Sculpting and painting in Sculptris

Yesterday, I tried out the basic modelling tools in Pixologic’s free 3D modelling software, Sculptris, and I loved it. It has been awhile since I tried my hand at anything in the 3D modelling arena and it felt nice to be back in the digital saddle. So, having watched some tutorials on the Pixologic website I decided to try something slighty more advanced today.

Sluggy

"Sluggy" by AR Vincent, copyright 2012

“Sluggy” by AR Vincent, copyright 2012

Sluggy was my first attempt at modelling an entire being in Sculptris. Granted this being, being a slug, isn’t the greatest stretch but it was a good way to test some tools I didn’t use yesterday and get on to the bit I was really interested in exploring…. painting.

Unlike other 3D software, like Maya or Cinema 4D, both Sculptris and Zbrush have a function which allows you to paint on to your digital sculpture. Though the functions are slightly different, in Sculptris you ‘paint’ on to the model where as in ZBrush you paint on to the texture map on the model, the end result is an experience more like painting. The best part of this is that unlike Cinema 4D where you can assign block textures/colours to a model or Maya where you need to create a texture map (essentially flaying your characters and laying out its skin in Photoshop to paint before sticking it back on him!) you can use different tools to create block colours and textures and fine details and see what they look like in situ. Nice!

Of course this was my first and attempt and it didn’t go entirely to plan. I didn’t really get the hang of masks until I had already made a mess of Sluggy’s eye area and once the damage is done Sculptris is not forgiving. So in order to make the finished image look, well, finished I cheated and moved him in to Photoshop for some ocular repair and a little TLC. They are still not perfect, far from it infact, but this was only supposed to be a quick exercise and I had already committed waaaay more time to it this morning then I intended and work is calling. Perhaps I’ll have time to have another go tomorrow 🙂

Illustration Friday – ‘Faded’

I’ve always had a soft spot for chameleons, with their multi-directional eyes and their awesome colour changing ability they have always seemed one of the world’s stranger inhabitants. So, when I saw this week’s Illustration Friday topic, Faded, my mind drifted towards the chameleon and the type of situation where blending in to the background might not help things!!!

So, may I present, Crispin, your friendly neighbourhood chameleon… okay, so there’s a chance he’s also a small time crook but if that’s the case then his colour changing stills aren’t going to help in a police identity parade!!!

'Unusual Suspect' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

‘Unusual Suspect’ by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

This unusual suspect was created in Photoshop, though unlike last week he was based on several sketches of chameleons as I wanted to capture his chameleon-ness.

"Rare Sight" by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Sight

For last weeks Illustration Friday I wanted to do a science fiction illustration – something that was darker than my normal subject matter and maybe hinted at adventure – this week I’m diving in to another genre for Illustration Friday… a genre very, very dear to my heart – fantasy.

So here it is, a rare sighting of the very shy and rarely seen Snarkleblaster but careful he doesn’t catch sight of you… you never know what a startled Snarkleblaster might do!

"Rare Sight" by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

“Rare Sight” by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

This technique, of combining illustration with photography, is something I’ve seen several times before and is something I’ve wanted to try and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that it was created using Photoshop. I actually used the photo as the starting point for this and created the Snarkleblaster straight on to the computer, without any preliminary sketches, using my much-loved Wacom graphics tablet (not sure how I ever created anything without one!). Obviously the photo I chose dictated much of how the scene would look and, to be honest, other than that I had no clear idea for the details of the character’s look, instead just following my nose and seeing where the character took me, making the end result quite a surprise!

Illustration Friday - Kernel - "Star Seeds" by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – ‘Kernel’

I was told recently that my style was very ‘cute’ and, though I don’t have a problem with that as such, I wanted to try something different for this weeks IF something that was far from cute! Besides, when I saw the topic of ‘Kernel’ for Illustration Friday this week nothing immediately leapt to mind so I decided it would be a good time to let my imagination show me the way…

"Star Seeds" by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

The design of the creature actually came to me as I was staring at the irregular, blotchy pattern on a piece of linoleum – some people see faces, I see hideous mutant plant monsters from outer space, I guess thems the breaks! When I started creating the beasty, first as a pencil sketch and then in Photoshop, I actually had no idea about the story surrounding it or if it would tie in to the theme. However, as the little critter took shape he started to tell me his story and I discovered that this extra terrestrial piece of sentient flora was no pot plant!!

