14 April 2013

Some recent work

If any of you have been wondering what I've been up to in the long silence of the past few months, I'll let you in on it. Much of it has been not that interesting from an artistic point of view; I've been reworking past images for application in new layouts. The film effects work is kind of interesting, but there's nothing I can show at the moment. 

But there are some fun things I can show. Here is a digital painting I just barely finished last week. In the final piece, it wrapped from the front to the back of a card so you didn't see the entire elephant at once, but I painted it as one image, then adjusted it for the final layout in Adobe Illustrator. It was a quick little project, but is was fun and something I don't get to do much of.

Here is a personal piece I did as a matte painting challenge contest for the CG Channel website. The plate was provided and instructions were given to create a Rivendell-like setting as a matte painting. I shot my own source material for the buildings and used them along with a new sky to create this painting. Video footage was also provided, so I then took my matte painting into AfterEffects, motion tracked the footage, then matched my painting to it. I also added some birds (had to key out the sky) after stabilizing the original clip. There was a good deal of masking and color correcting, then mist was added at the bottom. As I was working on it, I did send it around to get advice from other matte painters and I think that really helped. It may not be perfect, but I was pleased with the result, for a quick comp of the painting. In case you're wondering, I didn't win or place in the contest, but it was a great experience nonetheless.

Click here to see the final comped footage.

11 April 2013

Catching up

Followers of this blog may have noticed that things have been very quiet this year so far. Things have been quite chaotic and busy for me, and a lot has changed. My teaching career has practically ceased for the moment, although I did teach a weekend course on digital illustration at BAVC recently. So I have been concentrating on other things. Oddly enough, I did recertify in Photoshop and Illustrator CS6, so now I am up to date as an Adobe Certified Instructor in those programs. However, if I'm not teaching, it probably makes no difference, but I don't want to have to take the full proctored exams again.

As far as hardware, I'm on the same laptop. It's old, but it's still getting me there. But I did update the RAM. Although my Mackbook Pro officially only recognizes up to 4 Gb, I now have 6 and it seems to be all utilized and working fine. The OS has been updated, not the the very latest, but close enough, although I hate having to do that all the time.

A bigger change has been in my work. I'm still doing digital illustration, but I have been doing more film effects work. For the past couple of months, I've been doing rotoscoping and plate reconstruction at a local effects studio for two upcoming films, White House Down and Fast and Furious 6 (I hadn't even realized there were that many). I'm pursuing more work like this in an effort to get more into matte painting, so we'll see how that goes. The effects industry is in sad shape now, if you have been following the news on that topic. I've been looking at some opportunities that would take me away from home for a while, so I'll keep you posted.