Minecrafting…


Our group has had a few Minecraft servers, at this point almost everyone of us has run a server, made up our own rules, and got together to craft some awesome structures.  Its been a few months though, and for whatever reason we have the bug again, so we set about using world painter to make a “starting area” and then letting Minecraft generate the surrounding chunks.

This was pretty cool, but it was only part of the plan, the next step was to make the spawn area look finished, and to do this we decided on a Roman style, a temple, some big homes and villagers wandering about.

Here is a few screenshots of the buildings I have made so far!

Night shot

 

Quick view o f the temple and the beginnings of the Villas and Farms

 

Another angle

 

Super high angle night shot!

Did some reflection pools, a bit of a wall and an open air theater!

More to come as we decide on and add more buildings!

-TheGrav

 

 

DC Underground…


DC has a Metro System, I found it really cool, in fact since I spent so much time in the Metro system in Fallout 3, I had to take a mess of photos.

For those of you who haven’t played Fallout 3, it takes place in Washington DC, here are a few screen-shots.

For anyone who has played the game, IIRC, the Metro stations in the game are very similar to those I traveled in the last few days.  Here are a few of my Metro Photos.

-TheGrav

Progress, and a lesson learned…


More work on thegrav.com, almost finished with the background images.. for some reason I always need to sleep on it before I decide I am done.

Colors and Values, Ryan Berry. Warp Gate

Here is the gate getting closed to finished, I have blended all my colors, and refined the values I wanted.

Texturing Step 1

To finish any good digital painting, a bit of time needs to be spent applying textures, and getting the final image to look right.  Here is the first layer of texturing I applied.

Second level of Texturing, Ryan Berry, Warp Gate

Here is the Warp Gate background after the second level of texturing has been applied.  I also refined the edges of the gate, and added some wear and tear.

Final Draft, Warp Gate, Ryan Berry

Here is the Warp Gate after the final touches have been applied to the painting.  I like the rough painted look it retains, and don’t want to make the image much more technical or bog it down under hard edges.  But I still feel it needs something more.

As with most of my art, I need to spend sometime away from the piece so I can think about the piece.  A valuable lesson I learned over the years work both in the freelance world and later behind a desk, never think something is truly finished until you forget about it for a few hours, go do something else, and then come back.

 

TheGrav!?!? Where have you been!!


The last few weeks have been a little crazy… I have experienced being laid off, experienced crunch time in City 7s timeline, and I have started to try and gather everything I do together to see if I can’t make it as a freelance artist again…

Long story short, I have been pretty busy, and really bad and posting…

The largest task I have undertaken is in the composting the first 25 seconds of our short Zombie Movie, City 7.  As an artist and graphic designer I have had some experience with matte painting, which is basically the term used to describe how an artist might help a director create a scene that just can’t be filmed.  Some of the greatest examples of matte paintings in film, are in the Original Star Wars films.

Matte Painting at ILM

When I was in middle school and lived in San Francisco, my Dad and Step-Mom took me to see an exhibit of the largest single collection of Star Wars props, it was pretty damn cool, and I think it was there that I really started down the path towards art and graphic design as a possible career path.  I saw a handful of these paintings in person and going back to watch the films was just impressed with how they did it.

There are several good examples of digital matte painting in this little clip from ILMVisualFX.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/L7r5mz9aTlA%5D

Of course with a budget somewhere in the neighborhood of only $2500 we did not have quite the number of resources these guys did!  But we do have a cool little intro!

Our movie is set to release in full in the next few weeks on our YouTube Channel Digital Raven.

More to come!

-TheGrav

 

Please make sure to follow me, send me any questions you have, or just in general keep and eye out!

Galdor.


A buddy of mine and I are working on a Fantasy Campaign setting we plan to use in our own RPGs as well as possibly play test and release to the public.  Based on this a lot of my recent sketch work has been centered around this project.  Here is some of the work I have done.

Gnome Artificer, Dungeon and Dragons, SteampunkHere is a Gnome Artificer, with is pseudo-beyholder familiar.

Kobold, AssassinThis is Kasen, a Kobold assassin.

