Jacob's Blog Buttons (custom HTML)

digital art

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nassa the Gnome - Spark Form

This animation started out as a run test, and I wanted to give it a little more purpose.  This is my take on the "Spark Form" ability, where she moves extremely fast and hits any enemy she passes through.  I only got the first hit blocked in, and I'd love to finish it up.  Looking forward to revisiting this one.

Edit: Updated to a higher quality playblast.

Nassa the Gnome - Double Bounce Walk

This animation was just a rig test using my Nassa character.  I wanted to try out a double-bounce walk, just because I hadn't done one in the past.  It was quite fun doing the arms from this camera.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Working on a Video Game

Usually I'd accompany all of my posts with pictures, but this can be an exception.  Today, not only was Grapple chosen as one of the five games to continue production, I was selected as the lead artist of another game, called Intrepid.  Needless to say, it's pretty exciting, and I'll be looking forward to the next months.  We have 2 months (starting January) to prove to the faculty that the game is worth making, and if we get greenlit, we get the next 6 months to develop it.  Pretty cool stuff.

Grapple Concepts

Matte paintings I made for a game called Grapple, to be presented to the FIEA faculty and students as a potential 8-month production.  I used a combination of photographs and digital painting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Midna Redesign - Final Concept

This is the final painting of the True-Form Midna concept.  I enjoyed this painting style, and I might try to employ it again in the future.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Midna Redesign - Clothing Permutations

Initially, I came up with 8 body designs for my Midna redesign.  I ended up (as well as the other students) picking the chubby Midna design.  I thought it was the most interesting, considering her proportions as the imp.

This piece was 8 more permutations, this time, addressing clothing.  I didn't want to lose the concept that she as no human gentials, with the clothes being sort of a formality (after all, she is of another race.)  I also didn't want to lose her magic abilites and her hair, both of which sort of get ignored when she turns into True-Form at the end of the game.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Link to the Past Church Concept

This painting came from a level in Zelda: A Link to the Past.  Early on in the game, the player comes out from a hidden passagway in the back of the church.  This is a 3D realized version of the 16-bit game with dramatic lighting.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Metroid Ship Redesign - Final Concept

This was the final concept, fully rendered out with details.  I chose the colors based on a split complimentary scheme, and wanted to keep the colors saturated.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nassa the Gnome Character Model

I just completed my Nassa the Gnome model.  One of the upcoming assignments is to take a character model and rig, animate, and mocap with it.  We were given the option to make our own character model, which I jumped on (after complaining to my friends that I don't have any time.)  Not having any other character designs available, I went with Nassa the Gnome from our D&D campaign, since I had several drawings of her already, as well as an image fleshed out in my mind.

This is technically my first complete character model that I built from start to finish without anyone else handling it in-between.  I tried to focus on making it low-poly, both as a challenge and to save painting-weights work.  I ended up at 1243 tris, 243 over my 1k tri limit.  I could easily cut it down by removing from the head and hands, but it was only a soft goal.  The head ended up getting about 1/3 of the tri's, since the head and hair were important for identifying the character.  I also modeled the whole thing without orthos to see how it would feel.

The outfit on the model is slightly different from the sketches I had drawn before, as she got a new set of armor towards the last few sessions, and it gives me an excuse to not have to deal with cloth.  I may come back and add textures, but the point of the piece was the model and animation, and less on finishing the model.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Metroid-Style Ship Model

Like the missle, we were given a concept before-hand, though the concept we were given was a silhouette, and we had to fill in the details ourselves.  After several redesigns, I finally ended up with the following ship.  I also have a much greater appreciation for using specular maps to make things look cool.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Metroid Ship Redesign - Concepts

I started with a basic model in the style of Samus's ship from the Metroid series.  From there, I created these nine designs on top of the model.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Walk Cycle Ball in Flash

The goal was to take the walk cycle from before and re-do it in Adobe Flash to learn how the Flash armatures worked.  It was a struggle, but I finally figured them out (after re-rigging my character numerous times) to the point where they functioned for me.  I added the bits and pieces to get a little more practice in.

I preferred the hand-drawn method better.  I had more control and could fudge more things, while this ended up feeling a little stiff.  The Flash armatures felt like they were just not quite there yet, but I feel like I could end up using them in the future and be happy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Zelda Fire Rod Redesign Concept

This project was to take an item from an old-school 16-bit game, and redesign it as a brand new concept.  I took 3 objects and came up with a number of silhouettes for each.  After one was chosen, I produced 12 value permutations of the object.  After that, it took one and fleshed it out in color and lighting.  I tried to focus on the function of the object in the design; the fire rod shot little fire balls to light lamps from a distance, for example.  In this version, I gave it a bit of a mechanic-y flare, and used the lighter-style perforated metal to drive the point home.

