Friday, May 10, 2013

The "Underground" Space Scene

After +20 hours of working on this piece I've finally made a few finishing touches to it.  For now, it's a done piece, but I may visit it again in the future once I gain a better understanding of light, composition, and storytelling.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CGSociety Challenge has an awesome challenge I decided to partake in today.  I started out spending about an hour on the last concept below, but was able to start cutting down on time for every consecutive piece.  The contest is just about illustration, how well you can tell a story with an image on a playing card of your choice. The ace of spades was an obvious choice.  It has a pretty cool history in the Vietnam War of being used to instill fear into the hearts of the enemy.  Little did we know, the Vietnamese actually didn't really believe in the superstition that the ace of spades brought death.  In the end, it did raise moral of the soldiers.  I may do some more later, but here are the ones for now.  I kinda feel like switching over to some fantasy pieces on it, or I've had Gambit from X-Men on my mind.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

WIP - A Moon-walking Fool

Here is my next animation piece that I am working on for my portfolio.  I haven't worked on him since coming out of stepped mode.  In the end I will add the music Billie Jean to it.  As always, comments and questions below please!

Monday, May 6, 2013

WIP Update

For this update I'll be going over my thought process of how I evolved this piece to its current stage.

At this point I am around 2 hours into the rendering of the lighting.  The lighting came easy, but the biggest problem I came across was composition.  I wanted the foreground object with thrusters to be the main light source of the arena in the middle.  The angle of the light was a bit off in the picture, but I was planning to adjust that later down the line when I actually had the fighters placed in the arena.

Since people cannot breathe in space I decided to toss a dome around the arena that had a built in atmosphere   After placing the dome I wasn't happy with how it took away from certain elements in the background, so I decided to scrap the idea and place the fighters in a sort of space suit, which I have yet to design.

In the following progression piece I ended up going a little too far by adding the lens flare so soon, but I couldn't wait to see what it looked like.

After another hour of messing with the piece, i felt it was a good idea to start exaggerating the depth, but how do you do that when there is no atmosphere in plane space?  Part of the story of the piece is that it is located on an asteroid floating in the depths of space, where law enforcement has no say.  This particular asteroid was once mined for its resources, but once the corporation was done mining, what use could it serve?  Future politicians that decided to make some more cash saw an opportunity and took it.  They decided to construct an underground fighting ring far away from mainstream society that was only accessible to the wealthy, and anybody willing to sacrifice their entire economic well being for the slight possibility of obtaining wealth beyond dreams.  There is a lot of money to be made here, but at a serious price.

Who would be the contenders in the arena?  The most nasty convicts in the known universe of course, and a few that probably didn't really deserve to be subjected to such inhuman routes of punishment.  It doesn't matter what crime, how big or small, if you looked fit your death was faked to the public and you were fighting for your life in the arena.

The story won't stop flowing, but I need to hold myself back and re-ask the question, how do I add atmosphere to something that doesn't really have any to begin with?

The smog you see within the scene is due to all the machinery operating within the depths of the asteroid.  All the lights and functions of the arena need some sort of power sauce, so why not some dirty, mechanical, possibly even coal operated pile of scraps at the base.  Soon I'll be adding color to give a bit of a slums feel to it.  More to come...

Suggestions, questions, critiques, or anything on your mind is appreciated in the comments below!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The "underground" space scene.

Lately I've been posting my WIP concepts on popular CG websites, scrounging around for advice on every aspect of my art ranging from its lighting to composition and everything in between.  I've even tried emailing a few people who have made it big in the industry, asking them for any tips and advice on how to advance as an artist.  Much to my surprise, I already received a couple of responses that I'll be indulgent in after I get this current concept out of my head.

The concept shown above is a preliminary sketch, something that came to mind after surfing the forums for advice.  As of now, it's not very legible for the public, but this is a part of my workflow.  I have an idea in mind, and I scratched out the rough vision I have of it.  I don't want to spoil the story behind it just yet.  For now, I'll toss out 2 bits of information.  It's in space, and it deals with an "underground" type of society.  Underground, as in don't talk about it or you'll be tossed in space jail for doing so, type underground.

What I hope to achieve out of the final product is that it can be classified as both an illustration, and concept piece.  I not only want to tell a story with a finished and polished piece of art, but I also want every aspect of the piece to be believable.  I'm not shooting for a "today" believable, but a futuristic believable.
Other things I want to achieve are:
  • A ton of depth
  • Increased level of detail compared to my other work
  • A feeling of movement within the scene

What I hope to avoid in the piece is unfamiliarity.  I want people to actually think that one day, this environment could actually exist.  I don't even feel comfortable having the name "Syd Mead" in my nooby blog, but he is a large part of the inspiration.

That's all for now.  I would love to hear anything you have to say in the comments below.  Thanks!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hello World!

This is my first blog post, therefore I will introduce myself...

Please call me Russ!  I am a recent graduate of CSU, Chico.  I obtained my Bachelor of Science within the field of Applied Computer Graphics.  I found that I had a passion for creating things with my imagination.  Whether it be for games, or movies, or whatever... I know a vast amount of tools for making my dream a reality.  Eventually, I decided to specialize in environmental concept art, and 3D animation, although my skills are not limited to just those 2 areas... not by a long shot.

That being said, I will post the majority of my concept pieces here, as long as there are no NDA's.  Also, I have many profiles you can check on the web...
Deviant Art: -Photography/Concept Art
CGSociety: -Concept Art
Vimeo: - Animation
Linkedin: - Professional Profile

Thanks for letting me introduce myself, and I look forward to growing as an artist.