This is the first image of a second series of paintings made on an iPod touch. Part of the reason I’ve been doing portraits like this is I like the feeling of intimacy these pictures have, held on a small screen. It reminds me of the miniature paintings travelers would carry with them before the invention of photography. Portraits like that were often used as a form of introduction, or to have an image of a loved one with you when you couldn’t be together.
After doing a number of portraits of people like this I felt compelled to do something a little different. So here we have the first of a set of animals, in this case a chimpanzee. The challenge with this painting was to imbue it with a sense of presence, but not a human one.
This is a series I am currently working on called Held. The work came about after a few things happening around the same time. One was that I had an iPod and was wondering what I might do with it creatively, another was I found out about an app called Brushes from a colleague. The third was that I had been looking at a series of paintings made by Théodore Géricault, his “portraits of the insane”.
In 1821, Géricault painted a series of ten (only five remain today) portraits of psychiatric patients. What I find compelling about these images is that the circumstances around their creation were very unique for the time. These people he painted hadn’t commissioned his services and certainly wouldn’t own the work when it was complete. I think it is for these reasons that Géricault was free to paint these people as he really saw them. There is no attempt to flatter and there are no favors to be gained by connecting with these people. The result is something so honest and psychologically complex.
I considered doing studies of them (I still might), but what I wanted to do more was something new. So here we have this series:
I built and textured three of the characters for the CARS 2 Explorer title; Lightning McQueen, Pacer and Sheriff. Of the three characters I found Sheriff (bottom image) the most difficult to do. It wasn’t that he was more complicated than the others, it was that I had less reference to go by. I wound up basing the model on screen grabs from Cars and a toy car I bought of the character.
Here is McQueen with Mater and Finn McMissile (below). I composed and lit this shot and did the over-painting in Photoshop.
This rendering of the Pacer (below) was never seen in game. It was part of a group of images sent off to Pixar for approval – which is why the background is so simple. One thing about creating this model was that originally the model said “Pacer” on it. There are three Pacer emblems on the car and you can see the one on the hood here. At one point during the project having the rights to use the name “Pacer” was in dispute, so we were asked to remove the “P”. So the character was called “Acer” instead. I did notice when I saw the film, though, that the “P” had returned.
It was a bit of a trip down memory lane modelling this car, as I learned to drive on my mother’s Gremlin (also an AMC car). The sideview mirrors and door handles were identical on those cars. I hadn’t thought about those details in ages.
This was one of my favorite scenes to do. When the staff at Leapfrog saw it they thought it came from Pixar, so that was a nice compliment.
Here is the rough as rendered in Maya:
And here is the final version after painting:
This is my first ever blog post so I thought I’d put up a few images I did for work last year. I work for Inlight Entertainment in Victoria, BC, Canada as an artist. We produced a Cars 2 title for the Leapfrog Explorer. One of the things I liked about doing this project was working on the story panels. I worked with another artist creating models in Maya and rendering the rough scenes out in layers. We certainly didn’t have the budget to rig the characters like Pixar does, so we roughed out the scenes in 3D, then I used Photoshop to paint the final versions.
When I saw the film in the Theatre I was pleased to see how close we got this scene. Here Mater and Finn are trapped inside Big Bently (Big Ben). Painting the expressions was definitely the most challenging part of the process. When we do a project like this we get lots of reference images from the film production team, but we were working on the game at the same time the film was still being made, so allot of what we saw was rough or went through a lot of changes.