Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wrapping up - House of the Dead v. 2

I've had about enough of this one. I want to end it now.

I've put the jumping zombie in a separate file again, and started painting in the details, overlaying it first with a rusty orange marble texture that gives it a nice ugly fleshy look. I desaturate it a bit so it wouldn't be too much of a standout.

I purposely put a dark bg on this one so I don't have to fight with the ugly transparent checkered bg.

Finally I put them all together in one room. The zombie jumps in thru the window upon our unsuspecting agents who are already having a bad night of their lives (not to mention some blood and bruises) and the last thing they need is an ugly rotting undead leaping up on them in a rather narrow corridor. How will this end? Well it's left to your imagination.

But that's not the end. I add in the broken glasses and wood frames, tinker a bit with Curves and Color Bal, paint in a little more cast shadows, maybe some cropping, and I think I'm done.

Course I can never call any art piece completely finished. As always something will come up, and when I'm not feeling so lazy and moody I come back in to make necessary corrections. But this week is starting of one of my 'moody days' so that's why I'm pretty rushed to finish this thing and get it off my bass. And on top of that I got to start up on my next batch of storyboards for the short flick, and I don't have much time.

Hope you enjoyed this. Ciao for now...

Friday, March 28, 2008

House of the Dead v. 2 continued part 2

I've separated the bg and the characters in two different files, saves some RAM crunching there.

Did EXTENSIVE work on the characters. I'm still trying to get a grasp of anatomy and facial features away from the anime style I'm so used too. Did a lot of brushing, erasing, lassoing, transforming, nudging, painting over, texturing, etc. etc. I'd go into deeper details on each parts of the picture, but I'm pretty lazy about that.

I did some more work on the bg, like Find Edges and Curves and such. I also worked a bit on the windows, and got rid of the annoying white thingy in the window with some dark night sky.

I hope to get this finished by end of next week.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Continued - House of the Dead v 2

Continuing on...

I import the ai file into Photoshop, and I start laying out general lights and shadows on a new layer. I also make some adjustments to the shapes once I see that some of them didn't look a bit off, perspective wise, and I also add another window, the finished result looks like this:

Once I'm happy with it, I add some textures to the shapes. Now the textures are of old photos I've taken with my own camera, I have a small library of texture photos, (did not rip them off of internet, mind you!). I apply the Find Edges filter on the photos then put it over the appropriate shapes with Luminosity blending. I tinker around the texture shapes a bit with Free Transform to match up with the shapes underneath, so it looks little more realistic to the setting.

So far so good. I'll take care of the windows later, as now I must move on with the characters.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Concept painting 2 - House of the Dead ver. 2

I've started on another House of the Dead based piece. This time there's two heroes, Thomas Rogan and his mysterious partner known only as "G." This one isn't going to be as complex as the last one, but should still show the intensity and mood of the game genre, or at least, that's what I'm trying to shoot for. The situation this time is the two heroes are greeted by a single zombie who makes a rather 'impressive' entrance into the room they're in. Kind of like a jumping at you, heart-stopping moment right there, just like in the game. Even though I played that game many many times I still get jumpy when the monsters dart out when least expected.

Here I start with several thumbnails, and did some studies with overall perspectives, comps, and final lighting placement:

Now I'm satisfied with that, I take it to Illustrator, and start blocking in the basic shapes of the bg. Notice I put different shades of color on each shapes, this is to sort of help me figure out the general lighting basics:

I'm gonna try to make this look like a workshop, going thru step by step of its progression to the final product. I'm not so good with writing, though, so hope you readers will bear with me, and try to understand what I'm presenting here.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friday Nite

Well I'm taking some brk from drawing. I decide on Fri night I head over to Camelot Golfland and try my shot at the third House of the Dead game. I only played that game once like four years ago, so I'm pretty rusty. Had a bit trouble getting the hang of the shotgun, but at least I don't have to deal with pointing away from screen to reload, I can just cock it right up front. The graphics are great as usual. And the dialogues are just as cheesy as ever, and I didn't really notice it cause of the racket around me, but if you go to YouTube and look up HOTD 3 vids, you can hear some real funny lines, some that is totally unexpected. I won't say it here, you find out yourself.
I plan to go back to play later on, hopefully get my trigger finger back in motion and get better scores.



