Saturday, 20 March 2010

GoW3 - Character Concepts

There is a great series of videos via covering the creation of God of War 3. Part 5 below covers the character concept element which flows on quite well from the Jason Chan videos and other things:

Here is the God of War trailer for some context (gruesome as it is):

Here are a few stills of the more environmental concept work as well (via the official site):

[God of War 3 concept work via the official site]

Cartographer Unity Landscape

I dived into the free version of Unity and have created a little sample map that explores some of the ideas of the Cartographer landscape. The 'rolling' hills of lush grass with the 'sea' of maps. While there isnt any animation or shadows yet, I am happy with the effect. It is quite fun to dive down through the plane of the maps and to imagine them writhing along as well would be cool. Oh and having the sun streaming through the gaps should look stunning.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Syd Mead Event

Last night we were at the Orpheum theatre for a screening of the doco on legendary design illustrator and concept wizard, Syd Mead. The event had the feel of a convention with lots of us fans, young and old coming together to see someone in the flesh. We did have to sit through the documentary film first, "Visual Futurist" by Joachim Montalvan, which I dont think was particularly good. It was a meandering suite of conversational snippets with Syd and various design people that roughly explored his work. Despite the fact that he was the visual front-man for things like Blade Runner and TRON, we didnt see a single clip from any films - this wasnt an improvement in my book. The portrayal of his great legacy is warranted, but seems to stop with that era of a few films...
After the filming he came out and there were questions and answers. I would have loved to have seen more of his method and how he goes about the creative work he does than a recounting of his career. After watching the Jason Chan vids, I really want to see how these super talented people approach their craft. Perhaps Syd's DVDs are what I really want. A neat little event though, good to see lots of people turn out to such a thing.

Here is the banner image from the CGSociety feature on Syd.

[Syd Mead image banner from CGSociety Feature]

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Cartographer Heroine tonal

Well here is my first attempt at the Cartographer heroine using a process more like that used by Jason Chan in his videos. Well it isnt completely hopeless and I can see myself getting better at this with a few more goes. It was fun being outside my comfort zone and the image does flesh out a few things that this character should be, less formal, less in control, less self-assured, less fashionable.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Character Concept Videos

As promised, here is a little look at the 3 videos available from Massive Black & by Jason Chan covering his explorations of character design and concept work. It does feel a little odd at first paying for this sort of video, there is quite alot available for free on youtube etc. Perhaps the price is a little steep, but the money is supporting the site and I would hope Jason as well.

The videos are principally a capture of Jason's canvas in Photoshop as he generates designs for 10 characters in different styles and genres. It is simply wonderful to watch him at work, exploring options and talking through design decisions for each of them. I would have liked to see a little more detail on the brushes, tools and techniques he uses, maybe a second less edited version which showed us the pallets and secondary windows would be very helpful. Regardless we are treated to several hours of him whipping up these designs that are beautiful, full of clever ideas, thoughtful development and implied detail.

I have watched several pieces a second time and still love some of the images he creates. I think my favourite is the villains video, but I really like the horror hero piece as a single piece of work. The idea of working tonally at first enabling such quick overlay colour is very cool. It is great how willing he is to change as the piece goes along, not being too precious about what he has down already. Here are shrunken versions of the final 3 files and then links to youtube trailers for the 3 vids:

[Jason Chan character concept images via MassiveBlack &]


This has me quite inspired - will have to find some time for this ahead of my presentations of the Cartographer ideas.

Artist - Jason Chan

I have been watching the super videos via Massive Black of Jason Chan working through 10 character concepts - they are a complete joy to behold. I will talk through these videos and what I am learning from them in a post soon.

Jason Chan is a digital painter/artist who I am loving more for his concept work at the moment. He has a seemingly very natural way of refining character ideas, of reinforcing traits with shape language and bringing through story elements into the drawings. I am certainly inspired by his work, it seems like the kind of work/technique that I could work with. Below are 6 of his pieces via his profile at Massive Black - but check his blog for more more more. I will actually feature a few more pieces of his work for sure.

[Jason Chan digital imagery via Massive Black]

Monday, 15 March 2010

CryEngine 3 Tech

GDC has revealed all kinds of goodies, we know for sure now that Sandbox3 will ship with Crysis2 and put this kind of tech in our hands:

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Laputa Castle in the Sky

Another journey into the world of Myazaki with the film, Laputa Castle in the Sky. This is my sixth Ghibli DVD, this one dating back to 1986 and continues to reinforce the notions and stylings of the set. How good does it look in the trailer - stunning:

Here is a pic of the Laputa statue at the Ghibli Museum.

[Laputa robot statue photo via neatorama]

Plus we can go to Parkablogs again for his great little book review of The Art of Laputa. Here are a few images from his writeup (looks like a great book btw):

[Images from The Art of Laputa via Parkablogs]