Gillian’s Place

July 27th, 2016



Gillian’s Place

I started this one a while ago, after I finished ready “Stranger In A Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein. Early in the story we are in an apartment where the floor is covered with a carpet of grass. I already had the idea before I read this book but the book helped me to flesh out the idea. So the inspiration for this scene came, in parts, from the book. There we also have this lady character Gillian who loved the grass carpet in the apartment of a friend and I wanted to give her her own apartment. =)

I used this project to dig a little deeper into 3d modeling and how I can use it for my ideas. I also tried myself on basic cloth simulation for the sheets. So ultimately there went quite some time into this scene because a lot of it went into experimenting. For the sculpture I also experimented with subsurface scattering to give it a quasi translucent look that captures the light. The modeling part happened in C4D and the scene setup in Vue. Photoshop brought it all together and I refined and fixed a lot of things I wasn’t too happy with in the renders.

6000×3000 – C4D – Vue – The Plant Factory – Photoshop – Lightroom

Had my fun with this one and hope you enjoy the view. :)

Wireframe 1
Plate 1
Plate 2
Plate 3
Print Detail

wallpapers available

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

Regards

signed

Beasts Shall Rise – Webinar

July 24th, 2016

Beasts Shall Rise Webinar Walkthrough

Here a couple of infos to the upcoming Digital Art Live webinar where I explain the creative process to my Beasts Shall Rise project. If you are interested and you want to participate go here and register for the event. Enter the promocode “vue10″ for a $10 discount! The webinar will take place in a Fuze meeting and you will get all info via email. You need to install the client software but you don’t require an account to attend the webinar!

Find the registration page: here
Start Time: 20:00 BST (London)/21:00 GMT (Berlin)/12:00 PDT (Los Angeles)/15:00 EDT (New York) – The duration is estimated to 1.5 to 2hrs.

If you decide to take part in the upcoming webinar you will also receive an HD recording of the ‘From Here I Can Almost See The Stars’ webinar for free. It’s a scifi cityscape project where I already covered a lot topics in regards to post work for example. So in the ‘Beasts Shall Rise’ webinar I plan to go into more Vue/3d related material. There is a lot of ground to cover and time flies when talking about these projects. It’s insane. :D So below you find a list with topics I plan to go into. Or better ‘hope’ to go into before the time runs out. I want to make clear though that it’s a project walkthrough and not a tutorial. Even though I plan to go into some practical stuff here and there.

Introduction:

Inspiration, Composition, Used Elements

Exploring The Scene:

Setup within Vue, Terrain, City, Dragons

Terrain Manipulation:

The Photoshop File and 16bit

The City:

Closer look at the setup

The Dragons:

Working with DAZStudio & Vue

Photoshop:

Last but not least we'll take a quick look into Photoshop and how the post work brought everything together.

See you there!

Regards
signed

3D World Magazine Feature

July 10th, 2016

3d World Magazine Feature

I’m very proud that one of my personal favs, “From Here I Can Almost See The Stars“, got a feature in the 3d World Magazine. As usual it’s a fantastic thing to see your work in print next to work by so many other great artists. Good stuff!

Find the magazine here!

Regards
signed

Rocky 5 – Movie Review

July 6th, 2016

movie reviewI guess this is more a re-evaluation than a review. Over the past two weeks I rewatched Rocky 1, 2, 3 and 5. Part 4 I have seen often enough and it’s a fun flick for its own crazy reasons. Part 5 though, I think I have seen only once in the early 90s. I could barely remember anything except a rough plot outline. Now part 5 is universally seen as the rotten tomato of the series. After rewatching it I cannot exactly understand why that is. Is it a good movie? Maybe. Is it as bad as people generally say it is? I think it’s not.

