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August 13, 2013

Had some more practice with gouache again and results have started to become more satisfying. My biggest problem has been to mix colors while still maintaining the values. I would quite often paint over areas that should be brighter. On the cheap sketch-paper I’m using for practice doing washes is not really an option so tinting can become difficult. I discovered though, since gouache is water-soluble I could always thin out the already applied paint by adding water, spreading it out to make gradations. So what I’m doing now is to apply paint where I want the darkest to be then spread it out with water thus make shading happen. So far I’ve only gone monochrome for this approach, but once I have the values down tinting with other colors may perhaps become easier. I’ll have to try out and see.

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August 9, 2013

I’m currently on the last week on my vacation. There will be some new art up once I get access to a scanner but in the meantime I wanted to highlight something that’s been in existence for quite some time but that I’ve only bothered to discover a few days ago.

Lego Digital Designer, the 3D software that allows you to make your own LEGO creations without any limitations (judging from my experience with it so far). It even generates building instructions for your model, now how amazing isn’t that?
So if you love LEGO you’ll love this. Personally I have had somewhat of a blast the last two days, exploring the vast array of parts, the Technic ones in particular.

Link: http://ldd.lego.com/en-gb/download/

Besides just being fun I think this sort of thing can be quite helpful in your creative/artistic development. It’s a relatively limited system in terms of how you build but at the same time results can be achieved pretty quickly. The limitations forces creative solutions that requires a unison of logic and aesthetics, a combination which of course isn’t unique for this medium but is something that perhaps can be forgotten more easily in others.
On top of that and maybe most importantly, since most of us (I assume) approach it in the spirit of play there’s more room given to learning rather than succeeding.

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July 9, 2013

Just two new drawings.

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July 4, 2013

Just a simple gif-animation of the “steps” I took in texturing the Steam Knight. Roughly the same process went for the weapon and fringe.
Note that I did not really work in a step by step basis. I wen’t back and forth between the values and the other layers on top.
This has been new workflow for me and I think it’s working pretty well. A big thing was to keep the values clean and staying away from edge highlighting and surface detail as it just made things messy. Those belong to polish and should be blended in on separate layers. That way more fundamental changes can easier be made.
Also with this kind of texturing style where light is integrated it’s important to keep the forms of the model in mind and whatever details you put on, and values are what defines form. I worked with a top lit scheme in mind although leaning towards the front or back at some areas where it felt it was needed.

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June 30, 2013

Just a few additions more and I’ll probably call this guy done. Haven’t decided yet how I want to present him. It basically stands between giving him a big nice pedestal with some action going on or just keeping it simple.

Speaking of presentation I uploaded the model to Sketchfab which is a free service where you can publish and view 3d-models in real-time right in the browser. Embedding is also available so I wanted to try it out here.
Turns out that a WordPress blog needs a plugin for that which can be fetched from here.

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June 22, 2013

Been working pretty actively on this project since the last update, mostly on texturing which has taken a bit longer than expected as I learned that I’m not very used to render metal surfaces in this style where some sort of lighting has to be integrated into the map itself. In this kind of style the diffuse plays a big role in enhancing the form of the model and even adding surface components that look 3d but aren’t defined in the model at all.

Here’s everything at it’s current state. Long story short there’s still a lot of things left to do; values to adjust, constructional details to resolve etc. For this project I’ve been working from a gray-scale base adding color and other effects on separate layers. The bottom image shows only that base layer.

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June 14, 2013

Was a good while ago since I posted any sketches. These are not from this week though, just some picks from the time gone that I care to show. As usual they are from a sketchbook I keep with me during lunch breaks.

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May 27, 2013

The model is ore or less done, unless I decide to make make some last minute design changes. I dropped the skull-like design above the canon as I felt it was clashing style-wise with the rest of the armor and I wanted to give more focus to the knights head. Kinda boring to have the front plating clean though so maybe I’ll make some nice motif in the texture map, depicting some holy scenery or just some cool ornamental details.

Next up is rigging and uv-mapping.

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May 22, 2013

Been spending most of my personal project time lately on modelling the steam knight, based on the concept from a previous post. Still a couple of design choices left, particularly on mechanical parts, like the waist area. There’s actually two pistons in there like in the concept but I realized now that I have obscured them, so that will need to be addressed. Apart from that there’s a lot of stitching to do as well. When starting on a model like this I usually block things out with loose bits as it’s very flexible and gives a quick estimation if something will work or not.

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May 21, 2013

Was a while ago I did some digital painting so I grabbed a scan from my sketchbook as usual and laid in some values, then laid in some black lines, smudged them out and liked the inked style that appeared and went for that.

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May 14, 2013

Concept for a new 3D project. Markers on graphite drawing.

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May 12, 2013

So initially I didn’t bother much about submitting my entry to the contest at all but I wanted to move on and figured I had the time to round things up with some kind of presentation.

This project was more oriented around experimentation rather than just making something that looked good, attempting to find a minimalist style and the techniques to pull it off, avoiding any advanced shaders or the like.

Technical summary.
The scene is rendered in Unity.
The environment is lit by vertex colors which have been “painted” manually.
Vertex colors are also used to create the glow and shadow effects, using separate meshes for those.
I’m a total beginner at shader coding but I found this fine resource and managed to puzzle together some for the above mentioned effects.

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May 5, 2013

Brief update on my escape project. Did some major optimization on the interior meshes and re-arranged its texture map accordingly. I’m narrowing down the scope of the presentation to just feature the storage hall as seen below as the time is better spent on getting the style right both artistically and technically.

I was going to use light maps for the scene but it didn’t turn out any good so I wen’t another route and tried doing the lighting with vertex coloring instead. So far I’m liking how it’s turning out.

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May 1, 2013

Usually, when doing personal 3D projects I seldom do any refined concept art for my designs but I do sketch. Drawing concepts of anything you want to make is very important as all the issues you didn’t think of will appear and can be addressed before proceeding making the final product, whether it’s a painting, model etc. which will save a lot of extra problem-solving at later stages.
Sometimes I design while building and when I run into a problem it also helps to step back and figure out the element of concern on paper as it gives more room to think about what something could be rather being intimidated by its current stage, which is usually the case for me anyway.

Sketches for my astronaut escape thing.

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April 29, 2013

Been quite busy the past two weeks with my Escape entry. Most of the time spent on designing and building the star-ship interior environment on which the two astronauts will blast their way through, desperate to find a vacant escape pod.

Got about two weeks left and I’m quite skeptical if I’ll be able to make what I have in mind. Either way, this experiment has taught me some things. It has got me to research several technical solutions, most of which I probably don’t have time to implement into this project but that doesn’t matter really. The usual reference hunt has proven fruitful as well, helping me make better design decisions.
The most valuable experience so far has been the difficulty of developing a style, particularly for something meant for a game where technical solutions has to be considered. Only just now do I feel that things are starting to come together, particularly in terms of form.

Here’s some view-port grabs from Blender. On a side note I decided to keep the fish monsters and ditch the insect-like things instead. The fishes humanoid structure simply makes them so much more fun to pose.
Technically I’m texturing the whole environment through a so called texture atlas, which is simply all the elements and parts put into one image. For some reason I felt this was the way I should do it. This has proven very costly on polygons as I need to have uv-splits everywhere to be able to puzzle the different elements together, so next thing on the to-do list is to optimize this solution.

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April 27, 2013

About time I posted something from my sketchbook. Made during lunch times as usual.

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