06 January 2017

My illustration work from 2016

Well, it's that time again. The year is over and I look back at my work over the last 365 days. It seems like not that many jobs were completed in 2016, but for a couple months, I was employed at ILM and that took practically all my time. So my work during that time is all in Rogue One, spaced out in various increments all throughout the movie. However, it's hard to point out my work; rotoscoping and paint fix are truly an invisible art. If I do my job well, no one will ever know. Therefore, on to art that can be seen.

My first big piece of the year was more of the usual construction imagery that I've done many times. This one was a bit conceptual and built as a 3D scene using some models from previous jobs, as well as new geometry. The final render was painted in Photoshop to give it the final look and the background skyline was painted from scratch.

This illustration began as a 3D model I built in Cinema 4D. It was to depict work done on the Selim Bridge being built over the Bosporus Strait in Turkey. Since it wasn't completed, I had to work from construction site photos and previous animations. I did my best to make it look correct, but work like this usually requires very accurate measurements and all I could do was eyeball images and guess as best as I could. Hopefully, it looks somewhat correct. The final render was finished and painted in Photoshop. Later, as a personal project, I animated a camera going down the road with trains rushing past on the rails in the middle between the lanes of traffic.

This one may not look that exciting, and it really wasn't. Actually, it was based off of a a previous image I did years ago, and this was an updated version of new equipment. The trick here was to make it look nice, but not spend much time on it.

This was one of my major projects of the year: the usual calendar header illustration. I spent much longer on this than I had originally planned, but as you can see, it was quite detailed. Usually, I like to work from a detailed image, but I didn't have much this time. The main photo I was given was low resolution without much detail, and the view didn't show all the bridges I needed, so I had to combine a lot of images and fudge it a bit. But I like the end result.

The same image was actually longer to the left and needed to have an inset illustration of the bridge being worked on. Luckily, the end client took good photos of the job site, so I had my pick of good source material. It just needed a lot of detail.

This image was a redo of an image done by an earlier artist and it needed to look more impactful and realistic. I used some images from previous work I had done for the same client and did my best to jazz it up. The trick was to make it look realistic, but not to spend much time on it.

Yes, it's another version of the same image. But working with Photoshop's layers makes it fairly easy to make adjustments to technical illustrations like this. I also had to do measurements to make the various elements to scale.

Another quick one. An artist I work with did most of the work as a 3D scene and I finished it off in Photoshop to give it that final touch. It didn't take long.

This was for a magazine ad. For a view like this with complex imagery, it's easier to start in 3D. I used some pre-existing models from an earlier project, along with some models provided to me. The background and details were painted in. For some reason, my client thought it looked like an African savanna, but the top area ended up getting covered by content in the ad anyway.

Now this one was quite the challenge. The layout, design, and seemingly the purpose of the image kept changing during during the whole process. I think I made more comps and WIPs on this one than any other job. The primary elements were a 3D model provided by the end client, because that's what their product is. I then had to turn it into an image showing the various stages of design, rendering, construction, and final scene with some important dimensions shown.

I was pretty excited about this one. It was basically a matte painting project, starting with a  daytime photo. I had to add snow, turn it to a nighttime scene, and create Christmas lights. I later animated it with falling snow in After Effects for a holiday video used by the company.

My last big project was a long animation. I used some previous 3D scenes and animations, but I did have to build new parts for it. Much if it was animation in Cinema 4D and After Effects, so I try to implement a new technique for each job. This was a test render of drill bits to see if I could get their textures right.

Here is a final rendered frame from the final animation. The 3D elements were animated and rendered in Cinema 4D and composited with backgrounds I created in Photoshop and animated in After Effects to match the renders and combined in a 2D environment to depict a cutaway of the drilling process.

This was just a quick job to texture and render out a model provided to me. It was build in a CAD program to very exacting specs. When I finally got a file I could open, I had to do a good bit of work to organize all the many pieces for easier application of materials. I have illustrated machinery like this from scratch as 2D images in Photoshop, but if the client has 3D models available, why not use them?

Here is a different type of project. This is mainly a photo editing type of illustration. The idea was to turn the seedling into the client's logo and make it look like the leaves just grew that way. The glowing circle referenced the logo as well. Background elements had to be adjusted and changed to make the foreground plant really stand out. I got this job from a new client near the end of the year and was trying to get it done. Hopefully more jobs will come.

Looking back on it all, it doesn't seem like there were a lot of jobs completed during this year, but I did work on a lot of design and animation projects that aren't really illustrations. And let's not forget my time at ILM. I certainly won't.