The fifth movie in the Rocky series continues telling the story of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and his family. I don’t think it’s necessary to explain all the background details of the series since Rocky pretty much is a pop culture icon and everyone knows this character. The movie starts with a flashback to what happened in the fourth film. We see how hard the fight between Rocky and Ivan Drago was and what price Rocky had to pay for winning that fight. So the 5th movie continues right after the fight and connects the 4th with the 5th movie rather well in my opinion. We learn that eveb though Rocky won the fight he did get injured and decides to stop boxing and retire. He wants to take care of his family and I guess we can all agree that he deserves some rest at this point. Out of nowhere shady boxing promoter George Washington Duke (Richard Grant) appears and wants to force Rocky into a new fight. Rocky declines. Rocky’s wife Adrian (Talia Shire) finally got his husband where she wants him and hopes for a peaceful time now with him and their son. Destiny strikes when Paulie (Burt Young) confesses that the family accountant basically wrecked their whole money on a shady real estate deal. Rocky immediately tries to turn Adrian around and wants her to allow him to box again. They need money very bad. Adrian refuses and Rocky respects her decision. Plus the fact that his health status isn’t the best. So the family sells the big house and pretty much all of its contents and moves back into their old neighborhood in Philadelphia. It’s not a good neighborhood and we can see how ashamed Rocky is about that. Even if the people there love and respect him. He managed to get out of the slums and now he’s right back where he startet. I think there is some good acting by Stallone here. He hates it to be there again. But he deals with the situation and decides to reopen Mickey’s old boxing gym. The place where he grew to be the champion he became. In the meanwhile that shady boxing promoter is still on his heels trying to get Rocky to do another fight. Suddenly Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison) shows up and wants to train with Rocky and learn from him. Rocky sees the potential in the young man and agrees to train him. They soon have success and Tommy is corrupted by the fame and changes sides to that promoter guy. Last but not least it finals in a confrontation between Rocky and Tommy.

The movie deals with a couple of things that make it much more a drama than the action movies we had in part 3 and 4. It takes a far more personal route and reflects on Rocky’s career. Something that the movie ‘Rocky Balboa’, many years later, continues and does a little better. The character of Tommy Gunn is the son Rocky always wanted and he focusses a lot on him. He sees a lot of himself in him and wants to shape him into a successful fighter. In the meanwhile Rocky misses it to take care of his son when he needs his father the most. And it’s not like Rocky isn’t proud of his son and doesn’t like him. On the contrary, he loves his son and we get moments that prove it. But Rocky is disctracted by his work with Tommy. Rocky always was a rather simple minded character, without having a perspective on the broader spectrum too much. That’s why his wife Adrian and to a certain degree even his brother-in-law Paulie are there to guide him. They see what’s happening and try to bring Rocky back into focus. But his focus is entirely directed at getting his family out of the slums again. And his only chance is making it big and having success with Tommy.

I guess the quality of the film depends on how you watch the film. If you see it as the standalone product that is Rocky 5 then I can agree that it’s not a particularly good movie. A lot of elements feel forced and a little ham-fisted. Especially some of the youth rebellion parts of Rocky’s son (played actually not too bad by Sage Stallone). But I think the movie can (maybe should) also be seen as part of a larger story that brings the character of Rocky to a full circle and kind of closes his arc. When watching all the movies back to back I think this fifth movie works much better. We have seen the character grow and develop. Seen him win and lose. And in the fifth film we get an aftermath of his life. And it has some strong drama moments. Especially one scene where Rocky and Adrian talk something out outside on the open street. That’s a great scene where we again see how much Adrian admires Rocky and wants to help him while he is struggling with his self-doubts. A strong scene played very well by Stallone and Talia Shire.

The focus in this movie is clearly more personal and I guess after Rocky 3 and 4, that were kinda sorta pure showy movies, people wanted or expected more spectacle. But we have a movie that is more like the very first one. Clearly not as good but in the same category of it being more drama than action. It is a good thing that it shows something different instead of repeating the same stuff over and over again. It has good intentions and I also think it has heart. So looking at it with the whole series backing it… it does work for me. Much better than this ridiculous fourth film (even if it’s a lot of fun!).

7.0/10

Rocky 5 on IMDb

MOSF – Escape Velocity

June 22nd, 2016

MOSF - Escape Velocity

I’m very proud to have the opportunity to announce that my work will displayed at the Museum Of Science Fiction’s “Escape Velocity” event, July 1st to 3rd, in Washington DC. It will be displayed via LCD screen wall in extra large size. I personally will not have the chance to be there but I’m sure it looks pretty awesome in a size like this. =D However… they managed to have a neat event with many (more famous than me) guests there. So if you’re in the area and you happen to be a scifi fan… it may be worth checking out!

MOSF – Escape Velocity – July 1st to 3rd – Check Here For Info

Regards
signed

Captain America: Civil War – Movie Review

May 30th, 2016

movie reviewAfter seeing the second Captain America movie “The Winter Soldier” not too long ago, I was rather stoked for “Civil War”. The second movie was quite an interesting mix and almost an espionage thriller to a certain degree. Really enjoyed it. So I was excited to see where “Cap” will go in his third movie. Now I’m very tempted to call “Civil War” a version 2.5 “Avengers” movie. And I think most of you who have seen it will likely agree. It even does a lot of things better then Avengers 2. This review might contain mild spoilers.