One of the points of the project was to use this sort of illustrative cel-shaded style, which I must say I was quite a fan of.  I'm sure I will be revisiting this coloring style in future personal projects, assuming I ever get the time to make another... 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Walk Cycle Ball Animation

We just had to do a walk cycle with just legs.  This just sort of evolved while I was working on the first part.  I wanted to do some run cycles, which is where the smaller leg balls came from.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Metorid-Style Missle Model

We were given a choice of several missle concepts, and were to model, texture, and present the projects with our own little tweaks.  Here is the result of my project.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Flour Sack and Squirrel Ball Animations

More animations!  I am loving 2D once again.  It's just feels so free.  The first is a flour sack, and again, I believe flour sacks are meant to be destroyed (and nearly our whole class' animations agreed.)

The second is just a simple character with appeal.  Originally, I was going to play up weight, but I instead wanted to focus on the movement and overlap on the squirrely tail and the hair.  I gave it some cartoon strength to push that massive rock, which ties in with my friend's character that gets hit by said rock.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Zelda Items Redesign

The task was to redesign three items from the Legend of Zelda series.  I chose items from Link to the Past; the mirror, the fire rod, and the grappling hook.

The grappling hook was the most obvious of the items. I imagined how they might work internally, and for each of the designs, I tried to show that in the silhouette.  The fire rod was simply trying to decide how to represent a rod that can form fire.  Two were magical, and two were more mechanical.

The mirror, I thought was the most clever.  The purpose of the mirror is to send you into the past, a sort of alternate dimension.  In each of my mirror designs, I made sure the mirror could swivel; the idea being, when shifting to the other world, Link looks into the mirror, then turns the mirror surface around, shifting the world around him.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Bouncing Ball Animations

Here are my first two animations for FIEA.  It ended up being a bit of a review, so I tried to make it interesting.  The first one was a basic ball bounce.  On the second one, I wanted to play with overlapping action, so I did the quintessential tail ball.

I used a program called Plastic Animation Paper.  It is like a digital animation light table.  You can get it for free from their website.  I used it last year for planning out 3D animations, and I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lutra Modeling WIP - Part Two

EDIT: I've moved this project to a permanent hiatus.  Perhaps I will revisit Lutra one day, but for now, I'm focusing on other projects.

Finished up a lot of the body, and face is started

I feel like I might be using too many polys in the body, since it really is quite simple.  Perhaps I need to alter the silhouette a bit, but that will come after I finish the head and hair.  That will be where a load of the silhouette comes from already.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lutra Modeling WIP - Part One

I finally got a chance to work on the model, as the summer is drawing to a close.  I had some 3D 'sketches' done (in blue), but almost all of the actual modeling progress was done today.  Between full time work, a car crash, and moving, I've had little time to really sit down and model, so today has been really refreshing.  For now, I have this teaser.

I do want to say, Max is very nice for hard-edge modeling, but it feels great to be back in Maya.  I do like hard-edge and organic modeling, but I think I slightly prefer the latter.

Friday, July 13, 2012

D&D Campaign Session Sketches

These are notecard sketches I did during our first four sessions of Dungeons and Dragons.  These are events that happened during the adventure.  I have my own Nassa the Gnome, Robert playing Norgar the Human (Vryloka), and Cole playing Audrik the Dwarf.

If you're interested in following along, I've been taking notes and uploading them to D&D Short Tales.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Elephental Disaster Beat Boards

I just discovered these old beat boards when organizing my files.  For old work, I'm still pretty happy about it.  Click the images to make them bigger, and check out more information here!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nassa the Gnome - Final

I just finished my Nassa the Gnome mini!  Unfortunately, our DM couldn't play this week, so I got to work on this instead.  I added the clothes in on Wednesday, and I went over to Sean's today (Thursday) to finish up.

I got some Super Sculpey Firm, to see what it was like, and it ended up making the head a lot easier.  It still wasn't perfect, especially because I barely left any armature up there, but I was able to hack it together long enough to bake it.  The Firm Sculpey did really help keep enough details in there for baking (as opposed to the regular Sculpey.)  From there, I did a bunch of Xacto-carving to refine the details.  And in the last step, I added the ears, hands, and daggers.