Thursday, March 13, 2008

Character Art 4 - Arch Hunter ver. 2 done

I was just speeding thru this one

Kind of like a speedpainting, you can say. Did some more brushing here and there, keeping it loose and sketchy, then finish it up with hue/sat and curves and Unsharp Mask. I'm actually pretty plzd with how it turned out. :D

Character Art 4 - Arch Hunter ver. 2

Update on one of the paintings from the last post.

I'm going for a very loose, painterly look in this one. Will be keeping u posted. :D

Onward to other stuff

Now that I'm thru with the House of the Dead, it's time to move on.

I've finished the In the Lyrics piece, made some corrections from last time, I noticed her facial structures were just way off. So I fixed that and made some adjustments with Hue/Sat and Curves.

I'm starting on another character painting, it's another Arch Hunter but in different version.

This is just the start, the basic color/shadow/light blockin. Details to follow.

And alas, last night I head over to local nickel arcade to play some House of the Dead, which I haven't seen for years. They only had the first one, which sucked but it was still fun. My fingers are pretty sore from pushing that trigger, and for some reason when I'm trying to fire on the side of the screen it acts like it's reloading, so it was a bit frustrating; on top of that the screen was pretty dim, so it's hard to see the more darker creatures like the bat, otherwise I think I could've just finished the game with fewer continues. I still have to say, this one had lot better voice acting than the second one, which just made me crack every time I played it (and luckily the third and fourth installments were great too. I don't know what the hell they were thinking that time). I do hope they come out with 5, and hopefully it'll be a real sweet package.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Concept painting 1 - House of the Dead concluded

Ok I think I'm about done with this stuff. It's been a whole month.

Here are the rest of the progress:

Some final touch ups on the zombies and the hero, before adding one more dose of Unsharp Mask.

Some adjustment with Hue/Sat, Curves, and Photo Filter (warm). And little touch up with Dodge tool here and there. And goes my sig!

I took this over to the for friendly crit, and I decide the ceiling just didn't look right. So what? I paint over it. Voila!

I also add some more blood and sharpen them. Now that looks better.

I'm sure something else will come up later, but for now I'm going to say to this painting


As if this wasn't enough, I plan on doing another version of the artwork based on the game. That one won't be so complex this time though.

And I've spent the last couple of days looking thru some fan vids of the game on YouTube. Brought back some pleasant memories...pleasant, and morbid. HAHAHAHA. I humor myself.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Concept painting 1 - House of the Dead cont. 4

Some more detailing.

Seriously, it's a $#!@ making that leap from the usual manga style to a traditional Western aesthetic. I've been living on the former for as long as I remember, and after my trip to the Comic Con last year I made the 'painful' decision to change my drawing habits, moving away from the cartoony to the realistic. I've spent the last eight months and let me just say, it isn't that easy.

Now I have made some fair progress, but this time, I must have spent the most time on the guy's face than any part of this painting thus far. The original looked like he's got Down Syndrome, something just didn't look right. The hero is in his early thirties and is stubborn and bad-tempered as a goose, and that's what I'm trying to show here. So, after some careful study of the human face, I did the Extreme Makeover treatment, and let me just say, it was one frustration after another.

My finger is pretty sore from the gazillion strokes of the brush over the bad marks. After what seemed like forever, it looks like I finally got the anatomy right, and he looks decent, for once.

The biggest hurdle was the nose. It still looked too flat, too pug nosed. You can only imagine how much I was banging my head on the desk after learning that all I simply needed to do was give the nose some volume with simple stroke of dark paint.

Here is the progression sketch. You can really see the difference:

before after after(nose fixed)

Frustration aside, I say this was truly a learning experience. I learn something new everyday with each stroke. And over time, I'm sure to find painting in this new style of mine easier and more accessible.

I think I done enough for a while. Let me get some rest before taking on the rest of the painting.


Friday, March 7, 2008

A little break - IFX Challenge: In the Lyrics

A little break from the zombiefest. I gone back to some forum challenge stuff.

I thought I try the newly established bi-weekly challenge. This one gives you two weeks instead of one to whip out a piece of artwork, so that's a bit relief on my already pressured life. This time it's taking your favorite song and bringing it to life in visual form. Now I did something similar a while back, just a personal stuff, and I liked it and I liked this topic too so I decided to take it on.