After the fall of Shield, at the end of the second movie, our group of heroes decided to take things in their own hands and formed the “Avengers Initiative”. Which is basically a club where all these super heroes hang out and fight crime together. Since the third Iron Man movie we see how all these adventures take their toll on certain members and especially Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). He’s having problems with the responsibility that comes with the power and struggles with all of it. This peaks in the second Avengers movie where his plan to make the world more safe backfires and ruins a complete city, along with a lot of collateral damage and lost lives. So he is backing a plan to bind the Avengers Initiative to the United Nations. Cap (Chris Evans) on the other hand wants the Avengers to be independent. Both of them have their own motivations and it is very hard to choose sides. Since it’s a Captain America movie they want to make us lean towards Cap of course. Then we also have the Bucky Barnes plotline continue. Plus a revenge plotline that connects to the destroyed city from Avangers 2 with this third Captain America movie.

Marvel movies often seem to fall into the trap wanting to explore too many things in one single film. And this trap strikes here now too. The reason why the The Winter Soldier was so good was because it was a straight forward story without straying away into other topics too much. In this third installment you have a political plot, a revenge plot and a personal plotline for Cap and Tony Stark. Plus the fact that they have tons of characters that demand room and space for introduction. So yes, there is a lot going on and it not always works so well. Not a lot of room to explore all the topics that, for themselfes, are rather interesting. But ultimately feel a little rushed in this film. We still talk about a 2 1/2h movie again.

Another trap this movie falls into is the superhero action scenes. Again very repetetive and too long. Granted, the airport standoff and main fight sequence was quite fun. They still manage to include surprises but how long will that work for them? Well, it did here. While the fight sequences do get boring after a while, I still have to admit that they are well executed and follow a certain choreography. It’s not just senseless facepunching. It follows a plan and I can appreciate that. It is cool to really see teamwork play a big part in these fights. All of the characters work hand in hand. Still, after a while you become numb and want it to be over. The quiet scenes are much more interesting character moments. But they often feel more like transition scenes to more action setpieces. Why not turn that method around? Why not condense the action a little bit and not flood the audience with it. That would make the action scenes much more awesome and impactful.

What can be said about the cast that isn’t already said or well documented. Most of the characters we meet here are already known from the previous movies. And all of the returning cast does a fine enough job. We also get new characters for this movie. And all of them are introduced really well. No one falls short and everyone gets their time. Especially the introduction of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) worked nicely. They completely skipped the origin story for Spiderman and thank god for that. Then we also get introduced to ‘Black Panther’ (Chadwick Boseman). Another new character that will soon get his own movie. Civil War definitely benefits from the fact that there were so many more movies before it. It doesn’t have to bother about laying ground work and can jump right into its own story. Something the recent BatmanVSuperman movie did not have and ultimately fell flat on its nose.

When it comes to the locations of the film and me living in Germany it was of course rather cool to see that large parts of the movie play in Germany. But there are a couple of edits that make not much sense when it comes to locations. Bucky Barnes has a hideout/appartment in Bucharest where he is confronted by Cap. Soon they’re ambushed by a police force that has clearly written the german word Polizei on their gear. So it was confusing. Where are we now? Still in Bucharest or in Germany? Which again makes no sense since the confrontation scene pretty much immediately happened after the movie told us we’re in Bucharest. However… maybe it’s a little nitpicky. Literally no one will notice this detail except for a couple of german folks. We also have Daniel Brühl in this movie! Which is amazing since I really enjoy his work and find it fantastic that he gets his shot at bigger productions as well. Fantastic actor and luckily has a part in this film where he can show his skills. He elevated this film for sure. Since he is playing a bad guy that is, for once, not another superherokindofbeing and just a guy out for revenge. I liked that.

Civil War might actually be the better ‘Avengers’ movie when compared to Avengers 2. The cast and the interaction between the characters kind of fell rather flat in Avengers 2. Except in that one party scene and later at Hawkeye’s home. In Civil War we have some more serious undertones and topics that demand our characters to be more focussed (for lack of a better word). It’s not just “let’s have some fun and beat up some bad guys”. This time it’s not really clear who the bad guys are and they may be your best friends. Even though I think that they could have played with that more by reducing these unnecessarily long fight sequences.

would that movie work without the groundwork that’s been done in all these previous movies? Absolutely not. Do you need to see the previous movies? Unfortunately yes. You can skip the Thor, Hulk and Guardians Of The Galaxy movies but the rest… you should have seen to understand what is at stake in Civil War. Is Civil War better than Winter Soldies? In my opinion no. But it’s very solid in its ways moving the story ahead.

