Friday, March 30, 2012

Project Review: Game of Thrones Season 2: PART I- 3D Crown Illustrations 2012

 Here is the final finished 3D render that I delivered to Cold Open for the final advertising work done for Game of Thrones.

 Here is the first round crown from the top I adjusted the textures lighting and the antlers designs a bit as we proceeded.

 A very early shot before the jewel and gold materials were fully dialed in but the basics were there and ready.

 This is the almost final crown camera shot used for the last image delivered.

 The low poly model I built of the crown with all subdivision removed from the models.

 Here is the medium resolution model with one level on the base parts and two levels on the bigger antler parts.

 Here is the high polygon view of the final crown I built for season 2 of Game of Thrones on HBO

Project Review
Game of Thrones Season 2 PART I
3D Crown Illustrations 2012

Client: HBO via Cold Open.
Art Director(s): Coby Gewertz, Jeff Barnett, Melchior Lamy.
Project Date: January 2012.

Season two of Game of Thrones, premiers this Sunday on HBO, and after I finished the crown image above for the 2nd season advertising campaign, I decided to watch season one via On Demand, and LOVE IT!

So here is the first post, in a series on the work I did for the project that started in October 2011, and finished this past January, and can be see on the outdoor billboard ads. 

I was contacted by Cold Open, as I have done a few projects with them these fine folks the past few years, and with some ex-BLT'ers in-house there, they are accustomed to using my 3D services for more that just an extruded logo. I was asked this round, to build out a handmade crown to match the crown from the first seasons show that was worn by the King[ R.I.P., Long Live the KING!].

Its design is a series of antlers interlocked with amber jewels to form this great crown that I had a chance to replicate in 3D for the posters and billboards.

I built this out as a full sub-division poly model so I can increase or decrease resolution as needed. I also exported the file to a web team for animated crown FX for banner ads etc. I rendered this out in Final Render using the dirt shader, to add just enough aging to make it match the look and feel from this great series.

I also built out the new crown for the boy king, as well as a few added items I will be posting moving ahead in the next weeks to come.

Cheers, THOM

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Project Review: S.W.A.T. the Movie 2003-PART III-Tactical Personnel Van

 A straight on back shot of the S.W.A.T. van that I built for the feature film marketing. This was designed around a few comps done by the team of Art Directors on the 'pod' for the project back in 2003 while at BLT and Associates as 3D Designer.

 A Worms Eye angle looking up with the back door on this SWAT van, with the back opened up with a few cast members coming at 'Ya.

 A low angled back view with a bit of 'dutch' on the camera, with the back closed up again.

 This overhead shot shows that all details were limited to what was seen in the renders so no front or even side details.

 I went to great detail to be accurate on the door locks and stays that keep the back doors open on these vans so that they would be accurate in style for the iconic vans used by S.W.A.T.

  Here is that back shot in polygons so you can see the level of detail that went into the individual parts on the van.

S.W.A.T. The Movie 2003PART III
The Tactical Personnel Van

Client: Columbia Pictures Inc. via BLT and Associates.
Art Directors: n/a
Project Date: Winter 2002-3.

It this third posting for the work I did for the TV to film adaptation of S.W.A.T., from almost a decade back now. I did this work while I was still an in-house 3D designer at BLT and associates back in 2003. I had done a couple dozen 3D Logos for the film posted here, as well as helping out with the teaser trailer.

In today s blog post we look at the back end of a typical Personnel van used by S.W.A.T. teams in the past, so they wanted an iconic look for the teaser with a van doors.

I built this 3D scene out as all hi-rez, as this was before I perfected my quad modeling techniques over the last decade,  and this was a fast turn around as usual so I did a speed model of the van.

I built out just the back of the van, and a bit of the sides, since we were just creating teaser shots for a few comps using the backside of this van for the posters.

I have a few more posts on S.W.A.T., that I will try and post up these in the future, so keep an eye out.

You can View the logos in PART I here.

You can view the M4 Carbine I built here for PART II

Cheers, THOM

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Behind the Art: The Under Drawings PART II-ScoobyDoo

Here is the under drawing I did for the Scooby Doo Project with Heavy Iron from the 90's for this crypt area of the video game. You can view the final here

One of my favorite sketches for the Scooby Doo game, was this overhead on the above ground graveyard. Here is this final as delivered.

A Secret Laboratory[ final here ] in a rock cave from Scooby Doo the Video Game from the 90's.

The underdrawing I did for this shipwreck cove from Scooby Doo, with the final here.

