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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have neglected my Comcept series for quite some time now. I started this series to play around with some things and create quick pictures to try out some things. It brought out some cool results every now and then. So here we have three Scifi cityscapes that are located on a Planet called Linestra. It’s one of the techologically most advanced places in its known universe. Well, I enjoy creating futuristic canyons of city and had some fun here. Smashed some scenes together in Vue to render out some plates to work from and refine in Photoshop. I wanted it all done very quickly and the rough look of the pics is absolutely intended. Playing around with styles.
A wallpaper pack with 1920×1200 & 1680×1050 versions of each pic can be found here.
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!
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.
The first new one for 2014 and right at first I want to apologize for this novel of a description. This one has just a too special history to leave it to rott in the back of my brain waiting to be forgotten. So where do I start…? Let’s start with some numbers.
298 hours – 33 minutes – 22 seconds. Originally planned as a ‘less is more’ side project, just to play around with a couple of ideas, it turned out to be the longest render I’ve ever had. Not having a renderfarm, that would help getting it done much faster, I had to rely on my 4 year old machine to get the job done. I must also admit that it was not planned at all, to create a scene that would take ages to render. But yeah, in the end it turned out to be an almost 300 hours render. Let’s just say that again I learned a lot!
My initial intention was to play around with a couple of fractal 3d objects I created with Xenodream. I wanted to try myself in some abstract 3d stuff and did a couple of render tests. I wasn’t really happy. What I saw instead was a possible Scifi scene that would be perfect to incorporate both elements… the Scifi component I always love to do… and the fractal component I was initially going for. I started to look at the project differently and treated it more like a scene instead of a 3d fractal experiment. Soon I found a nice lighting setup. After extending the fractals and optimizing the composition, I still needed a striking atmosphere. Now here is where it became tricky. Crazy like I am, I was aiming for a larger size image (as usual), to get a nice print quality from it. Larger picture equals longer render times. Of course! Now while looking for an atmosphere I started thinking about adding clouds to the whole setup. The scene itself rendered pretty fast up to that point. I thought there would be some room for volumetric clouds to spice it up a bit.
Dear Lord I did not expect what came next. After adding some clouds and doing some testrenders (which took forever and should have been a warning sign!) I found the clouds bring the whole thing together and create a tighter feel. I prepared the render and started it with my usual quality settings. I killed it after 8 hours when for 30 minutes nothing happened anymore and the render stopped to make progress. Damn! Eight hours wasted. I hate it when that happens. Again… the testrenders should have been the perfect warning indicator. I reduced my quality settings and concentrated purely on rendering out the clouds in an acceptable quality, along with a mask for easy editing later in Photoshop. After restarting the render it all did move a little faster than previously. But nothing prepared me for the odyssey I had to go through for the next two weeks! I must laugh just thinking about it.
I admit I’m not the most experienced guy when it comes to clouds and Vue. What I know is that it’s not uncommon that rendering of volumetric materials (like clouds) can take a lot lot lot of time. In Vue you can turn down the quality quite a bit with the clouds still looking perfectly fine. But the rest of the scene will suffer. So it’s best to render the clouds in a separate pass and combine scene and clouds later in Photoshop. The thing that drove me crazy was that you could not predict how long the render would probably take. Some areas of the picture are not influenced by the clouds and render much faster. Then later the render is working through cloud influenced areas again and massively slows down. Really painful to watch.
Up to a certain point I was able to pause the render process and save the scene to render again later. It must have been after 60% of the render was done when I wasn’t able to use the so called ‘resume’ option anymore and had to keep my machine running until the render finished. Reminding you that I don’t have a second machine to outsource my rendering to. So I sat there and tried not to do things that would cause the render to crash. Luckily four years ago I really invested some time into getting the right parts for this pc. So it never disappointed me when it came to rendering. It may take time but it gets the job done. So I moved over to my even older laptop – leaving the big machine alone to get the render through.
Eventually it got done… after almost 300 hours. Holy crap. Seriously. I was so happy when the picture was saved properly and was something I could work with. Then I became a little crazed out, because now I really had the pressure to do something cool with it! I mean, just imagine having a picture that took 300hrs to render and you wouldn’t be able to make use of it! A nightmare! And honestly, after a couple of days looking at the render, it started to look boring. MORE PRESSURE! =D
Yes, the infamous cloud render does look bland and boring but it was just one component of a bigger idea. After having that monster out of the way I was able to create and render the actual scene. The big cruiser hanging in the middle of these weird rock structures along with the smaller ships zipping about. Luckily the Photoshop work was a blast and I managed to get something done with help of the cloud render. Of course there was a lot of overpainting and refining. Especially when it came to the couds. The render gave me a good starting point to move on from.
If you ask me what we’re seeing in the scene I couldn’t give you a direct answer. From my point of view it’s a deep space exploration (hence the ship name DSE Scynthia) endeavour having fun exploring this weird planet. But is it a planet? Maybe it’s a giant asteroid field hanging in some sort of very dense nebula cloud thing? It could also be a secret pirate operation and the big ship is a sort of mobile base/hiding place. A friend of mine even said the rock formations could be molecules or DNA string like stuff. I leave it to your imagination and really hope you enjoy the view. Seriously! I really hope you enjoy it!
Thanks out to some friends and Nick, Michael Magin, David Luong for some finishing advice.