Now the art is done and posted I’m going to pen a story to go with him and perhaps see about posting that here too.

Until then my friends, look to the skies and think twice before mowing your lawn this summer… because one day your lawn may want revenge… mwa-ha-ha!!

"Ursus The Terrible And The Little Hitchhiker" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Hitch

I must confess I wasn’t too inspired by this weeks Illustration Friday word, hitch. Perhaps it was because of this or because I have been busy with other projects that I was very late finishing this up and posting it. Whatever the reason, it’s here now!

Please let me introduce you to Ursus The Terrible and the little hitchhiker….

"Ursus The Terrible And The Little Hitchhiker" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

“Ursus The Terrible And The Little Hitchhiker” by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday - "Dizzy Heights" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Heights

Sometimes working hard to get to the top pays off and sometimes you put in the hours and effort and climb and climb only to find that you aren’t that far from where you started in the first place!

"Dizzy Heights" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

After all the work and time spent on my animation for Why Woodland, the sudden post-contract silence has been surprisingly comfortable. I have found that usually after a big event – exams, launches, deadlines, performances – that the lull that follows, far from being the chance to rest and relax that you’ve been dreaming about through the mounting chaos and excitement, seems to open up around you like a void and leave you feeling restless, angsty and lost. Perhaps I didn’t get that weird discombobulated feeling because once the project was done I dove straight in to other things… one of which was this weeks Illustration Friday.

I really enjoyed working on this illustration for this weeks topic, ‘Heights’, and had tremendous fun getting back to producing things in Photoshop for their own sake rather than to export to Flash or Premiere Pro or After Effects.

Why Woodland Animation

Britains native broadleaf woodland is disappearing fast. Broadleaf trees, such as oak, ash and birch, have been part of the British landscape for hundreds of years and support a diverse and complex eco-system not found elsewhere. If we let our broadleaf woodland disappear through dereliction, mismanagement or convertion to fast growing non-native conifers then we will also be saying goodbye to the sight of bluebell woods, autumn colours and the home of countless lichens, birds and insects.

I created this 2D animation for Why Woodland, to help raise awareness of the threats to the British broadleaf woods. To find out more and show your support visit them on Facebook.com/whywoodland or on Twitter @whywoodland

This was animated using a combo of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro CS5 and, after loosing the battle with the CS5 version, Flash CS4. The process has sustained my love for Photoshop, made me begin to appreciate Premiere (despite the complete debacle that was rendering) and, after hours fighting with animation in Flash CS4 and CS5, made me desperate to master animating in After Effects!!

As with all projects I loved and hated this project by turns and in equal measure. There are always little moments that punctuate a project and the fustration  and anxiety that I felt when faced with constantly crashing software, unfathomable formatting errors and render troubles was set in stark contrast against the fun of designing the tree-gobbling-money-machine (every home should have one!), the satisfaction of making the squirrel talk and the thrill of discovering the chromakey function in Premiere.

Enjoy!

Illustration Friday – Puzzled

Oops! Missed it!

Time was certainly not been on my side last week and paid work meant this illustration had to go on the back burner. Oh well, I may have missed adding this to the weeks IF line-up but, since  my blog posts this months have been a little thin on the ground, I still thought I’d add him here.

"Who's More Puzzled?" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

"Who's More Puzzled?" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Playing about with Photoshop…

Photoshop is the swiss army knife of graphics apps. Not only has it become a verb in regards to digital photo editing but it can also produce graphics, animations and probably more stuff I haven’t even found yet. You know when a piece of software has an entire range of magazine publications dedicated too it and a section in Foyles that this is the thing to learn, the thing to have on your resume, the monster that needs to be reckoned with.
So, with that all in mind, thats what I’ve been doing! I have gone to war with Photoshop to see if I can learn the ways of the force and become a Jedi Master… or at least an Adobe Credited Expert (ACE)!

Today I stumbled on a tutorial about making turf text and, in my quest for knowledge, I followed it and produced this….