Behind the Art
The Under Drawings
PART II Scooby Doo

Today I have posted PART II  in this new series of under drawings for various 2D projects.

The under drawing sets the look for the final in a way that is still rough enough to change and add details too, but also clean enough so that my "Non-Artist; clients can easily see the main direction, and enough of my intent to sign off on the next step with the details.

Today I have posed up four examples for the Scooby Doo project I did in the nineties for Heavy Iron Studios here in SoCal, and I posted that work here, if you are interested.

Now, the under drawings are not just a part of the way I create a piece for a client, but also an integral part of the process of approvals I have with them, so I can get sign off for the time consuming final line work stage as well as any thing else before time and $$ is used up on the details, without a clear picture of the overall look and proportions needed for the project.

 I usually put an under drawing over a hand made perspective grid I have made using ship curves, but for these examples, I put a quick grid on the under drawings themselves as seen above.

I do most of these on a 8.5 x 11 piece of generic copy paper, which is abundant and cheap for this. I usually do the final overlay on Clearprint or 'Vincent' Vellum.

You can view PART I of my under drawing posts here.

Cheers, THOM

Monday, March 26, 2012

Project Review: X-Men 2: PART III-3D Logos from a Single Vector

 A double plate 3D Logo design I did for X-Men 2, with some mild pitting in the scratched steel face.

 A glass plate with a heavy bevel and a thin metal plate on top for this X-Men 2 Log I did back a decade ago.

 The top X-Men 3D Logo objects have a heavy thick bevel and the holding device has about half as much. Sitting on a gloss black surface.

 Here I did a hollow face logo for X-Men, with a very big bevel in a warm environment for lighting.

 Here is a deep extrusion coming up from infinity to reveal the above logo with a much deeper holding post.

 A solid two plate design with the X objects pulled out from a bit in 3D space for this X-Men 3D Logo.

 For this alternate I revered the type move and put the "2" out front, I also then cut out the insides to make a deep pocket in there for heavy shadows on a simple x, and a 2.

Project Review
3D Logo Designs from a Single Vector File

Client: 20th Century Fox Via BLT and Associates.
Art Director: Zack Ris
Date: Spring 2001

I had well over 200 logos I did for X-Men 2 from a decade back now, when I was an in-house 3D  Designer over at BLT and Associates, and today I have details on one sub-set all based on a single Vector file.

Part of what was great over at BLT, was that an Art Director would give me a single vector file designed in 2D, and also give me plenty of design space to create a dozen solves, not just one. 

Since I am versed in 3D design space,and most importantly, I was taught to think in three dimensions via my Industrial Design Degree from A.C.C.D., I always see a flat vector in multiple solves at delivery in 3D. I usually drop a few suggestions to an Art Director, but typically I do just one design for each logo, but here on X-Men 2, I had time to do about twelve per vector file.

I will be posting a few more solves from other vectors in the future for this X-Men 2 series I have here on my design blog.

You can view PART I here and PART II here, or you can search the blog using X-Men to see my X-Men 3, and First Class stuff as well.

Cheers, THOM

Friday, March 23, 2012

Project Review: Drive Angry 2011: Blue-Ray-3D Animated Menus

 Here is a final frame from the HD animation for the FBI Badge and leather case.

 Because the Drive Angry badge spins we do see the back so this is a full 360 degree model.

 Here is the Polygon view with mesh smooth ON to see the basic form of the model.

 A "Virtual" necklace worn by Billy Burke as Jonah King in Drive Angry used in the menus.

 Here is the low poly model of the necklace from Drive Angry.

 Here we see it with the mesh-smooth [subdivision added] applied to the above base mesh.

Project Review
Drive Angry 2011 PART I
Blue-Ray-3D Animated Menus

Client: via  Summit Home Entertainment via The Cimarron Group.
Art Director: Brian Larson.
Project Date: February 2011.

About one year ago I did my last job for The Cimarron Group, who were my full time employers for about six years from late 2003 to October 2009. As budgets dropped so did my contributions to Blue Ray Menus, but for Drive Angry, I got the call, and helped render out nearly 500 HD frames of animation for the menus for Brian Larson,with whom I have done a few projects posted here with in the past.

In this PART I posting, I have two main props from the film I recreated in 3D, and I also animated the assets to fly into camera and hit the virtual windshield, our TV screen, as you make your choices in the menu.