7.7/10

Captain America: Civil War on IMDb

Artwork Walkthrough

May 28th, 2016

3dtotal.com Walkthrough

For everyone who cannot get enough about how to create a scifi cityscape, I wrote a little something for 3dtotal.com. It’s not a precise tutorial but I’m going through the creative process behind my ‘From Here I Can Almost See The Stars‘ artwork. A cool thing to be featured on that site. Check it out for the walkthrough and maybe their gallery for some world class inspiration!

Find the article here:Making of a Sci-Fi cityscape

Regards
signed

Digital Art Live Issue 8

May 15th, 2016

Digital Art Live Issue 8

Great issue with a focus on the future of mankind on Mars. Along with a great collection of scifi artworks! Incl my ‘Red Sands‘ & ‘Terraformer‘ pieces. Well done guys!

Digital Art Live Issue 8

Regards
signed

Batman V Superman – Movie Review

May 5th, 2016

movie reviewIf this movie does one thing right. Just one thing! Then it’s giving us Ben Affleck as Batman. And the interpretation of Alfred is really interesting! All the rest… is really strange. If there is a movie that should have a sticker on its poster that suggests the audience to turn their brains off for the viewing, it’s this one. Normally I try to write reviews spoiler free but I really don’t care for this one. The whole movie is in the trailers.

So the movie starts with a flashback of how Bruce Wayne’s parents get murdered (again). How many times do we have to see that part actually?! It’s well shot since Zack Snyder knows how to work with camera angles and all. But it’s boring. We know that part already. After that scene we get another flashback to the end of Man Of Steel. Zod and Superman are fighting it out, right in the middle of Metropolis. Destruction porn. Literally. We follow an aged Bruce Wayne who is in the middle of all that destruction, trying to get to a Wayne Enterprises building right in the middle of Metropolis. Now the movie reaches a fascinating level of stupidity. Bruce Wayne can’t reach the building and calls a guy who is in charge of that building and employees to tell him to evacuate. The guy looks like he’s having no idea why, until he looks out the window where an alien spaceship is doing some serious damage. In context with Man Of Steel that spaceship is there for a while now. And this chief of staff guy doesn’t even notice it or orders the evacuation of the building. Meanwhile two godlike beings fight their way through the city, wreaking havoc and death, in the entire area. Evacuation? Why? Is that a statement on capitalism? Wayne Enterprises seems to have a ‘no evacuation’ policy for some reason. The movie would be over in less than two hours if the people working for Wayne Enterprises would have some brains! If I were in a big city and a giant spaceship comes from the sky… fuck that job, I’m gone! This movie makes no sense from minute one. So instead of a good compact less than 2hrs movie, we get another behemoth with 152 minutes. And they already threaten us with a directors cut kind of release on Bluray. And that’s just one stupid thing in this film.

The plot is as simple as it can be. 2 years after the events of Man Of Steel we’ve defeated the aliens and Superman is seen with a very critical eye. Of course, after all the senseless destruction he caused while fighting Zod. There are some heavy religious undertones that would have worked great if the movie was written better. Bruce Wayne doesn’t like Superman because he’s the reason why his building collapsed and killed so many Wayne Enterprises employees. All of a sudden Lex Luthor shows up and without explanation is very interested in all the alien tech that is around now. He stumbles uppon some Kryptonite and plans to use the Kryptonian technology to build a Superkryptonian out of Zod’s remains. Lex gets permission by the goverment to work on all the technology and manages to enter the wreck of Zod’s ship. Said ship, even two years later, is still right in the middle of Metropolis. (Of course!) If I translate the movie right then Lex has a problem with beings that are too godlike. So he creates another godlike being to fight the other godlike being! Simple! Come on movie… sigh.

So now let’s focus on some positive points. And there definitely are good things in this film. The already mentioned performance of Ben Affleck is the most interesting and good part of this film. I would say that 80% of the Batman stuff works. All the other stuff that is sprinkled into this film seems to disrupt the Batman movie that is in this movie. I also liked Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. The character definitely needed some clearly explained motivation for his actions but I kind of enjoyed him. Amy Adams as Lois Lane looked cute, got something more to do and does a nice job with what she is given compared to Man Of Steel. And I want to see a standalone Alfred movie that explains his past and how he got so badass. Jeremy Irons is great in that part and I enjoyed him as much as Ben Affleck.

