Wednesday, 25 August 2010

OVERSEER

Here is another lunchtime sketch. It took me ages to get round to finishing this one mainly because I kept being distracted by other things. Once again this is all in photoshop but was based on a biro sketch, which unfortunately I have now lost so I can't post it.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

TECHRON

This is a quick-ish sketch I did over the last two lunch breaks at work. It was originally a very quick biro sketch in my notebook which I scanned in and worked over in photoshop. Not much of a process but I started by making a silhouette and then added detail using the selection tool for the large panels and highlighting brush to pick out lights and detail. I did think about working it up in colour but I kinda liked it how it is so I left it monochrome.

Monday, 16 August 2010

LITTLE BIRDS

                       
This was a sketch I did the other day. It basically started out with me just noodling on the cintiq and it evolved from there. The only pre-conception I had for the image was a derelict or wartorn environment, the rest of it just kind of evolved as I went along. About two hours of work in total and all just done in Photoshop.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

F130 AZRAEL

Here is another cool bit of military hardware. I really wanted to create something along the lines of the AC130 gunship but I wanted a more precise tool rather than a terrifying gun platform. I looked at birds of prey and modern VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) jets for inspiration. The idea is that it's a jet that can hover high above the battlefield and essentailly snipe at targets with one very precise cannon. The wings fold out and contort to provide stability just like a bird of prey while hunting and the entire cockpit and attached cannon swivel up and down to track targets.

                     

One of the great things about concepting using 3D models is that it gives you alot of freedom when deciding the composition of the piece. As the above image shows I rendered out several views of the plane before I decided on which one to use.
You might also be able to spot that I did two versions of the model, one in 'hover mode' with all the animated wings splayed, VTOL ports open and cockpit pointed down, and one in 'flight mode' with the wings straight, ports closed and cockpit level.

SNIPER RIFLE


Here is a good example of a workflow for prop design. This concept started off with a process called 'Kit bashing'. It is a process that works well on mechanical concepts especially if you want your designs to have an instant familiarity to them, the idea being that someone will look at the concept and be able to instantly work out exactly what it is and what it does. In this case it's a sniper rifle I designed for a Volatile Games title form last year. You basically gather alot of reference for existing weaponry and throw it all into the mix, taking a trigger and grip from one weapon or a particularly cool looking scope or butt from another. You can then paint over fairly roughly to fill i the gaps or add additional pieces and hey-presto, you end up with a cool design that people will hopefully understand instantly without explaination.
From the finished 2D concept I then went on to model the weapon in Maya, importing the original 2D concept as a texture and a guideline. Finally you again use the original 2D concept to planar map onto the model as a texture. If you have lined up your model well with the original concept this works really well and doesn't need alot of paintover once you render out the scene and work over it in photoshop.
What you end up with is a lovelly 3D view of both sides of the weapon which is great for the approval process and for the proper 3D modellers to come in and do their stuff.

FORMULA TANK

I had the idea for this piecs knocking around in my head for ages.....what if there were a Formula 1 style event for armoured vehicles?
I had been looking at some modern designs for tanks and noticed how alot of them were becoming more streamlined, almost like they had been designed for speed. This design aspect probably has alot more to do with projectile deflection than actual aerodynamics but it gave me the basis of the idea for this piece.

                     

This was probably the first piece of concept work that I did where I really concentrated on the 3D modelling and it took up the majority of the time on this piece. I started from a pencil sketch which in turn was based on extremely simple 3D geometry just for guidelines. After that I worked up the model in Maya, tweaking the design as I did and then did the rest of the colouring and texturing in Photoshop over an ambient occlusion render of the finished model.
Although the entire process was very time consuming I found it fascinating and learnt alot while doing it. It would be difficult to justify this kind of process in a tight project schedule but for beauty shots in post production it could be valid.

WATCHING THE HORIZON


Another personal piece from 08. Can’t quite remember why I decided to do this but the original idea came from a photo of a geisha costume I saw. I guess my imagination was responsible for the rest. I will post up a workflow image to accompany this in a bit.


                      


WATCHING THE HORIZON - WORKFLOW
Here you are then. With this piece I actually started off with traditional lineart which was then scanned into Photoshop. I worked it up it greyscale first to balance the tone and then worked over in colour (During the greyscale process I made corrections to the image such as sorting out the head and chest areas) .This process can be dangerous as it can lead to a very muted feel to the colours especially if you are just using layer properties like ‘colour’ or ‘overlay’ in photoshop. I did go over and paint in alot of the colour over what was probably a ‘colour’ layer so as to avoid this.

ONE NUT TO RULE THEM ALL


This is a personal piece I did just before the end of 2009. It started off as a basic premise for a scene, someone being chased deep into the woods by a malevolent force of some sort having liberated some kind of artefact. I always wanted to keep the evil prescence as something un-defined, hence the silhouettes. I think addidng details and fleshing out the baddies would have taken focus from the protagonists…..which, coincidently, I didn’t decide on being squirrels until quite late on. I wanted the good guys to be trying to hide in the forest and I thought what better than have them try to hide in the tree that was the focal point for the piece. I thought this added much more drama than them just being chased through the forest…will they hide in time before the horde arrives??? The artefact being a golden acorn was a shoe in after that and tied the whole piece together nicely. Nice how these things sometimes work out eh?