In the film there is a Devil Worshiping Cult Leader who is the nemesis of Nick Cage in the film, and I built out his necklace from the film, all Sub-D, as well as the badge for the "Accountant" who is chasing him down from Hell with an FBI badge that magically appears, with his coin toss[ I did that too look for a PART II soon]. William Fichtner does an outstanding job as 'The Accountant', IMO.

Cheers, THOM

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Project Review: The Phantom 2040-PART LXXXXVi[96th]- More Character Color Keys

 A BIOT Mechanic in an orange Jumpsuit with a Readout mounted to his forearm.

 A Female BIOT named Pavlova from that episode. If I remember she was 'self aware" and unique.

 A Short BIOT on tracks, seen here as a sketched design.

 Here is Guran in a trench coat and mirrored glasses.

Phantom 2040-PART LXXXXVI[96th]
More Character Color Keys

Client: Hearst Animation Productions.
Art Director: Myself.
Project Date Spring 1993.

This is my 96th post for the work I did on the TV show, The Phantom 2040 from in the early ninety's, and today I have posted a set of marker comp color keys for a variety of characters.

As Art Director for the 52 episodes,  I was responsible for the overall visual themes and color language used for all characters, sets, and props for the series, and since we were doing the production digitally we did all color keys in markers and chalk rather than Cel Vinyl.

I always love taking my Conceptual Designs to the next phase and to bring the to life with color. As a Transportation graduate from ACCD, we are trained specialists in using markers and chalk to render out our concepts, as that was the preferred method prior to the advent of the digital painting technique that has replaced it, so I went with it, since the renderings were scanned and PMS colors were assigned to match on Korea for the final production.

If you are a FAN of The Phantom 2040, and on FACEBOOK, there is a group for that....  here.

There is a TAG on the list to the RIGHT for other Phantom 2o4o entry's, but you can click this as well.

Cheers, THOM

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Project Review: Mazda 2-3D Illustration 2009- PART I

 The little Mazda Racer posed with a Flag for the Print Ads for the Launch of the Mazda 2 back in 2010.

 Each render had a layer with a color picker matte[ Smart 3D ] to use to grab individual areas on the image by the Art Director.

 A relaxed pose done for a print ad for the Mazda 2 ad campaign.

 An early pose with the simple reflection we originally used in the face shield.

 Here is a shot of the Mazda Racer winning First Place with Trophy in hand.

Project Review
Mazda 2 3D Illustrations for Print Advertising.

Client Mazda USA via Rhythm and Hues.
Art Director: Marta Knudsen.
Project Date: Dec 2009- Summer 2010.

This is my first post covering the 3D character Illustration work I did for the Mazda 2 launch done by Rhythm and Hues studios. I have a soft spot for Rhythm and Hues, since my first job after graduation from Art Center was produced by R-n-H, and as it would happen, it too was a Mazda job as this one was.

I was contracted to help with the print advertising work that was to accompany the CGI done in house for the TV spots.

I helped to establish a system of production with my off site studio, and was able to cut the production time for each pose[ about a dozen separate projects], to just over a day of work from a few days each. I recommended that the animators rig the model in a way as that each part was a separate skin so I could re-texture them quickly in my program, since we were on different platforms we did not have a pass over type of file. They use Light wave for TV spots and I am a 3DS max user, so I got FBX exports, and used them for my 3D Illustrations. It cut my cost, but helped my good client meet their need.

All were rendered at about 9000 pixels tall with a 10 passes of render elements, so the shadows, highlights, diffuse, ambient, etc. were all separated on a layer so the key Art Director, Marta Knudsen could easily adjust.

I also provided a matte color picker as these 'SMART 3D" assets make implementation a snap for the in-house Art Directors as all masking is simplified greatly.

Cheers, THOM

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Behind the Art: The Under Drawings PART I

 This is an under drawing I did for the Wildstorm Productions GEN 13 Movie from back in the mid 90's as seen here, from this post.

 I had the honor of working on the Raveonettes Music Video "Heart of Stone" here, I did a few production design sketches including the above one here, which won an Academy Award for Art Direction, and so I got a little recognition here.

Here is a partial under-drawing for the wide panoramic curvilinear perspective shot of Main Street here, done for Disney Interactive for the VMK[ Virtual Magic Kingdom] project from back in the 90's as well.

 Inside the big clown head in the middle of the Fantasyland map here, was a circus tent like game. Here is the rough under drawing.
 I actually started to flesh out that above view, and scanned it in progress as we see here in this Fantasyland design. This room eventually made it into the final single disc release.