Back to the bad points again. Throughout the movie there are multiple attempts to introduce more of DC Comic’s character catalogue. Aside of the introduction of The Flash and Wonder Woman these parts fell completely flat. Aquaman looked ridiculous and I really cannot see how they want to make a complete movie out of that guy. I have my doubts about Wonder Woman as well. Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman that looks the part, but she is a bad actress. I also still don’t feel Henry Cavill’s Superman. He’s so bland and we get the impression that he is constantly miserable and unhappy. Lois and Clark are already a couple by the way. The movie completely skips that part. Why put positive emotions or romance into a Superman movie?! (That’s sarcasm.)

Let’s get to the meat of this movie! The Batman/Superman fight sequence. Beside the fact that it’s boring and repetetive (like most of the superhero battles throughout the past 10 years) it is cringe worthy how this clash of the titans ends. Within 30 seconds these two guys, who just beat the crap out of each other, are best friends forever. Man it must have been hell for Ben Affleck to not be able to rewrite parts of this film. He’s a fantastic screenwriter and director. Poor Ben. This film could have benefited from a gifted writer so much. There are so many scenes where you are asking yourself “did he just say that?” or “did he just do that?”. It’s actually a quite amazing mess.

In the end of the movie all our heroes team up to fight “Doomsday”, the abomination Lex Luthor has created and unleashed onto Metropolis. Now the character of Doomsday isn’t even a real character. He’s like a walking nuclear bomb. Nothing more. Doesn’t even say a single word. To avoid a disaster finale like in Man Of Steel, the movie goes out of its way to make clear that all the areas are either evacuated or abandoned. Two minutes after the big fight starts, someone in a situation room says that Metropolis has been evacuated. It would take multiple hours to evacuate a city like Metropolis! So this final battle doesn’t do as much damage as the battle in the previous film but it comes close. And you ask yourself how big Metropolis actually is?! It must have three times the size of New York I guess?! Another fascinating part is that Gotham City seems to be a neighborhood of Metropolis. This almost made me laugh. From Metropolis it’s just a look across a river and there is Gotham City. Less than 50 miles away. How convenient! Gotham City is the New Jersey of Metropolis.

Oh well, there is more to talk about but I think the internet pretty much covered that part very well. Let’s just say that I’m very excited for Ben Affleck’s Batman movies. I’m sure he’s able to tickle out some great story from all the comic source material.

I saw this movie in 2D. Thank god. I would have left the screening with a headache, would I have seen this film in 3D. That’s for sure. I cannot even say if this movie is good popcorn entertainment since even the characters in the film constantly looked like they have the most miserable time of their lives. A really weird movie.

6.2/10

Batman V Superman on IMDb

Beasts Shall Rise

April 27th, 2016



Beasts Shall Rise

The initial idea for this one came from a commission I had finished at the time. I took the foundation of that earlier project and expanded on it. Since you can never have enough fantasy stuff in your portfolio, I wanted to go into it full throttle. And even while writing these lines I’m still fixing elements in the picture and tuning colours. I guess it’s one of those where I will always find stuff that could need some touch ups here and there. But at some point you have to stop. Because it looks good already and the stuff you fix are on a pixel level that no one will actually see. So yeah… I’ll stop now. :D DONE.

I guess the inspiration for this one came mostly from the commission but also a lot of Game Of Thrones or Lord Of The Rings of course. These properties kind of set a standard in the recent years. At least when it comes to a more ‘realistic’ look and feel of the fantasy genre. I’m a fan of cities that are built on a mountain cliff and always wanted to explore that theme. There went a lot of work into the fine tuning of the renders I used for a plate here. I used a wide range of tools from World Machine to DAZ3d to C4D to Vue and last but not least Photoshop. Lightroom as the final step of getting the colours and mood right.

Are the dragons attacking or just flying by? I leave that to the viewer. When I had the city pretty much done I felt that there was something missing. So I added some dragons because… ‘because’. They added a level of depth that was missing before. So I decided to keep them.

At the end I had a handful of different colourschemes for this one. I decided to go with a more aggressive and colourful tone instead of a dirty greyish realistic one. I think and hope the overall look, along with the colours, give a nice and epic impression. It at least works for me. =)

I dedicate this piece to two companions I lost over the last 5 weeks. You guys always made me smile when I was down. You’ll be greatly missed.

6000×2739 – Vue – World Machine – Photoshop – Lightroom

Creative Photoshop Process
Plate 1
Plate 2
Previz/Wireframe 1
Previz/Wireframe 2
Print Detail

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed