Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sessional Intructor

I believe to have mentioned in earlier posts about my part time concept art night class I teach at VanArts in Vancouver as part of their game-art/entertainment-art program. Presently, I've been on staff with them for the past couple of years, and it's become my weekly outlet to paint and get jazzed with the contagious enthusiasm from the students. I want to take this opportunity to post, describe, and organize some of the works from in class demos with everyone! I'm hoping this will be benefitual for current, past, future students, and friends who are curious about the class to have a quick glance, line of sight, and some of the lessons and painting processes we discovered and practiced. I will be updating frequently with new and older assignments to share. So keep an eye out for new images!
Location Design
Above are some samples of location design demos. From thumbnail blocking the composition, to painting out structural elements, I would consider these as rough concept sketches. Mainly using up 2-3 hours to thumb and paint before going any further with the design and presentation. In working conditions this painting velocity works great for me, allows room for critique as soon as the impact is there in a sketch without having to hedge my bet on just one fully finished painting.
3D Paint Overs
These images are from demos on showing how 3D artist's can quickly describe a scene by using 3D. In this type of sketch, I consider the 3D to take care of most the drawing, for everything built is structurally sound, in perspective and graphed out. All we need to focus on is the lighting/mood, textures, and painting out the rest of the scene. The less problem's we're solving all at once, the better, and less stressful it'll be. Personally, during production, especially working with level design, I tend to do lots of these paint overs for speed, and consistency with what they have laid out as a level/gameplay space, good for economizing 3D art assets.
Party Assignment
This assignment is adopted from when I was at Sheridan. Always one that was memorable to me when I was studying there. The objective of this assignment is to create an scene and illustrate it from 2 different camera views with out changing anything from the scene in both shots. Take away from this exercise I found is better understanding of 3D space in a 2D image. Measuring distances in perspective, rotation of objects, and consistency. Where I found these practices most useful outside of the everyday sketches was when I got my first taste of generating layouts for 2D animation, shot by shot needed to stitch up seamlessly and correctly. These are just the thumbs from the class. I will add the final image as I do want to paint these two out when I'm free.
Speed Painting
These are in class speed painting's where I demonstrated quick and dirty rapid-vis concept sketches. The first one above was a take on mashing custom brushes together, a tribute to Andrew Jone's work, while the other character sketches were treated way more organic. The take away from doing this exercise is to speed up our painting process, training our artistic integrity to care less of execution, less precious with our works, allowing the designs to run loose and free. The above are generated with-in 20-30 minutes. I introduced this exercise to students by having them do speed painting jams with other classmates, artists and friends.
Thumbnail Generation
This page above is a sample of character thumbnail generation for an in class assignment with a very open brief with-in the fantasy genre. I tend to do most of my thumbnailing on paper with a leaky pen, and sharpie marker to keep things loose and permanent during this stage. Last thing I want to care about is how the sketch looks like, but rather, I want to exhaust ideas, both bad and good, putting them on paper as quick as possible and out of my system. I tend to think of it as dumping all the preconceived/generic ideas out of myself as quick as possible. My execution approach is sort of like creating post-it notes of ideas with 1-2 minute gestures to later organize and pick potential shapes+designs out of to further chase. Attached to the top of the sheet is what I do with potential thumbnails. Quick paint overs of the actual thumbnail sketch, somewhere in the lines of 20-30mins to simply explore a sketch a little without devoting to much effort into a notion before it's validated. Thumbnail stage is definitely one of my favorites of the process, If I could, I would do these all day long, and I encouraged the students to generate as many thumbnails as possible for each assignment.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Painting downstairs

Now that I have no studio to go to work, and with a home environment that is far too distracting during the day; I have been very very lucky to be offered to jam in solitude at my friend's place when they're gone during the day. This has been an awesome setup since I started settling in this week. The apartment is actually my neighbor's Susanna + Sebastian's right down stairs from mine. Traveling time to work is now about 20 secs, having lunch with the family is as easy as going up stairs, and the place is quiet and cozy with their two cats, Miso + Ming, keeping me company. So far so good!

That aside, based off the NDA situation with the artworks I've done the past year, it leaves me with nothing to post unless I sit down and generate new personal works. It's portfolio time for me as well, so the motivation is working out quite nicely. I merely want to take advantage of my free time before I start getting busy with client work again.

For this set:
I've been jamming on a set of images that I want to belong in one direction and universe. My objective is mainly to showcase how I would handle science fiction worlds.

Here's the first one from yesterday's sitting!

*I'll be updating this post as the images get finished, if all goes well, I'm aiming for one a day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Leap of Faith

After a long tour of duty with my most recent project, I've decided to make a bold change in my life and give freelancing and contracting concept artworks a try.
A leap of faith to strive for a creative space and livelihood that I ultimately would like to obtain.

For now, I have lots to learn and experience with the business end. I’ve already got my first experience of what the waiting head space, finalizing contracts, scheduling to best help the one's who’ve shown support feels like. Something I’ll need to get used to for sure, time management, accounting, and all the other elements freshly discovered.

All of this simply stems back to my creative appetite to try a hand at different problem statements on the regular and allow time to mature my own artistic voice on the side. I had a set-up such as what I’m describing a few years ago, where I was part of a central concept art group for EA. I had many opportunities to touch different games with-in short time frames, always changing it up, keeping fresh. I really enjoyed it, and is what’s appealing in these next steps to constantly challenge myself.

The inexperienced side of my situation does make me feel honestly nervous about it all, being responsible for my family’s livelihood is quite heavy.
Luckily my lovely partner Shari and a few others from the industry have been very supportive of my decision, and it does ease my butterflies quite a bit.
If in fact I’m not suited for freelance work after trying it out, I’ll go back to working fulltime. But at least I would have gave it a good shot and gain that experience in life.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where does the time go?

Wow! I haven't posted anything since January!
Quite telling how occupied I've been the past six months.
Where does the time go?

I've been feeling simply overwhelmed with work loads and home responsibilities that it seems to be always a catch up game, and a battle for free time.
I'm sure this is common for most artist's working in the field who have also entered parenthood for the first time.
Quite shocking to think of when we once had so much time we were thinking of ways to kill time.

Regardless, I need to make an bigger effort to free myself up to chase ideas that I've been bouncing for personal projects. The soul's hungry for it.
Ultimately talk is cheap, so lets see what I actually do about it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Space Ship Dump

These images were done early 2007. Mostly inspired by spaceship sci-fi illustrators, I wanted to try out a few of they're techniques to help generate art works for a subject matter that I haven't explored. Good learning's and fun all around.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Speed paint jams

While busy working on art works for clients and projects, it's such a nice break every now and then to have free for all sketching and digital painting sessions. Speed painting is a great exercise to speed up the painting process, being bold with brush strokes, and being light on your feet constantly changing the sketch as it progresses. When painting as an collaboration, it's even more fun! bouncing the image back and forth every couple of minutes to see what others and myself would add and change. All in all good ol' fun with Photoshop and a tablet.

Here are some that a good friend, Daryl Mandryk and myself have done in the past when we both worked at Propaganda Games. I'll continue to update when we jam some more.

Cartoon bits

A few sketches of cartoon bits for a friend of mine Justin in Toronto. On this assignment, I had the joy of coming up with different art directions/styles for the show, allowing myself to freely construct images in a few different looks that felt appropriate for the objective. Most of these I remember where done late at night after Adelaide was fast asleep.