Diablo 3, First Impressions


Diablo 3 Title Screen

So this weekend I sat down and made it a goal to play through the Diablo 3 beta.  The game is amazing, beautiful, and all I had hoped for.  Diablo and Diablo 2 have always been huge favorites in my classic games collection.  During my high school years I must have racked up hundreds of hours in Diablo alone.  So maybe it comes as no surprise that I like this title so much.

I decide to go ahead and run about the 3 levels of the beta as a Demon Hunter.  I set out with my hand crossbow and a good dose of arrogance.  From what I played the graphics are amazing, water, mist, smoke, ruble, fire… everything is done to the level we have all come to expect from Blizzard.  The Character animations are also pretty damn cool, and the voice acting is a nice touch.  Not only do all of the characters talk now, which is pretty sick, but as you discover new enemies you get a cool little voice clip from one of the game setting’s scribes!

Demon HunterHowever don’t come to this game expecting something ground breaking and new.  Sure all sorts of things are new, dungeon generation, character classes, skills, but for the most part it is still the Diablo I loved as a kid.  Hack, Slash and Smash through the enemy, random barrels, coffins and floor tiles to get EXP and loot!

You still have your basic Diablo II style random dungeons that don’t have to do with the Quest, but are cool distractions.  There is still a huge surface world to explore, and lots of critters to track down and kill.

One improvement I really liked, other than the new class and new skills, was that as you get new armor, your avatar changes!  This of course also goes for weapons, which Diablo II also featured.  There is nothing cooler than upgrading to a new chest armor piece, and getting a new bad-ass red cloak!

This is a title I am looking forward to wasting hours on when it is finally released!

-TheGrav

 

Good things from Blizzard…


Just a few Blizzard videos!

Diablo III is probably one of my most look forward to games this year!  I also just got a beta key, so maybe soon I shall have a review!  Another anticipated game for me is Star Craft II :Heart of the Swarm.. Again Enjoy!

As a digital artist, these games and Blizzard as a whole has inspired me many times over the years!  I always look forward to there releases!

 

Divide by zero…


My free time has become a black hole, sucking in an ever growing job list of personal and professional projects.  This is part of what has led me to slack a bit on my blog, but since almost everything I do has some connection to the art and design world, I figured it is probably a good idea to show case what goes on all around me, that I don’t consider “personal” work.

I regret that my #sketchaday and Lain projects have fallen to the wayside, but they are still there and when I can snatch a rare hour or two to work I am.

City 7 has developed a bit of a following, and at present that following is almost strictly confined to Facebook and YouTube, but not for long.  Last week I began working on http://www.city7themovie.com, and pretty quickly discovered that I needed to pick a direction.

City 7, Web-designI decided, based on the slowly growing fan-base on FB, to go with more of a community based design vs. the typical Marvel new movie design that has a few trailers and not much else.

This is the skeleton of the site so far, and even though there is not mush there, I have already started to build upon some major foundations.  First off, even if I don’t end up utilizing it, I laid most of the site out with .php.  I find that this always me a bit more ease when it comes time to change, move, or modify an aspect.  Also if I ever get a heavy enough fan-base or lots of traffic.. well I don’t have to redo the plumbing. 🙂

Deciding on elements and pages was important too, what are some of the things are fan going to want to know?  One of the things I learned from the actors, as well as from our pre-production indiegogo campaign, is that a lot of people want to know more about this world.  How does it work?  Who lives it in?  Is there more to the story?

We also had a huge turn-out of amazing actors and extras, a lot of which are interested in seeing what is coming next, working with us, and getting more involved with promoting the movie.  (In fact Pia Thrasher, the actress that played Scout, has already blogged about us on her own wordpress.)  We also allowed our extras and actors to snap photos, as long as it didn’t interfere with filming or get in the way, and we know there are hundreds of great shots floating around.

With all this in hand, the site began to structure itself.  We need a home page, for breaking news(although in the future News may have it’s own page) and trailers.  Background and Character guides, to help people that didn’t read the script or pick my brain on set.  And a Forum for our Actors, Extras, Crews, and fans to connect on, share stories, ask questions, and swap pictures.