Behind the Art
The Under Drawings

Today I have posted a series of under drawings for various projects that have been posted here on my design blog over the last few years as a PART I, in a new ongoing series I will do over the next few months.

Under drawing is the practice of doing at least two passes on any design with this first pass drawing used to fully block out a shot, to get basic proportions.

 I usually put an under drawing over a hand made perspective grid I have made using ship curves, but for some the grid is on the under drawing itself as well.

The first great advantage to this method of sketching allows you to be able to make bold design choices at the sketch time, since the piece you are on is NOT the final, so you are a bit more free on this stage. 

I also tend to scan and send out this stage to a client who is strapped for cash[ everyone now!], to give them a better idea of what I am planning on doing next. 

The last advantage is that the under drawing takes a short time, about 1/10th the final line and shading stage, so if you want to make any changes, the time to do this is when it is blocked out in the under drawing, BEFORE the time and cash have been spent on a possible differing camera view, or design choice.

Cheers, THOM

Monday, March 19, 2012

Project Review: Laptop PC- Stock 3D Model 2007

 Here is the main shot of the generic laptop in a gun-metal plastic case.

 A close up detailing the stickers and USB  ports on the side along with the Blue-Ray DVD drive.

 A few lower resolution[ 960 x 540 DVD menu] renders of the Laptop model I designed and built out.

 A Polygon Mesh view showing the details built out in this laptop model.

 A close up of the USB port side of the laptop detailing the start button, speaker grills etc.

Project Review
Laptop PC- Stock 3D Model 2008

Client: The Cimarron Group.
Art Director: Myself.
Project Date: Summer 2007

While I ran the little 3D department of one, at The Cimarron Group, I built up a library of 3D assets for a variety of jobs that had come in, but I also anticipated what I might need, and more than once, I needed a generic laptop, so I built one out quickly for a few presentations.

I used in for Neurocomp Systems for the EEG meter design they used a typical laptop on the cart so I had this available for that render. I also used it for the WB Live website renders, to illustrate how to transfer data from an iPhone to a Laptop, though they ended up buying a Mac model instead. I also used it for some blue Ray menus for Sex Drive, for the Home Entertainment department as well. 

The model was built very quickly, as I was in between projects and fit it in. I rendered it in various materials for the differing jobs but it worked out well animated with the lid, as well as the lights etc. I plan a full quad version that I will re-design and sell in the future.

Having had 3 years of product design at Art Center certainly helps to get a quick generic product design that emulates what you would find in a real store, but still be generic enough not to stand out as a specific model of a Mac or Dell etc.

Virtual stock photography has the advantage, in that the corporate logos need not be covered up on a Laptop like this, you simple leave them off or make one up. 

This also saves money, in that you can buy the image outright without any added usage fees for added applications that a stock photo usually has go along with its use.

Cheers, THOM

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Project Review: Virtual Magic Kingdom PART VII-Curvilinear Perspective Wrap-Frontierland

 Here is a scan of the clean Curvilinear Perspective Grid I made from North , East, South, and West vanishing points for these wraps.

 Here is the 38" wide Frontierland full HUB sketch I did back in the mid nineties.

 Here I overlay the grid over my sketch so you can see how I followed the base grid  for my drawing.

 Here is a close-up shot of the far LEFT of the sketch looking to the gate.

 The middle of the  wide sketch with the various old buildings.

 A close Up of the RIGHT side of the wrap with the Haunted Mansion there at the end on the hill.

Project Review: 
Virtual Magic Kingdom Video Game PART VII
Frontierland Curvilinear Perspective Sketches

Client: Disney Interactive
Art Director: Myself
Project Date: Summer 1996

This is my seventh post in my series on the Virtual Magic Kingdom [ VMK] project I did for Disney Interactive back in 1996, and with this post, I cover  third HUB perspective wrap that I , and this time I worked on a old muddy, rutted road with the town of Frontierland smack in the middle. You can view the rest of Frontierland here.

We put the Haunted Mansion on on end of the town, and the big Gate on the other that leads back to the HUB. You can also see this in my large overhead sketch here. A fun exercise to develop the overall look and be able to see it in 360 degrees as well.

I have taught fish-eye perspective using grids for years, it certainly helps you visualize a real dimensional space, as this sketch was then built out in 3D for the game in Alias Wavefront[ Pre-Maya days] by the talented 3D team.

You may review my earlier VMK posts in these link-a-dinks:


Cheers, THOM