This is based on the song "Valentine's Day" from Linkin Park's new album Minutes to Midnight. It's almost a literal translation to the lyrics seen below:

My insides all turn to ash, So slow
And blew away as I collapse, So cold
A black wind took them away, From sight
And held the darkness over day, that night

And the clouds above move closer
looking so dissatisfied
but the heartless wind kept blowing, blowing

I used to be my own protection, But not now
Cause my path has lost direction, Somehow
A black wind took you away, From sight
And held the darkness over day, That night

And the clouds above more closer
looking so dissatisfied
and the ground below grew colder
as they put you down inside
but the heartless wind kept blowing, blowing

So now you're gone
And I was wrong
I never knew what it was like
To be alone

On a Valentine's Day

I still have a week and there's still some place I could fix. But I'm liking how it's turning out so far.


Concept painting 1 - House of the Dead cont. 3

Back to work.

So I do the paintovers on the figures, using eyedropper to pick the colors from the color layer. I can't recall how long it's taken me to get this far:

Yes I cropped the annoying blue frame around the picture, so it looks better this way. I'm having a bit of anatomical issue here. I'd have to refer to my anatomy book to so where I need to fix things. So far, comp and color wise, it's looking all right. Once I get the figures down right though I got to make sure they blend in well with the background. There's nothing more awful than a painting that look like a bunch of images pasted on.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Concept painting 1 - House of the Dead cont. 2

So I'm satisfied with the set, now I put in the characters.

I drew the characters separately on the sketchpad and I scan them in. I place the figures in the set, and I notice they are a tad bit small, they are completely dwarfed in the whole image. So I grab some guide lines and set up a new layer titled viewfinder, and I trim down the whole image so the characters and the bg are of equal proportions.

So that set, I begin painting in the characters. The main man, Agent Thomas Rogan, is caught in the middle with four gruesome zombies closing in for kill, and all he's got to fight them with is his mighty small pistol (which, like in the game, doesn't seem to ever run out of ammos). I fill in with some light purple, so that I can see them without having to fight with the set. I lay down some basic lights and shadows with darker purple (since the overall image is going to have a bluish tone, the overall color will be cool). Then I put in a new layer and begin blocking in the colors for each figure, and set the layer to Multiply.

The Dark frame will eventually be cut out so don't worry about that. So the basics have been covered, now I'll start painting over them, the sketches will act as a guide and will eventually be covered up.

This is where I leave off for now, I haven't seen any movies for so long I've gone out and rented BEOWULF. It's got one of the most amazing animation I've ever seen in a long time. I highly recommend it. And eh, this is definitely not a movie for the young ones, so if you go rent this DVD, tell them to go to sleep first.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Concept painting 1 - House of the Dead cont.

Continuing on from my last post.

Now that I'm satisfied with the layout, I import it to Photoshop and begin painting over, layering each pieces (post, ceiling, walls, etc.) with different textures and colors, and trying to get rid of the sharp crisp lines and shapes to give it a more natural look. I also work on the lighting and add in the appropriate shadows and highlights where necessary.

I decided to scrap the arched window and make it a standard square window, and I add in some broken glasses in the panels because this is a haunted house. I duplicate the windows and adjust each one with Free Transform tool. After some more painting, I flatten the layers and make adjustments with Curves and Color Balance and Hue/Saturations to give it a more dim bluish feel, before adding the final Unsharp Mask.

I've also added a rusty looking torn carpet on the floor. I might change it later depending on how the rest of the artwork goes. Now I'll be putting in our stars of the show, but that's another story.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Concept painting 1 - House of the Dead

Hi y'all. It's been a while.

The whole month of Feb was riddled with flu virus that kept me out of commission for the longest time. It's the first time I've ever been that sick, aside from the food poisoning several years ago. Well that's over with now, and I hope to never be that sick again.

Anyway I just started on a new piece. It's a rather familiar subject, well, I guess you could call it a tribute painting. It's a game I used to love playing back in college days, blowing up evil zombies and such. No it's not Resident Evil, it's an arcade game called House of the Dead.
I can't remember how much money I put in that machine to beat the high scores many many times. And I've since played the three sequels that followed, but none of them really measured up to the original, in my opinion.

Yes I know there was a movie adaptation, but I never saw it. In fact, I didn't want to see it, especially after seeing the first trailer and the subsequent reviews that came out. I knew if I saw it I'd cry and it'd kill everything I loved about the game. So screw to the filmmaker that tarnished it.

Anyway onward to the painting. Here is the initial layout of the background. I went for a slanted perspective to give the image that odd twisted feeling you get from horror movies. I've built up the set with Illustrator, using my custom perspective grid as guide. I only made one window which I'm gonna tweak it later in Photoshop.

This is the start; I'm working on overall color palette and lighting now, which I'll post later.