2 was deemed a little too whimsical and set 3 was a little too unbelievable for this class so I moved on with set 1.  I have to say, getting direct, precise, professional feedback is so valuable and is really the main reason why I've been taking so many classes lately.  I can only do so much on my own, and all of the classes I've been taking are really starting to develop my own internal editor quite a bit.  

That's it for week 1 more to come.

Another class

I took another round of creature design class with Carlos Huante through www.conceptartworkshop.com.  This class was more advanced than the last one.  I really had a ton of fun working on these.  I'll add more of these to the site and to my instagram soon!

Environment tile concepts

Just some concepts for removable ground assets for Pale Lands.  The game ended up going in a different direction with a more wooded environment so these weren't used.

These images are © Binaree inc.. Used with permission.

Creature design

Just a couple examples of my work from a creature design class I took through www.conceptartworkshop.com.  This class was taught by the amazing Carlos Huante.  I want to say he's legendary but that makes him sound older than he actually is.  This class was another big one for me.  I think and approach creature and character differently after this class.

 

Pale Lands

Currently I'm working for a company called Binaree.  Our newest mobile game is called Pale Lands (available on iOS in most countries now).  I was asked to create this image for some promotional material, but it was later decided that we would also use it for our loading screen. I handed a sketch to one of our awesome 3D artists who put together some renders for me to use in creating the final image.

These images are © Binaree inc.. Used with permission.

Get your learn on!

I took a class on narrative concept art through www.learnsquared.com.  The teacher for the class is Jama Jurabaev who is not only an amazing concept artist, but also an incredibly nice person and excellent teacher.  I really can't recommend this class highly enough if you're looking to pick up some new techniques and a deeper understanding of narrative concept art.  This class put a lot more tools in my tool box and improved both the speed and quality of my work.  Here's an example of one of images from my final assignment.

Winner winner chicken dinner

This image won first place in one of the Gnomon Workshop's monthly challenge based on the theme of "Shaman."

Studies

Just some studies from photos found on the web.  

NOVN

In 2015 I worked for a mobile game startup called NOVN.  I came in near the end of a project called Dungeon Feed, a graphical MUD game that was meant to be a combination of Twitter and a fantasy RPG. The team was small so everyone had to fill a lot of different roles.  I worked on the UI, retouched work from freelancers, created new NPCs and enemies as well as some environment and marketing art.  I was also involved in some of the game design.  Here is a small sample of the various things I worked on for the project.

These images are © NOVN inc.. Used with permission.

 

Imagine! comic

Another of part of my job at Visang Publishing involved creating comics for some vocabulary exercises for students.  These were added into the program later in the project's development so there was very little time to put together the 48 pages they needed.  This example was probably the most fun to work on.

These comics are © Visang Publishing. Used with permission

 

Book Covers

In late 2012, I went to work for one of Korea's largest educational and children's book publishers.  We were developing an English education app for a franchise of academies the company planned to open.  During the two years that I worked there, my responsibilities included character design, UI/UX design, graphic design, illustration and much more.  It was an intense amount of work and an intense job overall, but it was a good place to get the "real Korea" experience that most non-Koreans never really get here.

One of the more fun pieces of the project was illustrating the covers for a series of stories called "Tower of the Enchanter".  I designed the title for the series as well.  Here are a few of the covers. 

These covers are © Visang Publishing. Used with permission.