In an effort to improve my visual storytelling I entered Artstation’s Keyframe Challenge. The theme for this competition is “Beneath the Waves”. I used this as a chance to visually explore what a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa might look like. The challenge is to come up with four cinematic keyframes or moments of a story. Also a chance to reacquaint myself with volumetric lighting in my 3-D scenes. You can view my entry and see my ideation and supporting illustrations here. Be sure to check out the many other amazing entries as well.
I have been assisting Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC) with illustrations of their all electric aircraft. While work continues on their two-seat aircraft. They wanted me to illustrate the next version, a four-seat aircraft. Above is an animation of the four-seat version in flight. The animation is designed to loop for their website and for tradeshow displays. You can learn more about the SunFlyer here. You can view some of my previous work for them here.
ArtStation is a great place for inspiration, tutorials, and opportunities to challenge your skillset. Their latest group of art challenged were geared the video game and movie industries. The theme of the challenges was Ancient Civilizations: Lost & Found. I chose to enter the matte painting challenge. The challenge was to create two views that could be used in a movie. This was a project that was a bit out of my comfort zone. But still fun and great practice. Many countries were represented in this international competition. You can view my entry here to see my inspiration and work in progress.
Thirty five years ago today the Soviet Venera 14 probe landed on Venus. Subjected to temperatures in excess of 800 degrees, pressure equal to some of the deepest ocean dives and an atmosphere that has sulphuric acid in it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have pictured the probe so optimistly. The Russians tend to over-engineer these missions, so I think the mostly titanium probe is still intact after all these years. I would like to see more missions to Venus. As inhospitable it is, it takes half as long to get there than Mars, it has similar gravity, protection from radiation, and the upper atmosphere has an air pressure that wouldn’t be too hard to deal with.
Industrial Light and Magic, the innovative special effects company created by George Lucas, teamed up with Wacom and Art Station to invite artists around the world to participate in the Art Department Challenge. A chance to experience work as a concept artist. Also a chance to work on an iconic franchise, Star Wars. The challenge opened with 3888 participants from 101 countries. The challenge was broken into three parts. My entries above are keyframes for the Moment portion of the challenge. The first entry is of the reptilian bounty hunter Bossk arriving at the cloud city only to find he has arrived late. My second entry is of another lesser-known character. Lobot the assistant to Lando, Lobot uses his cybernetic connection the cloud city central computer to evade all the Imperial forces. I was one of 1011 to complete this portion of the challenge. Unfortunate I did not advance to the next level. This was great experience and I was able to create a new efficient workflow to combine 3d elements and 2-d drawing techniques. We were required to post our work in progress, I created two videos below showing the sketches, 3-d models and timelapse of some of the work. Check out the winners, there are some excellent artwork in this challenge.
I wanted to create a project that uses the physics engine within Lightwave 3D the program I use for my illustrations. I was inspired by the droid in the recent Star Wars movie. I thought I could use the physics engine to animate the ball moving along a rugged terrain then animate the head on top of it. I used a modelling program, Sculptris by Pixologic to create a terrain model. I tilted the model, dropped the ball over a set number of frames which created the rolling animation. The program calculated the collision of the ball and the terrain and created a path for the animation. The head is keyframed to match the position of the rolling ball. The sequence is about ten seconds.
I decided to create a couple additional sequences to make a 30 second video introducing the BB-droid in the Star Wars universe. Imagining the company that makes the R2 droids now had to show off their latest model. This was a fun little project that taught me some new skills. I hope you enjoy it.
This project is NOT affiliated with Disney or Lucasfilm.
Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC) continues to make progress on their aircraft design. These updates needed to be reflected in the product illustrations that I had created for them. My previous work can be seen here. The most noticeable change can be seen in the canopy. This updated design allows for better and safer egress of the cockpit. A more efficient, less noisy propeller was added and more rugged landing gear. The fidelity of the cockpit has improved as well. I created illustrations in vertical and horizontal formats to easily fit in various publications. This artwork is used on their website and posters for events. Learn more about AEAC by clicking here.