Sometimes that is the hard stuff, other times it is the easy stuff as in this case, and the hard part is getting to flow.  I don’t mean work, I can make it work, pretty easily too.  But how do I build up a site that is easy to use, informative, and fun to look at?  Well Art and Design is my answer.

City 7 Movie Still, GhostNext step I took was to look through some of our movie stills and see if there was a good, gritty, dark feeling, still I could snag to use as a background.  Now we shot everything with good lights, and at the highest quality, the gritty and dark bit is a lot easier to do in post production.

Just like with normal art work stuff it is possible to mess most things up, it is very hard to make them better without redoing them completely.  So what I need to do now is get it tweaked just the way I like it and then make it a nice background for the trailer window to sit in.

For now this is as far as I have made it!  However our trailer is out.. so I have a very real deadline!

-TheGrav

Minecraft 1.8


Disclaimer.. this post is about PAX Prime, so even if I suck at writing it is still full of win.

In my last post I very briefly sketched out our experience at PAX this year, but this next bit will need a bit more explaining so…  This year the Expo Hall was on two floors(I am not including HALO fest stuff).  For anyone who has been to a PAX at the Seattle Convention Center, last years Free-play Console area was given over to exhibitors.  Before you groan about how “terrible it is” that PAX decided to do that, THAT ROOM HAD THE MINECRAFT BOOTH!!! So all is forgiven.

Not to mention that the NOS girls were walking around giving anyone on the 6th floor in the Expo area free shots of ENERGY!.  Anyway Notch was there!  As was Mrs. Notch! And if you waited in line you could take an EPIC picture under this banner:

Minecarft PAX booth(I’m the bald one…)

And of course try your hand at 1.8.  Now I only had a limited amount of time so I spawned into a NPC village, that was built on the water.(Think Venice.)

Their were no NPCs about, but the village was cool anyway, the randomly generated houses came equipped with kitchen, tables, and all sorts of other neat stuff, not to mention pretty cool little light posts made with glowstone!  Weirdest thing though.. there are now “cooked” pork-chops which are a light cream color and “burned” pork-chops which look like our old friends!

Also added to the game mechanic side was the need to “eat” food.  Basically right across the screen from the air bubbles there are little “lamb-shank” icons that symbolize how hungry your dude is.  In the 10 minutes or so I got to demo it, I lost one hungry bubble.  I did not get to see any monster in the demo I played, but I did get to see Mrs. Notch take on one of the scary black builder dudes (AKA Enderman).  They look sick!

I for one love Minecarft and I am defiantly looking forward to the release of 1.8!  If you have yet to play the game or looking into it at all head over to http://www.minecraft.net/ and buy it!  🙂

-TheGrav

The Evils of this weekend….


So I have yet to mention it here, but myself and some friends have begun to work on an unnamed action short movie, based on my existing Fictional Blog.  This has truly been a difficult learning experience, as I have had to take my existing manuscripts and convert them into screenplays

BUT WAIT!  It gets better… Then through-out a series of meetings we have looked at the script, refined it to make it work a bit better, and then we booked a location.  It’s pretty awesome and the closer we get to release I will have more information on the entire project, but I had to re-write the script to fit the location!

All in all I have grown a lot as a writer with this project and we have yet to truly start!

I have also been trying to keep up with my sketch a day challenge, even when I don’t make a post I still sketch, and this is some of this weekends work, enjoy:

Illustration, concept design

Combat Thrall, quick design work.

Inspired by the Warhammer 40k world, this is just some concept of a future painting I want to do.  Still very much playing with what this guy will even look like.

When I start to conceptualize this stuff in my head I do lots of sketches before I get anywhere near what I am happy with.

Sooner or later I will finish Lain and start this one! (maybe)  🙂

 

This guy is a sketch to fit into my Savaged world.  He/It is a member of the Galactic

Illustration, Savaged, Character Design

A member of the Galactic Hunter's Guild.

Hunter’s Guild, a federation of Bounty Hunters that act a bit like US Marshals in the less than civilized “fringes” of the many Galactic Empires and Civilizations.  Many times a Hunter is the closest thing to an Empire’s official representative in a Star Systems.

They live by their own creed, and exist very much above the law.

-TheGrav