Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Uplift Universe Project WIPS take 2

Here's my latest update for the Uplift project

I got about two weeks left till the deadline. For some reason though I'm not in the best mood right now. Either it's one of those "days", or that my face is pretty blown up after getting stung by a bee yesterday and I can hardly open my eyes. I still have some time, so I'll just have to rest it off to recoup my energy and get back on track.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Uplift Universe Project WIPS

Here are some wip of the project:

This is the initial concept sketches and studies. The whole idea of this project is to depict an alien/human relations, based on the popular Uplift Universe novel series by I forget his name. We get to interpret the subject any way we please. For me, I came up with an idea that sort of fuses CASABLANCA and BLADE RUNNER, two movies I'm familiar with but never saw. This one quote from the former kept boggling my mind: "Of all the gin joints she comes in here." (Humphrey Bogart says this). So that's how it all began.

Here is a more finalized sketch with annotation of the characters and the possible lighting sources. There's going to be a lot of light sources, and in different colors, all to evoke the nightclub atmosphere and mood in here. Now I've never done this extreme before, so this is gonna be quite a challenge.

Now I scan the sketch and bring it into Illustrator to get the basic layout of the bg. I try to be careful with the perspective cause that seems to be my weak point right now. I use different shades of the greys in appropriate areas to show how the lighting is going to work.

Once I'm happy with the overall look I export it into Photoshop and begin painting over with textures and large strokes. I'm working first in 72 dpi so it's easier to get down and dirty the basics, and later I'll bring in our cast and once I get done with blocking in the colors and shadows, I'll bump up the dpi and go into the detailing, which is going to be very laborious. I only have less than 3 wks left until the deadline so I need to move fast, and I also have to finish up that storyboard sets by end of this week.

But no matter how busy I can get I still manage to squeeze a bit of time to run down to D&B and play House of the Dead 4 again, hoping to better my score from last time (and this time with NO annoying kid interrupting me.) And oh, I lied in the last post; I actually had 189K not 157K, I miscounted. But that doesn't matter. I did just teensy weensy bit better this time, by 10K more, and my aiming got sluggish. But practice makes perfect they say, so in time I'll get to breaking the 200K mark. Meantime however I need to find another place that lets me play for cheaper; I cannot spend $30 every time, and I'm on very tight budget. X_X


Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Project - Uplift Universe Competition

I don't think I've posted anything about this project yet. I'm not even sure I'll be able to get it done by the deadline, which is like, less than three weeks from now. Will be posting some wips soon so check back.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Break time - House of the Dead 4 review

I took a little break from drawing, I head off to D&B today (it's pretty much the only place that had the game I wanted) and try my luck with the Uzi in my second run. I did pretty well, beat the whole game with total score of 157,000+ and Rank 4. I could've done little better, and with lot less continues, had not some kid decided to jump it at the last minute (I was somewhere at around stage 5) and started spraying bullets amok and obstructing my view so I couldn't avoid the projectiles or incoming attacks, and he's a bad BAD shot too. It's especially worse during boss fights cause if you aren't aiming right you get hit hard. But anyway I still have lot to learn about this game and improve my skillz, so I'll just be watching some more HOTD4 vids on YouTube and refresh my strategies.

Now I'll just be eating my Famous Starz, do some chores, and continue my work...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

IFX Official Challenge - Character cover art final

OK I think I'm about done here. After much cleanup, adjustments, paintovers, and new additions (the butterfly) I drop the image into the template provided by the good people of IFX, and this is what the whole product looks like:

Yeah, I can say I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I did pour out my heart and soul into it, after all. And it would kinda be nice if this were an actual cover... <3

Now onward to the next challenge, not from IFX this time, but from CGSociety, and they got quite a challenge. See here for more info. I only got 25 days to the deadline and I haven't even started on the sketches! I really need to speed up now...


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A little break - IFX Challenge: CYBERPUNK

A fallen angel was so overwhelmed by the drastic technological advancement of the world he once protected that in just short time he becomes assimilated into the digital culture, thus losing his natural heavenly aura and humanity...

Such is the premise for this latest piece, which I treated as a speedpaint, took no more than 3 hours.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

IFX Official Challenge - Character cover art cont. 2

Some more work on the character.

The top one is where I refined the details after blowing up to 300 dpi. The most laborious part of it was the accessories, on the hair and such. The bottom one is the finished product, with more saturation and decor on the dress. I also fixed the hand at the bottom as it look too short in the original. And yeah I did some work on the face too. How long did it all take...I lost count. >_<

I don't think there's really any back story here. I just wanted to draw pretty princess in her royal gown as in the saguk dramas.

Now to get to work on the background. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

IFX Official Challenge - Character cover art cont.

