Monday, May 07, 2018

Crash Bandicoot - original BG concept paintings - 1995

Recently I received a copy of the Dark Horse Comics publication "The Crash Bandicoot Files" which is a printing of the production bible from the Willy the Wombat days. My art is all over this book. So is Joe Pearson's and also David Siller. Joe's writing is in it as well. I figure the 3 of us comprised more than 90 % of the content. I'd be surprised if it was any less than that. 


I got mine because Joe contacted Dark Horse and explained who we are and it's our stuff that's in their book. So they sent some complimentary books for us which was nice of them. Joe stopped by last week and dropped off my copy. This gave me a chance to connect with him and find out how much of his writing was in this which really helped clear things up for me. Comparing notes / memories and recollections was helpful plus we had a good time being together again.

In the middle of the book there's some double page full color spreads of the original color concept keys created for the game. The layouts were all Joe's and three of the color key paintings were mine.

Alas there was no notification giving creative credit as you would normally see with art books of this type. As I was studying these works I saw something that brought a smile to my face. At the time I was painting these background concepts I had very inconspicuously signed them!

Here they are along with blowups showing my name very tiny towards the bottom right hand corner of each composition. The originals were painted in acrylics. These are scans of color xerox copies that were made at the time they were created in 1995. They were in a folder within my copy of the original Crash bible which I suppose is a very rare thing.






Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Golden Girl - Class demo

This evening I made it a point to create a demonstration in class with acrylic paints. I sketched out a composition quickly in graphite on illustration board and used a very direct impasto like technique to apply pigment as I didn't have much time. Later I used Photoshop to touch it up in a few places and here's the result. Another example of making the best of both mediums. Also the follow up digital work helped me to figure out how to complete the acrylic painting if I wanted to bring it to completion. Not the greatest thing I've ever done but it was fun and good practice and we all learned something.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Animating Crash Bandicoot

Hello there one and all hope everything is excellent with you! I've been trying an animation app called Rough Animator. It's pretty good in spite of the many bugs. I've learned to work around them and am having fun while using the software to teach some basics.

Here's something I just finished. It's the very first time I've ever animated Crash Bandicoot. Not just pose him but actually get the character to move through sequential images. An 8 pose cycle animated on 4's.

I've been doing a lot of cycled animation lately thanks to this very easy to use program. It's inexpensive and the tools are limited. There's no tech support but it can do simple things and it's enjoyable and great for practice.

Anyway there ya go! Maybe we'll see more of him moving about and doing things.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Alien Angel - Traditional and Digital

You've heard of an earth angel. Well what about a non-earth angel? I had fun with this as it started out as a demo in acrylics on illustration board but time being what it is and the nature of the class session I used an alternative method to complete it. Here's the result in Photoshop.


Following the process backwards this is the third pass on coloring the composition. You can see more of the original painting showing through.


The second pass is where I starting the digital coloring.


And it began here with an under painting upon the graphite pencil line drawing.


Big difference! An analog method followed by a digital medium. The best of both!

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Spyro Reignited Trilogy !! - Coming Sept 2018

When it rains it pours! A fan from Australia brought this to my attention as the trailer for the remastered original Spyro trilogy for PS4 and XBox One was released today. Toys For Bob is the developer and Activision will be publishing the series this coming September a full 20 years after the debut of the first game way back in 1998. Very impressive!


Saturday, March 31, 2018

New book - The Crash Bandicoot Files - Dark Horse Comics

Hey there folks. Heard about this a few weeks ago and wanted to let you know that a new book was published this past Tuesday on March 27 from Dark Horse Comics. It's called "The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy the Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania". The publisher is Dark Horse Comics. 

Well for those of you wondering what the original Crash production bible contained this looks to be it. You can purchase it at the Dark Horse Comics site or on Amazon. The front cover features some of my early sketches of Crash back when he was still called Willy. If I new back then that they'd be using these drawings and others for the cover of a book 23 years later I'd of done a better job. These images were just preliminary doodles. I didn't think in terms of a public presentation. Ya never know what can happen in time! 

Here's the cover. Authored by Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin of Naughty Dog. Has a lot of Joe Pearson's art and also David Siller's work. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Character concept demo backwards

Hello there! Hope you're doing great and thank you for continuing to follow my blog. It's been pretty darn intense lately as my school and life in general keeps me very busy. When I'm in these phases I just hold on tight and ride the bucking bronco waiting for a window where things slow down a little and I can catch the wind and go on to smoother sailing.

Earlier in the month I created a demo for my students in Character Design 2 which involves creating images with more complexity especially in the area of human anatomy. This is what I ended up with.


Before that the drawing was taken to a black line level on top of the blue pencil sketch.


And before that this is what the blue pencil image looked like.


And in the beginning we started with establishing the basic anatomy of the character.


If you take this approach with your own work you'll likely wind up with a stronger composition and solid characters. It's all about fundamentals!

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Character concept color sketch

I have a project in mind and thought I'd do a quick doodle in color to explore one of the characters. Primarily in terms of costume and general appearance. Not necessarily in personality or attitude just appearance. Something simple and fun to do using the open source software I mentioned before called Krita. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Testing new software - Krita for digital painting

One of my online students told me about a digital painting program he's using that is similar to Photshop. It's called Krita and the good news is that it's fee to download on your computer. So I did and this evening I took some time to doodle a color sketch and test the tools especially the brushes. 

Works great! This is what I came up with. 

A used a whole bunch of brushes to see what the effects would be. It may be reflected in the hodgepodge of shapes of color within the composition. Also I used an old Bamboo graphics tablet from Wacom to do the art. It's a very crude input device but it worked out okay plus it's excellent practice to use technology this challenging. If you can do it with a Bamboo you can do it with just about anything. If you're interested in Krita follow this link to the company website and try it out for yourself. An excellent alternative to the more expensive programs.