Thursday, July 19, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sketchup renders with RenderIn

RenderIn is a great plugin for Sketchup. It's cheap, has a modo-like preview window and it works with the free version of Sketchup.

I was trying to create some light setups to render props. Because Sketchup shadow system is built around the sun as its light source, I needed to create a shadow-box environment to block out the sun. I literally created a big box with a lid on it and placed my model, lights and camera inside the box to render.

I was referencing Ben Procter's Avatar and Transformers work for my light setups. I love his stuff and I hope to meet him one day. These cylindar renders are a complete ripoff of a prop Ben created for Transformers. I wanted to copy his prop to see how close I could get to his work.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Game - Props

Designing for Spider-Man games is a real challenge for everyone on the team. The mandate to handle his abilities is "If it looks like he could crawl on it -- he can crawl on it". There are other characters that have traversal abilities, Nathan Drake, the Assassins Creed protagonists, Cole from Infamous. But they have rules and limitations to what they can climb and the player believes in these limitations. For Spider-Man, he can crawl on everything. That's what makes him a challenge to design. He lives in a square 90 and 45 degree world.

Here's an example of an assignment I was given. To translate the movie version of OsCorp Tower into a version for the video game. The film version is really a beautiful modern design. I don't have any background in architecture but I can appreciate the flow and sweep of the curves and the points and angles to make it an intimidating structure. George Hull updated his site to include his OsCorp tower designs (

Another interesting assignment was the Spider-Belt. The film version goes back to using the classic mechanical webshooters from the comics. So in the game version, Peter refills his webshooters by inserting a new cartridge from his belt. I had remembered the comic Spider-Man actually having a belt for his webshooters but it was hidden under his costume.

The game version was going to have his belt outside his costume. The new costume from the film is extremely streamlined. I think it really makes Spider-Man look slick and fast. So, I tried to hide the belt using the same color patterns from the suit. I think it works pretty good and the fact that no one has really complained about it makes me feel we did our job well.

I'm not sure if this made it into the game, it was for a cutscene I believe. I like designing mechanical props in 3D so I can fully understand how this thing is going to work. It allows me to try and solve problems that a 2D drawing can sometimes cheat at.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Just having fun sketching. The interns at Digital Extremes have inspired me to work harder on my own stuff. They are eager and hungry to learn and create. It's infectious.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Three Wheeler

I like the aesthetic of showing some of the line work. Not everything needs to be photo-real.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Construction Vehicle Sketch

As a child, I would get really excited when I saw a big construction vehicle that was the same lime green as a Constucticon. They were rare but we had them around Saskatchewan.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Here`s a castle concept I started today.

Intial Sketch. I didn`t make the sketch on a yellow background. It was a neutral grey. Once I started adding photo scrap (see step 2) I used Hue/Saturation to change the background to yellow because I was erasing a lot of the photo scrap the grey showing through and wasn`t working for me.

Photo Scrap phase. Just throwing in images from Google and Flickr to help put down some base values and details. About 2 hours in now.

More refinement. You can see how mushy the steps are above. I use Sketchup a lot with my professional work but for this one I just wanted to use PhotoShop. Even with 3D it`s really important to keep working on your perspective skills.
Current version with the rendered stairs. I`m going to see how far I can get after an afternoons work.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Kiki Study

Frame Filter is a great blog filled with screen captures of films with interesting compositions and lighting. About an hour.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Copic Marker Pass

I'm re-drawing the background of the previous illustration. Using an infinite point perspective setup. In my opinion, the new perspective bible is Vanishing Point by Jason Cheeseman-Meyer. Just an amazing resource on complex perspective setups.

I printed out a light rough at 8x14 inches and used a pencil and marker technique I picked up by studying Alberto Meilgo's work. I'm only using three values, Copic cool gray's 3, 5 and 7.

Next step is to scan and paint.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I secretly want to buy a scooter. They look to be so much fun! I have to wait till I move to California, the riding season in Canada is about two months :(

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Return of the Blog!

Back again! Started my blog again get my butt sketching.