In the end, I'm quite happy with it, largely because it is so ridiculously small, but mostly because the pose is so twisty and dynamic.  The clothes really accent the turn, and the arms have a real attitude to them.  I'm having so much fun with this; I think my next one will be around 3" using Sculpey firm, and I'm getting excited to try ProCreate in the near future.

My next step is to paint this handsome gentleman and fine lady, and then give them fancy bases.  That macro lens really makes them look gritty, but it will all be cleaned up in the next versions.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nassa the Gnome - WIP

I must say, she was quite fun to play last week.  She's a Gnome, who wears elven clothes, and appears to be some sort of rogue - appears to be.   I'm really looking forward to the next Dungeons and Dragons session.

But since I wasn't running the dwarf, I had to sculpt a new character.  I started this little piece today at Sean's place.  I was actually able to get some good progress shots on this one.  She's quite difficult to work on because she's even smaller than the dwarf, currently at about 20mm.

It also doesn't help that I'm using regular Super Sculpey modeling clay.  Sean mentioned Sculpey Firm might be a little easier for me to work with.  Nonetheless, using my multiple-bake layer method seems to work alright.  I just have to do a bit of Xacto work in there as well.  I don't work fast enough for the 2 hour window using ProCreate or Green Stuff... yet.

 Armature ready after two tries.

In-progress shots.  The clothing layer will be the next session.

 The sketches I was working off of for the character's designs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Loren the Dwarf - Sculpt Complete

He's sculpted, baked, and ready for painting.

I used a method of baking and working in layers.  I made the base body, oven baked it for a short time, and used an Xacto knife to shape him a bit better.  Then I did the armor and cape, and baked it so it wouldn't fold.  The final step was the head, hands, feet, and bow.  I accidentally broke the a piece of the cape at this point, but it was fixable by cutting off a little more.  I had no clue how I was going to manage the head while working on it, but it ended up coming together well.

The funny thing is that I ended up rolling a different character to fit into the group better.  On the downside, I don't get to use this handsome piece, or the cool Scottish accent I've been working on.  But on the other side, I get an excuse to make another one!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Trumpet model - Final

I've been sitting on this for several weeks now.  I originally planned on UV'ing and normal mapping this, but I think I'm ready to call it done so I can move on.  Especially with me working 40 hrs a week modeling/texturing/UVing, I don't really want to come home to the same style of work; I'm ready to work on my character model for this summer.

I merged most of the pipes.  Then, I just applied a blinn shader to the parts, and added it to my archives.  Now its time to move on to bigger and brighter things!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Loren the Dwarf

This little fella is going to become Loren the Dwarf, my character for an upcoming D&D campaign.

I'm excited to get back into physical sculpture.  I really enjoyed working on the Flower Story maquettes last year, and it has been just as fun this time around.  I headed over to my friend Sean's place today, and got quite a lot of progress on this little guy (though I didn't take any more pictures).  Right now, he stands 23mm high, and it will probably be closer to 28mm by the end.  I don't know how I'm going to get any detail on something this tiny, but we'll see how it comes out.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Trumpet model - WIP Part Two

I am getting close to the finish line.  Now I'm working on marrying all of the parts together.  I'm running into a lot of trouble with the pipes, because they're hollow, and weld doesn't like getting as close as they are thin.  More to come...

I must say, I do like Max's object coloring; it makes organization rather easy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trumpet model WIP

This is another project to familiarize myself with 3DS Max's controls.  I got a job for this summer (and perhaps longer), so I want to get practice in.  It's doing hard-edge modeling, and it is important that I work on internals as well as the overall look.

I've been working on this for a few days now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Flower Story Commentary and Credits

Just finalized the commentary we recorded for Flower Story!  The whole ordeal took two days to record our 9 commentary tracks, some in multiple takes.  I cut it all together with the music using Adobe Premiere (mainly because I already knew how to use Adobe Premiere.)

The commentaries ranged between cool technical behind-the-scenes to totally non-technical ribbing and goofing on each other.  They will be showing up on the DVDs we will producing, along with our movies and any other extras for both movies, making them well worth the price of admission.

Participate in a recorded commentary session?  Check one life goal off!

I also have some (really) quick sketches of the characters I threw together for our credits artist.  I boarded out the poses for him, so he just had to repaint them in the style we were using.  I absolutely love our credits.  It draws the entire production to a close, and it somehow reflects what's going on with our lives, how we're all moving on in different directions after finishing the project.  (Eventually, when I am allowed to post the movie online, that will make a bit more sense.)

(Check out the Flower Story Facebook page here.)