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ND's Portfolio Thread - Concept Art, Matte Painting, Etc.

NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade UsernameRegistered User regular
edited February 2016 in Artist's Corner
Hey guys!

So I'm working on busting out a handful of portfolio-worthy pieces in the coming months. I'd like to do a mix of characters and environments, and a mix of polished work and some development work. Some of it will be hand-painted/rendered, and some of it will be more photobashed/matte-painted.

Here's the most recent piece I just finished - an abandoned interior. I painted over a 3D mesh that I modeled, lit, and rendered in Maya.

jl32t5bso15d.jpg

...and here's the mesh:
g2rlz6w6jy7s.jpg

These are pieces I posted in the Doodle Thread a little while back, but were done with the aim to put in the 'folio. For the Archivist, I've decided to remove the beard and color variations, since there are not enough to really be shown. I'll probably crop it down in the future to just the full rendered bodies, and I'll change up the color/beard on the 2nd dude.

The exterior was the first piece I'd done in this style in awhile, and I kept bouncing back and forth on how much to rely on the photos and 3D, and how much to paint in by hand. The end result looks kinda "blegh" to me now, but I learned a lot doing it! I'm expecting to replace that piece in my portfolio with something better, since I think the abandoned interior piece I did made me realize how to go about this process much more effectively. Watching a few of John Sweeney's videos also proved to be pretty helpful in figuring out an effective process.

Archivist:
xjynky3axvuw.jpg

Elk Viewing:
1droome3klhj.jpg

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Posts

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Super solid, bro.

    You can already see the improvement from the elk piece to the newest one, which is impressive. I'm excited to see you tackle another landscape with your new techniques in mind, I think things will be more cohesive overall if you aren't wrestling with the process.

    Love the mood in the new one, and the light is looking good too.

    tapeslingertynicF87Enc
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    Wow! I love that new piece, great feel to it. How much of it is photo vs painting?

    The royal archivist is awesome too! When you change up his beard, I think you should consider 1 or 3, I like those :D

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    F87 wrote: »
    Wow! I love that new piece, great feel to it. How much of it is photo vs painting?

    The royal archivist is awesome too! When you change up his beard, I think you should consider 1 or 3, I like those :D

    Thanks! The new piece is probably a 90/10 split between photos and hand-painting. The photos required a lot of tweaking/distorting/painting-over/blending modes/etc to get right, but yeah...mostly photos, for sure.

    For the archivist dude, I'll probably go with 1, possibly 4.

    F87EncProspicience
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Did a series of character outfit ideas. I browsed a bunch of street style blogs for inspiration. :)

    StreetFashion_Thumbs.jpg

    ProjeckChicoBlueProspiciencem3naceBrocksMulletToasticus
  • ProspicienceProspicience The Raven King DenvemoloradoRegistered User regular
    Great stuff, really dig numbers 3 & 9! Fun colors and layering.

    GethNightDragon
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Great stuff, really dig numbers 3 & 9! Fun colors and layering.

    Thanks! I think those are two of my faves, too. I'm working up #3 into a more developed piece :)

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    Here's the mostly-done drawing of number 3:

    StreetFashionGirl.jpg

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Calling this one done, I think. Minor additional tweaks and a BG.

    jennifer-mills-streetfashiongirl.jpg

    tynictapeslingerF87ProspiciencebeckerskullsMangoesEncWIckedkarma
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    You're probably not gonna go back into this one, so sorry about the late notice, but something I didn't notice before (was checking it out on my phone) is the lighting on her right hand (our left). It either looks oddly blocky or like she has a bit of vitiligo.

    Overall it looks great! the sheen on her stockings and overall cloth textures are really well done!

    NightDragon
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Thanks! That hand actually gave me trouble, so after tweaking it forever, I decided to just leave it be and move on. :P But you're right, it's definitely blocky.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    That's so damn good! She turned out great, I love the face! And if we are getting nit-picky, do you think the left eye is a bit low? I could be wrong...

    I really like the lighting and the details... do you use direct references or what? I'm curious about your process...

    F87 on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    I'm not sure what you mean by "direct references"? ...but this was a combination of some photobashing, and hand painting. It's possible that there's something weird about the eye - originally her face was tilted back a bit but I brought it back some...may not have done it exactly right.

    I used multiple references and multiple photos that I tweaked, painted over, changed the color of, stretched, etc. For examples of how much I changed the references:

    This is the image of Lupita Nyong'o that I used as photobash for the face (heavily edited/painted over):
    B_KA1xEXAAAj-nQ.jpg
    This is the denim jacket I used for the vest (again, heavily edited):
    1492409_Belle_Blue?wid=800&hei=800&op_sharpen=1
    I can't find the image right now for the shirt (I'm at work), but it was originally a bright red top...I added the embroidery on the top band from another image, and again, tweaked everything so it fit my character, the lighting, and color, the folds (and their direction) etc.

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    F87
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Next piece. Not 100% happy with this one, went back and forth a lot, got a bunch of critiques, but I need to call it finished at some point and now's the time!

    Meeting at the Old Trainyard
    9m0as4soocph.jpg

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Ancient Egyptian prop set. Tried to keep it believable while taking a few small artistic liberties.

