Monday, 28 November 2011

Pearl Grotto Final Painting

My final  painting for the pearl grotto. I'm really pleased with it - bright colours and nuts lighting are always fun. I'm glad I decided to play with the lighting, it adds to the whimsical-yet-unsettling feel. How did the pillars develop into those shapes? Who knows!

Friday, 25 November 2011

A Whole Lot of Things

These three are depth-of-field tests, to try and get my head around semi-realistic DOF before applying it to anything heavily stylised. Very quick and loose, value was more important than detail here.

Another super super quick thing that isn't even finished but may be going somewhere. I still like the bright-colour-on-black concept, but here it looks overdone and rather flat, so that'll take some fixing.

And taking the purple-and-orange forest thumbnail from the last batch forward somewhat to see how it would go. Pattern-wise it looks great, but compositionally not so much. It's all over the place, and there's no sense of depth.

Photoshop Phil gave me some suggestions as to how I could make the previous study more depth-y by using layers and volumetric fog. It definitely recedes into the distance now, but I think it looks to cut-out, so I'll need to find a happy medium.

 This one was an experiment in zooming out - the original sketch consisted of the upper right quarter of this image, which I then shrunk, tucked into the corner, worked back into, shrunk again and repeated. I really needed to zoom out with my work - I was using what Tutor Phil called the 'Kodak angle' and working too close to my subject. Zooming out further wouldn't hurt this piece, but it's still infinitely better than the very, very close-in compositions I was using.

And some thumbnails done quickly after the crit and seeing everyone else's approach to this. I particularly noticed the emphasis on lighting people had, and Phil mentioned that in concept art lighting that doesn't make sense but serves a purpose is okay. I tried working some shafts of light through cracks in the wall into the tunnel, and looked at Art Nouveau compositions for ideas for the pillars. The circular one in the conrer is based on the common circle motif, but out of context it looks somewhat unfortunate.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Stylisation Part 2

More stylisation, particularly focusing on colour. I'm not so sure about the Art Nouveau influence (except in #2 where it works stylishly), but I have very much taken the emphasis on circular composition from it, which I feel is working well.

Tom noted that my work was evocative of Disney's Fantasia, which I will confess I haven't seen and brace myself for the lynch mob. I looked it up and it's definitely something I'll think about as I work.

#12 was going somewhere, but I don't know where. It kind of got lost along the way.


Initial forays into stylisation because the realism just isn't working. It didn't start out that way - I had been looking at photos of old, gnarled trees and was trying to pull those shapes into the petrified forest. Courtesy of working in solid black the spirals and twists looked very evocative, so I rolled with it.

After speaking to Phil and discussing Art Nouveau which, while not strictly at the time of Verne's writing, evokes the late nineteenth century perfectly, I started asking 'what would Alfons Mucha do?'. I tried implementing the typical Art Nouveau hair method with a tree - not a bad look, it's simultaneously 'ooh, pretty' and 'wait, what?'. I worry about how it would translate into a 3D space, so I may look at the art of Okami, a game visually based on Japanese sumi-e art and that translates the 2D brushstrokes into 3D masterfully.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Rough Studies

Couple of loose environment studies for the grotto and the graveyard. Trying to move into colour because I really really need to. Also realising exactly how wide 16:9 is, that is to say, very.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Unit 2 Space OGR

Unit 2 Space OGR

More Influence Maps

My visual concept, which is 'equal parts menacing and whimsical', to make the locales the protagonists visit reflect their situation, i.e. being kept prisoner in a gilded cage.

Influences for the underwater cemetery - I want to keep the colours very muted for this one, even though the coral is described as bright and exotic. It is a very sombre scene, and I want the atmosphere to reflect that.

And the underwater grotto. This isn't a definitive influence map - I will likely alter it as I progress. I am mostly looking at form and the 'architecture' of the cave rather than colour at the moment, hence why it is a work in progress.

The petrified forest will be interesting, as it is under red light which is entirely contrary to how one imagines an underwater scene (add to that the fact that underwater volcanoes tend to be more steam than light, but that's neither here nor there). I definitely want this to be on the foreboding end of the scale of whimsy to menace, as it is described as being nearly black but for the glow of the volcano and the protagonists' lights, and I imagine the trees would make some eerie silhouettes in the gloom.

Thumbnails 18-40

Still negotiating ideas. I think I've got my visual concept down - even though I'm not doing the equal-parts-grandeur-and-menace interiors, I can still take that sort of approach to the exteriors. I want to incorporate some of my own personal sense of whimsy and see if I can balance it with a sense of foreboding and aggression.

I have also started forcing myself to work within compositional boundaries rather than just drawing freely, which I think has resulted in creating scenes rather than isolated elements and has vastly increased the quality. They're still very, very loose, but hopefully they're readable.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

@Phil - King Kong

I've been reading through reviews of King Kong and I'm really, really struggling to see what they see in it. Yes, for the time it was a marvel of special effects, but 'Kong is humanised through animation'? Really? Am I just being dense and unable to pick up on subtle eye-movement cues? I didn't see Kong being humanised at any point in the movie. Am I just 'not getting it'?

Yet More Thumbnails

Some initial doodles, done before my Phil-induced epiphany of 'oh hey, no interiors'. I inverted this one and the next one to make them easier to see, but the last two read badly in white-on-black so I left them as-is.

 Starting to drill into the pearl grotto. The description of arches like Tuscan architecture caught my eye, so I really tried to make the arches/pillars the focal point.

And the petrified forest again. Starting to look at putting the trees into a scene, but it's still a bit clunky so I'll have to work on streamlining it.

And some thoughts on the coral cemetery. The idea of it being in some kind of basin isn't actually in the text, but it struck me and I had to get it down. I like the idea of it being some kind of sanctuary for the dead - Arronax specifically refers to the dead resting safely there - so enclosing it somehow could help that.