This illustration was done to demo a pipeline of 3d to 2d. This pipeline started out in film and game studios during the concept art phase. The 2d artists would use lowpoly, crude 3d items and paint over them to flesh out details, colors and materials or do a light pass on a scene before the level artists and the lighting artists would actually implement it in the engine. But lately, technology has evolved and it no longer takes a lot of knowledge to use 3d for presenting ideas, light them and texture them. Marmoset 3, Unreal, Unity and even Blender Game give you the option to build up a scene, add materials to models and light it realistically for an impressive presentation. I use this pipeline to do illustration. If the idea is solid enough, then you can cut down a lot of time in the painting of details phase.
So let’s break it down.
- The Ideea: a white, good sorceress during the money shot. She has a bird companion which she summons; it represents her warrior spirit and her “extended fist”. The girl is the embodiment of good, but a strong, independent woman, capable of fighting strong opposition. The shot needs to look empowering, powerful, memorable (and other seo-friendly industry-standard pop-culture sticky terms). That makes it “sellable”. Very important.
- Costume design: somewhere between the classic Valkyries and your generic – run*of*the*mill – rpg sorceress class lies our design. Catchy, sexy – bling – bling yet simple and sugestive.
- The scene setup: a rough sketch of how the characters are set up, what they do, what relation is between them and a hint of the environment. Oh, about the environment – it’s set to support the presentation of our 2 subjects. Anything that can empower the idea that the sorceress is clean, noble, “urban”&”high value” if you like. I could’ve placed her in a cave but…not the same effect!
- 3d Block-in: I use Blender (it’s free) to set up my scene with the architectural elements, posed characters and most importantly – the lights. Blender Engine is like a Dacia 1300 car (also known as Renault 12): it’s awful at first drive, but after 2000 km you start to appreciate its simpleness and easiness to fix problems. And in general it gets you there even if you choose to drive through Boulderland.
5 and onwards to the final image: this is the simple process of painting, overpainting, repainting, suprapainting and postpainting. You know, like in the good old days.
This was done in around 5-7 hours as an exercise of speed modeling in Blender. The idea was to create a little scene that could serve as a set where I could place cameras and take shots at varying angles and focal points. In the end I used the Blender Game mode to add crude light and mood. I didn’t use anything but default materials except for some of the neons and LEDs (where i just set a color and a >0 value for emit) and some fog. That’s it, the idea was to achieve a 3d base for overpainting with the most basic of tools in a short time. As for the mannequins that populate the scene I chose not to go with DAZ because they would take too much to pose, export, import, place, correct issues, re-pose, re-import, rinse and repeat. Therefore I made those bulky mannequins that i could twist on the spot.
I am definetly going to streamline my 3d piepline for 2d illustration, the advantages are great in a concept art environment.
Here are some shots I took while trying to light the scene. I had in mind a Mars base / medium distress type of mood. In the end I went all Alien 3 on it 🙂
First post for 2017! Let there be many more like this one!
And now… the process!
- I wanted to expand the concept from my previous piece: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/BOKr6 So i started off with that sketch and expanded it.
- Here I needed to see a color mockup. Easily done by working with adjustment layers.
3. I knew i wanted to have more detail. The idea of this character was to be a Shakespearean self questioning robot, made up from various mechanical pieces and organic matter. To represent the essence of flesh and machine brought together rather forcefully.
4.The character was supposed to hold a human skull in his hand. But the painting was not very clear. So i went in Blender and made a 3d model that I later integrated in the final painting.
Daily sketch no2.
Keep them coming, ice cream man.
What if we sent androids on the Moon to build a colony? They don’t die, they are autonomous, they can be controlled from far away and they don’t vote!
Meet Jonie, the space marine. He’s green.
A speedpainting I did using a rough 3d base. Spaceships, space station and typical sci fi stuff.
And here is a process log. I did a few color variations before settling on the greensih one. All in all around it took me under 3 hours, i think.
What do you do on a perfect autumn Saturday? You paint cyborgs and skulls, because that’s what you like to do! This one took me around 3 hours, but the easiest and quickest part was putting color and lights on it. I included the process images for a comparison of my workflow.
I made this painting thinking how much technology is part of our lives. This is a darker side of my introspection. Human race has evolved from nothing to being it’s own god. We’ve understood the laws of nature and we managed to develop technology and use it as a means to ease life, but also to control and destroy life. In the end, if we are not careful, we might end up consumed by this very same technology. Thus, the Dawn of Gods.
And now…el processo!
Sketch for fun, sci fi squid concept art. I might continue this in the future.