Come A Little Closer

Thursday, April 16th, 2015



Come A Little Closer (if you like)

Here we have a pic that is near and dear to my heart. Sometimes you work on a project and it’s your one and only baby for that time. When the project is done it’s time to move on and you kinda lose a bit of that passion you originally had for it. For this particular one that’s not the case. I still enjoy this one a lot. It’s certainly not perfect and has its flaws. But it has so many elements that I really enjoy when it comes to pictures.

The original idea for it came (like many ideas) in a sleepless night. You know, these nights where your brain can’t turn off and can’t stop think about stuff. The first spark and image I had in mind where simple shapes and these two specific walls on the left and right. Basic but interesting architecture. The rest fell into place as soon as I started the creation process. Some very extensive extra time went into the scifi complex in the background. The hero building in the far back spawned the idea to play with it and ultimately resulted in the creation of my (earlier released) “The Eternals” artwork. Yes, “Come A Little Closer” actually pre-dates “The Eternals“. So now it’s seriously about time to really go public with it.

Technically it’s Vue again. Basic vector modeling to create details for the front room and some specifics in the background. For the two rocks that are implemented in the walls I used a Worldmachine created terrain. Worldmachine added a lot of fantastic detail to make that part look petty awesome and realistic. The lady was done with DAZ Studio and refined in Photoshop. The outside complex contains heavily modified models I previously used and the far mountain background are photos.

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

Vue – Worldmachine – Photoshop – 7000×5053

Creative Process Video Breakdown

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Regards

signed

Memories Of Ascalon

Thursday, March 5th, 2015



Memories Of Ascalon

I don’t exactly remember when I started working on this one but I was big into playing Guild Wars 2 at the time. Hence the title and the inspiration for this one. Great game and exceptionally detailed world.

When I started this a long time ago (almost 2 years ago), I haven’t had done any big Fantasy projects in a while and focussed entirely on Scifi. So it was about time to expand a little and try something different. The outcome looks fine I guess. Played with terrains and a colourful daytime atmosphere. I’m actually very tempted to rework the colours to be a little more reduced but that’s the mood I’m in these days. Back then I found them to be right and therefor I will keep them.

Technically it’s business as usual. Vue to create a plate and Photoshop to refine, composite, overpaint and fix things.

Vue – Worldmachine – Photoshop – 6000×2553

Plate 1

Plate 2

Plate 3

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signed

Virtuosity

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015



Virtuosity

Here we have my first new portfolio entry for 2015 and along with that fact it’s also part of the latest and 25th Exhibit of the Luminarium Artgroup. It’s certainly a little different from my usual Scifi explorations but I really like how this one turned out.

Originally I wanted to do a Scifi scene with this one. A couple of scientists exploring this cave, where some strange floating materials came from the depths. I quickly got away from the scientists and moved more into a fantasy realm with it. I’m not the best with fantasy and this project gave me at least a little bit room to play around in that field. In the end we have a lady, bravely standing on the edge of a cliff, playing with some cool magic skills. I could imagine that she’s training and testing herself there. And from what I can see it’s successful! I wouldn’t want to start a fight with her!

The inspiration for this picture came from a commission I had just finished around the same time. I found the idea of placing a scene in a cave like environment rather intriguing and played around with it until I found a good path to go with. Technically it’s again a mixture of Vue and Photoshop. I had a fun time in Vue finding a good and solid composition. DAZ Studio helped with creating the lady. Photoshop helped to combine all the different elements along with quite some overpainting and fixing that was necessary to make everything sit right in the picture.

Vue – DAZ Studio – Photoshop – 3607x5000px

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The Luminarium Exhibit #25: Silver

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signed

The Eternals

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014



The Eternals

The original plates I rendered months before I finished this project. As usual I was playing around with some stuff in Vue when it suddenly clicked. I knew I had something that deserved a shot. I also haven’t done any bigger scifi cityscape pics in a while. So this was a motivation to start and detail out the scene in Vue. Due to my mashing together of all kinds of models I crossed some limitations in filesizes Vue was able to correctly save. So I had to work with two scene files for different parts of the picture. Mainly splitted between foreground and hero object detail and less important stuff to flesh out the scene along with background elements. So in the initial stage of composition and setting up the scene I created a lot of junk data to keep alive all alternatives I had in mind for the scene. I wanted this one to be big. Much like “Phoenix Rising” or “Gates To Elysium”. Scale and detail was important for this one. Once I got my atmosphere, composition and scene ready… rendering time! Then… silence.