BLITZONE XMAS COVER


Shortly after the end of the project in December 2009 I was asked to do the company Christmas newsletter cover. It is not often I get to do character stuff as my specialities lie elsewhere so being asked to do a character heavy piece that the WHOLE COMPANY would see filled me with a certain ammount of dread. I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out though. Getting the composition right wa probably the toughest element outside of the actual rendering. The brief was to include characters from all the games we currently had in development into a humerous Christmas scene. The idea for the miseltoe and the slap came from our lovely PR dept (Thanks to Nat, Debs and Izzy) but I am proud to say that the bottom photocopying was all me (not literally you understand!)

VOODOO


This was quite fun. It was the new logo for the games team I was working on at the time. It was the end of the project and my work load was a little thin so my creative manager asked me to re-vamp the team logo. It was a nice distraction from the work I had been doing and a pleasant way to wrap up the project.

NEON SKYLINE


Another backdrop for the same project. This image took quite a while to do and although the reference images I used for the base were excellent there is a suprising ammount of paintover involved.

I started by finding some reference for Tokyo style streets and neon signage. I then constructed the scene using a fair ammount of distortion and transformations in photoshop until I got something that looked like a busy intersection with two big streets coming off it at similar angles. Then pretty much all of the buildings got altered and in particular the skyline is unrecognisable from the reference, most of it was skyscrapers that would have shot up out of shot and wrecked the dramatic rooftops that I ended up with. All the neon is bespoke, primarily for copyright reasons, and yes it took ages.

Dropping in the cityscape and sky finished off the piece and added to the sense of depth. I tried adding details like clouds and stars to the sky but not only would it have distracted from the luminous prescence of the city itself but I figured that stuff like stars would be impossible to see considoring the ammount of light pollution and smog associated with most large cities.

SCRAPYARD


Another backdrop from the same project. Once again a photo montage base with photoshop elements. The main trick for this one was taking the montage image, which was all daylight shots and turning it into the nightime scene.

HELL


Here is the second of the two part subset. With these two pieces I used photographic reference as the base for the images. In this images it was a photo mosaic I made of quarries and rock faces and in the ‘Heaven’ image it was the clouds. Although little of the original is evident it is a really good way of establishing texture in pieces like these, plus I cannot imagine how long it would have taken me to do it all by hand, certainly more time than I had in my schedule at the time!!!!

HEAVEN

This was part of a set of backdrops I did for the last big project I was on at Blitz. It is actually the first part of a sub-set of two I did, the second rather unsuprisingly being called ‘HELL’. The spiral elements in the two pieces are a direct link between the two but used in quite different ways.

At this point I should probably say that all the 2D artwork for the majority of my pieces is done in Photoshop with additional 3D work done in Maya. The only other 2D application I am currently using is Alchemy, but i’ll blog more on that later as it deserves a proper mention.

ZOMBIES!


Zombies, everybody loves them and I can’t resist the little shuffling blighters either. This one went together pretty quickly, the monochrome pallete helping on that front plus the (some might say) lazy step repeat approach I used on the zombie horde. Was quite pleased with the composition of this one with the eye being drawn down diagonally through the telegraph pole and the moon then directly onto the chopper’s rotor blade. Perhaps I should have put a hotspot or focal point at the intersection of that line and the horizon…….ah the benefit of hindsight ;p

MONOBIKE 2008



This is quite an old image now but it marks the milestone of the first real image I did based on a 3D model. I was pretty pleased with the results and nowdays I generally us Maya 3D models as the base for final art on industrial designs like this.



MONOBIKE 2008 WORKFLOW
Here is a rough workflow for the Monobike piece. As you can see the 3D model is really basic and I only really did it so that I could get all the curves correct on the wheel element. Also you will notice I then went on to produce traditional lineart over a printout of the 3D model. This is something I have eliminated from my workflow now I have A Cintiq tablet. That tablet has been a real catalyst for lots of good stuff as far as my work is concerned and has changed many things about the way I work.

I had originally only plannd to take the image to a greyscale stage but the more I worked on the piece the more I wanted to see it in all it’s shiny glory and ultimately I couldn’t resist finishing off the piece with all the decals and reflections. The reflections themselves were fudged, I tried a reflection map overlay in Photoshop but was displeased with the results so in the end it was done very roughly by hand…I think it works pretty well

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

WELCOME

Hello everybody. My name is Bryn Williams and I work as a Concept Artist at Blitz Games Studios in Leamington Spa, England. I am looking to expand my web presence and while I don’t have the time to dedicate to getting a website up and running (A newborn baby and a three year old keep me far too distracted for that at the moment and quite frankly I wouldn’t want it any other way) a blog seemed like the obvious choice.


So here we are then. I will try and post artwork as regularly as I can starting with some of my work from the last few years and I’ll try to post descriptions and processes to acompany the art as well. In the meantime check out the link for Blitz Games Studios so you can see the awesome work the company has produced.