Just some update from earlier.

Just did some refining in the details. I am seeing some problems here and there, and it's best to capture them and fix them in the early stages before blowing up the image and fighting with the RAM later on. Will post more updates soon.

IFX Official Challenge - Character cover art

Thought I go back to the challenge thing. This time you get to design your own mock character art for the magazine cover.

I started laying out the image here:

I've been wanting to start doing some artwork based on Asian history, particularly Korea, my native country. After watching all those lame saguk dramas on TV and admiring the elaborate costumes they wore in the old days, I cannot help but be tempted to draw them. Costume is in my blood, after all.

So far here is just basic color/shadow blocking. Will get more into detailing soon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dark Avenger - the end???

I think I've about had it with this work. Made some last minute changes to the right hand (the one holding the sword) it's just been bothering me every time I look at it, so finally today I painted right over it, looking like this:

Made a cloudy bg, last tweaking with Curves and Hue/Sat, and voila! This is it.

Well, not exactly. I'm not officially DONE, but I'm ready to put this to rest for now until the day comes I decide to pull it back up and do some more work to it.

For now, onward to next project...


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dark Avenger take V

More painting, added some bg too. I originally intended to use some ancient symbol type of image, but it didn't work out, so I opted for a more environmental look:

This is supposed to be an urban fantasy theme, hence the ruins and rubbles. Some more work need to be done, but I don't want to get too detailed and take all the attention away from the main attraction, so I'm just keeping the bg loose. Not sure yet what I'll do with the sky though...

I also fixed the face and lighting, so he's kinda squinting now, and I also gave him a mole on the right side of his face (his right). Nothing wrong for a guy to have a 'beauty mark' right?

I'll B Back...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dark Avenger take ???

Mostly cleanup work, which took whole chunk of my weekend.

Now what to do with the bg...stay tuned.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dark Avenger - take 3

I went thru some crit session over at CGSociety Forum, and man did I need major major repaint.

I've had few problems with some of the areas of the painting before, but didn't realize how much work I needed to do.
To start off I took some additional ref photos of the pose (using myself as model, as always) and then making a new layer drew a guide line noting where it needs fixing. After that I put on another new layer and start painting over the problem areas. Occasionally I get a Lasso and adjust some areas of the painting, particularly the arm, yeah, I had been fighting with that arm from the beginning.

I'm still seeing some problems in some places, but so far, it's looking better, a little.

Will keep working...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dark Avenger continued

I've put a LOT of hours on this next step: painting and blending.

I used a large Hard Round with Other Dynamics checked in the Brush settings, painting in the large areas and blocking in forms and shadows. I also tweaked the figure with Lasso and Free Transform to try and even out the anatomy and proportions. Once that's done, I blow up the image to 300 dpi and start adding in the details.

I decide to make a dup file to save some RAM crunching, some more brushwork, and even adding some textures in the jacket and so forth. I also use the customized Spackled brush to draw in those strands of hair. Periodically I use Curves and Hue/Sat to try and adjust the colors.

This is what I get by dinnertime Friday. I wanted to give his jacket a worn torn look so some brush strokes here and there. I decide to scrap the landscape background, I really had no freakin' idea what to do about the bg in the first place. I was sort of thinking maybe a landscape of rubbles, but it just wasn't working out for me. I'm still gonna be thinking about it while I finish with the figure.

to be cont...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New painting - Dark Avenger

Another new painting of another old subject, this time I'm taking a brand new approach to it.

I started out with basic pencil sketch, using gazillions of ref pics (of myself) to get the pose and the hands right. I then take a purple wash over, blocking in the general shadows:

I then take a photo of it, cause the thing was done on a huge 14x17 Bristol paper (my paper of choice) and upload it into Photoshop, where I make adjustments with Levels to bring out the shadow/highlights more. I then run a little Dust/Scratch to get rid of any annoying noise (thanks to Dave Kendall for this tip). I also noticed the figure is a bit wonky, so i get out my Lasso and Free Transform and quickly give the figure a fix.

I now start blocking in colors on separate layer with mode set to Overlay:

More to come...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

House of the Dead v. 2 final - update take 2

You know what? My perspective SUCKS!!

I take out the mighty Line tool and draw in the perspective lines.

I tweak the windows on the right side where the zombie pops in, and I add in some darker lines to define the doorway in the back.

And now that they pointed it out, Rogan's hair does look like a helmet so I fix that too.

I also put in a tad bit more shadows to the faces. There, I think that's looking better now.

Lesson learned: get your perspective straight, bum! (to myself that is. :p )

House of the Dead v. 2 final - update

I decided to do a little tweaking to the picture.

Course something else will come up later, but it looks little better. Constructive crits do help a lot.