I had the renders done and when I looked at them I realized how much time I would need to get this to a point I would be happy with. I instantly saw a lot of parts that needed a lot of attention. Plus the fact that, while I worked on the pic, new ideas popped up on how to refine certain details even more. So I left the renders for a couple of weeks. Of course I couldn’t leave these renders alone. I already invested some serious time! I had to do something with it. The Photoshop stage then had a lot of overpainting, atmosphere and lighting tuning. I also got back into Vue and added new stuff to the scene. Ships, buildings and additional detail. I didn’t want to overload the image with stuff but I fear I lost that battle (again!). At least there is a lot to discover, wouldn’t you agree?

When it comes to a story then there is none. The only thing is the title. I can imagine, that the citizens of that city look at these huge structures, as if they would still be there, even after they are long gone. So they started to call them ‘The Eternals’. What they do? I have no idea. But maybe it fires up the imagination of the viewers and you people come up with great ideas. =D

This picture is part of The Luminarium’s latest Exhibit: Illuminate VI. A fantastic source of inspiration that can be found here. It also features a neat interview with me, about myself and how I approach my work.

Quick shout out to Nicolas Bramke who helped with some pointers and ideas. Your input is always appreciated.

Vue – Photoshop – 6000x2553px

Photoshop Stage

Testrenders

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signed

Worlds We Know

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014



Worlds We Know

This one was actually finished a couple of months ago. I started it late 2013 I think and I don’t really know anymore why. I guess there was no specific reason other than experimenting with Vue. As usual a sudden, unexpected creative spark fired up and I continued to work on it.

As usual I started with a simple setup in mind and ended up with more detail than I actually wanted. Even though it’s still pretty reduced to the basics. I guess I also wanted to play more with what DAZ characters can do. For the pose of our lady I started with a preset and invested quite some extra time to work on smaller details. Also wanted to streamline the process of using DAZ characters in my work. So it’s ultimately a learning piece I guess. In between testrenders I even had one atmosphere that was much darker but still kind of cool looking. I stepped away from it because the darker atmosphere and the highlights it created didn’t point to the spots in the pic that I wanted the viewer to see. That’s when I decided to stay daytime with some popping colours.

Technically it’s Vue, DAZ Studio and Photoshop for this one. Business as usual, I worked out a plate in Vue for later detail work in Photoshop. A lot of fixing of elements, overpainting and creating mood. I also worked with some displacement mapping in Vue, to get some waves into the pool to suggest that our lovely lady is walking, instead of just standing there. That process turned out to be a little tricky, but again… learning by doing. The result works I think. I definitely wanted this to be colourful and popping. The result certainly is colourful and I’m not sure if it’s really my taste because I usually enjoy a more balanced colourpalette. That’s ok though. Trying new stuff and playing around can’t be wrong if something a little decent comes from it.

Vue – DAZ Studio – Photoshop – 5000x2283px

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signed

Impact No. 5

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Impact No. 5

This one was created for the latest issue of the ‘All About Space’ magazine. Topic for the article is, yes you’re right… Apocalypse. I enjoy this pic quite a bit and it does a nice job printed in the magazine here.

All About Space on the Internet: here

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Regards

signed

Nok Tiris

Monday, July 21st, 2014



Nok Tiris

In 2011 Jason Huls contacted me to create a picture for a shortfilm (Citizen In The Temple) he’s doing. He sent me the script and when I finished reading it I found it really good. So I picked out the descriptions for the scene and started something. As it normally turns out shortfilms, especially when worked on in spare time, take a while to get done. Everyone working on it has a real job to take care of as well and so it comes that often things get delayed a lot. Earlier this year I was organizing my harddrives and stumbled over the folder with the painting I did for the film. I still liked how it turned out but couldn’t stop myself from adding a little more detail. I contacted Jason asking if the project was still alive and sent him the refined version. The film is in its final production stages but still… good work needs time. =) I also saw that other artists did backgrounds as well… so the film should have some eyecandy for sure.

What we have here is sort of an establishing shot that reveals where most of the story is taking place. The megacity of Nok Tiris. Eolan, the Planet itself, is pretty much dead and deserted. The fundament for the picture was again created with Vue and refined/detailed/overpainted with Photoshop.

