Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Artchives 3

I've been putting in a lot of hours on a project for work, but I'm in the home stretch - just in time for my wife & I to go visit some friends over the long holiday weekend. Here's one last batch of old miscellany before I try to get back to a normal schedule.

These first three were for a story that I tried to get off the ground for a long time, but got away from me. Maybe someday I can go back to it with fresh eyes:

This one was for a pitch someone was putting together for a horror themed multimedia site, this character was going to be the host, in a simlar vein to Svengooli (get it? vein? horror?):

These last three were character designs for a video game about mobsters in space:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Artchives 2

The game I worked on for most of the last year is coming out on May 14th. It's called Texas Cheat'em - a poker game where cheating is not only allowed, it's the only way to win.

It was a very different project than what I had been used to, but it was a lot of fun. As the only artist on the game, I was responsible for every pixel you see on screen. The game has a lot of interface, so I did a lot more graphic design work than usual. I also got to do a lot more cartooning than I've ever done before on the player avatars. Here are some of my favorites:

Some of the avatars are specific to certain cheats (like the burglar=chip steal) or to certain mini-games (like the strongman=strength tester), but most are just meant to be funny. Also, creating these was where I learned digital inking since it was going to speed up my production time quite a bit, so some of the early ones are a bit rougher than the later ones.

Early on, we were planning out a story mode where you would play through a character's career as a gambler from rags to riches. At that point, we were toying with the idea of using animals as the characters and since our company mascot is a hippo, the main character was going to be a hippo. Here are some storyboards I did to try to get a feel for what all that could have been like:

Ultimately, it was decided that it would have been too much work for too little added value, so it got scrapped but we had some good ideas that would have been pretty fun to work on.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I've had a fairly big assignment dropped on me at work that will keep me busy and pretty stressed out for the next two weeks, so I'm going back to post some older stuff from the archives in the mean time.

I don't generally post work related stuff on here, but I've had the chance to work on some cool things over the years, like these screens from Mortal Kombat: Deception. Each character had their own story arc and if you played a character all the way through the game you got to see an end game scenario related to that character. We didn't have the time or resources to make animated cut scenes for these so I put together these stills instead.

The character and environment models were all created by other artists - my job was to storyboard the scenes, pose everything, light & shoot the scene, render it out and then give them a 'spit & polish' paint-over pass to add special FX, extra detail and generally try to make them look like stills from a big budget movie.

There were about 24 characters in that game and I spent about 6 months on the ending renders. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. Here are the original storyboards and then the final renders:

Here's an example of a raw render compared to the touched up version: