Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rocket Summer Rough Layin

Slow and steady...some pencil work over a rough base color pass. Still a lot of work to be done.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rift At GamesCom

Rift is at the Gamescom convention in Germany where we have our first publicly facing playable game. We're nearing the beta stage and the people who have played it out there seem to like it! The above image was recently posted on the official Rift website and is a quick concept I did.

The Rift forum user Reckoner shot some in-game video of him running through the Guardian stronghold of Sanctum...after he finishes dancing here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Town Called Panic

This is the trailer to the Belgian animated film A Town Called Panic. It's pretty screwball, but I like that sort of stuff. If you like stop motion, particularly of the Gumby variety, and you like wacky humor, check it out! I really liked it. On the Martian Chronicles front, I'm getting to work on the painting...more when I have it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Deviant Art's Muro

This may be old news, but Deviant Art has an in-browser drawing app called Muro. It's HTML5 so there's no use of flash...just go to the site and start drawing. Not bad for free! Here's a test run doodle. I wish there were some square brushes, I'm addicted to those suckers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rocket Summer: Snow Kids Ideas (Rough)

These are some quick ideas for the kids in the Rocket Summer piece. I was aiming mostly for feel here, and will do another pass to give them some more believability (they're too naive right now since I was working from imagination) with some reference. I'm wrestling with giving them a nostaligic 50's sledding vibe, giving them a futuristic vibe and still making their design read as not too strange. I still have to figure that out. They look pretty contemporary, which may not be a bad thing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fascism, Immigration, and Videogames?

There is a lot debate raging about immigration right now. One idea is to change the Constitution and revise the 14th amendment to remove the ability of anyone born on US soil to become citizens automatically. My favorite take on the subject comes from the Colbert Report (around the 7:20 mark the whole arguement is summed up nicely) Pair this with some recent trailer from Irrational Games' anticipated Bioshock Infinite and the issue seems pervasive across not only the political landscape but even in the entertainment industry and the gaming industry particularly.

The trend for games in the last several years has pushed "moral" choices on players. There are always the light escapist games out there to play, but I've noticed a rise in games making political statements and critiques of society, often masked in a veneer of action, make-believe and violence.

As I work on the Martian Chronicles project and consider Mr. Bradbury's take on the world when he wrote the stories (heavy stuff in there...allusions to our destruction of native peoples, racial tension, imperialism, nuclear war, etc) it seems that these things inevitably make their way into the art of the day. 1984 was a reaction to the political landscape of post-war Western society wrapped in dystopian sci-fi.

At the Bioshock Infinite unveil event the crowd was also shown faux-propaganda posters depicting a fictional 1912 American society gone off the deep end into protectionist racist imperialism with a steampunk twist. I'm not really pitching the game, especially since I don't really play shooter games, but it seemed interesting that such a thing would be considered "fun" 25 years after a plumber who jumps, eats mushrooms and saves princesses from lava-filled castles was the industry standard.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rocket Summer: Color Study

This is a small color study (1"x3") in acrylic for the "Rocket Summer" short story scanned from my sketchbook. I tried a few other color studies that went off the rails. I fussed and fought them, and just before the last of my acrylics were left on the palette, I dashed this out in anger with a #8 square tip brush. Age old painting advice states that you should use the biggest brush you can get away with, and with nothing left to lose I think I did better than the other studies that took much longer. This is not really anything but a loose guide for me to base my palette on and group my values. I'm going to move to the final sketch soon, but I still have some kids to design. I may go off and do some full blown designs for them because I keep seeing their faces when I think of them even though the viewer only gets to see their backs.

Oh, and I'm waaaaaaaaaay out of practice with the olde acrylics! Yikes. This will be a challenge, but if it was easy what's the point?!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Rocket Summer: Exploratory Sketches

Here are a few quick initial drawings I did for the short story Rocket Summer. I'm still trying to decide what I really want the look of the rockets to be. These are completely out of my head (my preferred method in the very initial stages, bad drawing/limited ideas and all). Once I get a few ideas I'm interested in, I will begin to look for supporting reference images. The composition sketch is basically the composition I'm going to do. Now that I know there will be some characters in there, I can start designing them and finding appropriate reference. It still seems a bit static...I think that rocket HAS to blast off more!

Next up is more designing and some color studies. I think I'm going to do all the paintings in acrylic.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Lo-Fi Gems

I love old quality recordings done well with passion. I posted a Bo Diddley video that gets me in a mood to make some art, so here are a few more. Weird close-ups, weird crowds, uncontrolled rocking...they're just pure kick-ass awesome.

The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash in '68

Chuck Berry - Live 1958

Howlin' Wolf - Don't Laugh at Me (Yes, that IS the same riff Jimmy Page used years later)