5000×2283 – Vue – Photoshop

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Regards

signed

Escape

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014



Escape

This one started out as a commission. I just had done and finished up another one for that client but with my attempts on a second one I didn’t manage to hit the right look that they wanted. We decided to leave it be and I asked if I could use one of my attempts for a personal approach. We agreed, parted ways and I carried on working on my idea since I felt that I was on to something with that picture.

It surely paid off when I look at the final version now. I always wanted to try myself on some kind of park area. A bright, peaceful and not too stressy picture setup with some nice depth. Not sure if I succeeded with the ‘stressy’ part but the depth works really well I think. Again there’s not much of a story behind it but I sorta imagine this huge park area as some sort of point of escape for all the people living in the city that is lurking in the background. It must be a great place to relax your mind and body a bit. The lady we see even got out of her shoes and walks around barefoot. So I’m sure it’s a great place to find peace of mind and such.

Technically it’s my usual Vue & Photoshop combo. The terrains were done with Worldmachine and the big rocks with Sculptris. Sculptris is a neat tool by the zBrush people. It’s basically a reduced version of zBrush and ideal for 3d sculpting beginners. It was more than sufficient for what I needed it for in this project. I also worked with a lot of masks to align the trees for the park. There went a lot of fine tuning into it. Mainly to get the positions, order and number right. In Photoshop the usual fixing, overpainting and additional texturing happened. Ultimately the overall result is satisfying. It’s not perfect but at some point you have to stop working on a picture. I, in fact, stopped working on it an hour ago. After a longer break where I considered the picture final. But you can always find something to tune and fix. I basically force myself to stop working on it by releasing it to the public. =D

Enough babble… I hope you like this one and enjoy the view!

6000×2550 – Vue – Worldmachine – Sculptris – Photoshop

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History

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signed

Lightroom

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014



Lightroom

Much like ‘Sanctuary’, my last project, I had no specific plan in mind when I started this one. I wanted to do a different kind of Scifi interior and just started to play around with shapes. This time I heavily used into Vue imported vector shapes to create the room and most of its contents. I also wanted to play with daylight/artificial light combinations inside the room. That part was interesting and fun. I don’t know if I would like to live with an architecture like the one in the picture. It has a certain flow that my eyes seem to appreciate though.

Technically it’s business as usual. In my recent projects I use a lot of vector shapes for some rudimentary/basic 3d modeling. I create these in Photoshop and save the shapes as a *.bmp. Then I load the *.bmp into Inkscape to create a vector shape with Inkscape’s tracing plugin to save it then as a *.eps file. Somehow it’s not possible to get Vue compatible vectors created with Photoshop. That’s why I always have to go through Inkscape. It’s very annoying. But it works and gets the right results. The lady is done with DAZ tools but modified in Vue and Photoshop.

This picture is also part of the KIBERNETIK Exhibit by The Luminarium. Thanks to all the members who voted it in! Very appreciated guys! And everyone else… please feel invited to check out this great collection of inspiring digital art! =)

It’s also the first picture I did on my new PC setup and I think it’s a great start. Hope there’s much more to come! =) For now enyjoy the view!

Vue – Inkscape – Photoshop – 6000px wide

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signed

Sanctuary

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014



Sanctuary

I started this one without having a specific plan. Except that I wanted to try myself on something similar to my Room With A View piece. And I wanted to do a night scene. Well, it looks like I had a plan… sorta.

I used this one to dig a little deeper into using Vue and vector shapes to create some architecture. The lady was implemented with help of DAZ3d tools. A lot of planning went into the look of the room and the balkony. Of course I wanted it futuristic and a little shiny. I had some fun playing with lights and creating the mood. Again the creation and rendering of the scene basically happened in two parts. On step for the city background and one step for the front. In Photoshop I brought it all together and did some major refinements to the room and city. Beside general fixes, refining and overpainting I also tried to add more detail to the dress our lady here is wearing. I also played with an idea I always wanted to try. A hologram display implemented into the windows. In this scene it’s basically turned off and only shows the name of the building complex. I enjoyed playing with that part.

Is there a larger story behind this one? Not this time to be honest. What’s the character doing? No idea. It looks as if she just came home from shopping and is calling a friend to tell about the newest stuff she was able to hunt down. Maybe her boyfriend is calling to take her out for dinner. I have no idea. =) Let your imagination decide.

Vue – Inkscape – Photoshop – 6000px wide

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signed