    [updated brightness]
    zdmd51t3w0tj.jpg

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  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    Such nice clean drawings, ND :)
    I don't know too much about concept art, but what sort of project is a sheet like this intended for? Is there a reason it's all middle gray? I have the screen brightness turned all the way up and it's still a bit of a strain to look at. Not much of a comment on the art, but a sincere question.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    lyrium wrote: »
    Such nice clean drawings, ND :)
    I don't know too much about concept art, but what sort of project is a sheet like this intended for? Is there a reason it's all middle gray? I have the screen brightness turned all the way up and it's still a bit of a strain to look at. Not much of a comment on the art, but a sincere question.

    Thanks Lyrium! To be honest, greys are always kind of hard for me to figure if they're too dark or not (all my UI on my home computer is dark, and the screens are bright, so it's hard for me to tell. Might need to be up'd in brightness for sure).

    This sheet would be something you might give to a modeler, but it leaves a lot up to interpretation at this point (color, material, shiny-ness, side-views, etc). That might be fine if those standards had already been set, but otherwise you may need some kind of flat color, material callouts (reference photographs for the modeler, so they know how to texture the object without you having to spend the time to render it all in detail), quick orthographic views, etc. I was trying to get this out the door so I didn't add all that extra stuff in, but it's a good idea to, generally. :)

    [edit] Just changed the brightness of the BG. Hopefully it's easier to see now!

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    lyrium
  • SublimusSublimus Registered User regular
    Yay! More ND stuff! :D

    I have a question. How did you get that render for the 3d bas for your first pic? I've tried to make quick 3d bases before, but never get anything even close to that good to render out.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Sublimus wrote: »
    Yay! More ND stuff! :D

    I have a question. How did you get that render for the 3d bas for your first pic? I've tried to make quick 3d bases before, but never get anything even close to that good to render out.

    I used Mental Ray's "Physical Sun and Sky" option (in Maya 2015) as a base to work from, and I played with a bunch of options/settings to get that exact final result. This is a good overview on how to use it.

    I had a few issues with artifacting early on, and there are a few small shading errors in the mesh (because I modeled it messily), but a lot of that stuff you can fix in Photoshop after the fact, if it's not too intense (and if it's easier/faster than re-rendering). Not sure what your specific issues were, but remember to set your Quality and Resolution low for your test renders, and high for your final render. To be honest the Sun and Sky option does a huge amount of work for you in terms of setting up a solid base - after that it's usually just a matter of tweaking colors, sun angle, intensity, shadow softness, #'s of light bounces, etc. :)

    NightDragon on
    Sublimus
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Stretching the graphic design muscles. Three sets of signage for three different kinds of towns.

    plpstc9lij9f.jpg

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    This is kinda old now, but I decided to rescan it, clean some things up, throw some flat color on it and do material callouts. Woop!

    9ee302jqtb4o.jpg
    iks1oo201r2z.jpg

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  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    This is all looking super profesh. All very clear and easy to parse.

    NightDragonF87tapeslingerEncProspicience
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited March 2016
    Might look way too dark on the white forum background...going to check it on a few other monitors to make sure it's okay, but in the meantime you can check it out on my Artstation to see it on a darker background.

    37r3tilkf9o7.jpg

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Oh hey I just realized I could probably post some of this stuff since the NDA hasn't been active for it for awhile! I've worked on multiple teams at my current job, and one of them has been "Lord of the Rings Online". I was tasked with doing a handful of "not too fantastical, not too plainly realistic" weapon concepts that we could hand off to be modeled and textured. These weren't meant to look like a set, but to look like a kind of grab bag of different weapons that could've come from anywhere. Since Gondor was a required theme for at least some of these, that's where the swan and wing motifs come from. :)

    I would've liked to push a few designs much more if I'd been allowed, but these had to fit a number of parameters so I couldn't get too crazy with 'em. Still had fun though! Here's a sampling of the set:

    iybhq510zgch.jpg
    03un5608k7gg.jpg
    48nm2jccs6vd.jpg
    lsnru9ta6hm8.jpg

    And a bonus set of hundreds of icons I completed over a few months (shrunk down a bit) that I completed a few years ago as part of an entire skill tree revamp.
    jm5vrr88v5q5.jpg

    Angel_of_Bacontynictapeslingerm3naceF87beckerskullsProspiciencezapattack
  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Those icons look maddening to work on, but they are very efficient.

    Were the weapons ever modeled? It'd be way cool to see an example of one once they got to 3D. They look great.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Those icons look maddening to work on, but they are very efficient.

    Were the weapons ever modeled? It'd be way cool to see an example of one once they got to 3D. They look great.

    They were modeled, and I remember seeing a few of them before they were placed in the game...but it's been so long I have no idea how I'd find them again. Alas!

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    I'm sure everybody's already seen the sketches in the Doodle threads, but I'll post the references here too.

    czq4unaoa1k7.jpg
    References:
    2hvrdzdmuz6h.jpg

    wm4m3ofbtd5o.jpg
    References:
    ssxsowb5z5ey.jpg

    PeasAngel_of_Baconzapattack
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