Weapon Design…

As an avid reader of ImagineFX, and an artist that splits his attention between Sci-fi and Fantasy, I have seen a fair share of vehicle and weapon design articles.  In fact even a few character and creature design articles follow the same rules, often times a designer or artist will start with a silhouette.  In order to combine a few different weapons in order to come up with a new design I have decided to go with the silhouette method.

If you have been following my blog for awhile you may be familiar with my Illustrator tutorials, this is one of the case where Illustrator comes in handy.  In the future I will cover how to trace objects in Illustrator both by hand and with the Trace Tool.

Weapon Design silhouettes, TheGrav, Ryan BerryHere are the three weapons I have decided to attempt to combine.  Up top is the C-14 Impaler from Star Craft and Star Craft 2, this is the gun I need to stick close to as I design.   Next is the FN Herstal p-90, a weapon that has a long history with sci-fi television and movies.  Last is the KRISS, a pretty amazing and very new piece of weapons technology.

Both the P-90 and the KRISS are modern weapons with a very next generation or futuristic look, perfect for what I am going for.  Their is also a huge amount of resource material on each of these guns, so even when I do move forward into sculpting the master we will use to make all our props, I have a wealth of resources to fall back on.

Weapon Design, Star Craft 2, TheGrav

I have begun to tear this apart look at the pieces I like, and combine them in ways I think the weapon will/should look.  As you can see I have also created a butt stock from scratch.  At this point you can still tell what weapon is what, but I have begun to merge the parts I like, and the original P-90 is pretty much gone.

There really are no rules on how to do this, so it is a lot of what looks good as you go.  Working on weapon silhouettes only helps to enforce this, as I have no distraction that will sidetrack me into the small details.

N-15 Enforcer, TheGrav, Star Craft 2

Here is my finished silhouette.  I have named the Enforcer, and come up with some random numbers.  To finish it I dragged in the barrel of the C-14 Impaler, cut out the middle support (it looked funny), and then worked the body around a bit more to get the styles to match.  I also did some tweaks to the top in order to set the design up for an optics system in the future.  My next step is going to be turning the silhouette into something I can paint.

I will do some more hard line work in Illustrator, drag it into Painter and finish it up so I can present it to the other guys working on the film.

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Back on the Old Work-House

Coming back to Illustrator this morning, something I recommend as there is nothing like a fresh morning perspective to help you figure out the bugs, and I decided I need to ditch the darker of the two shadow colors, and add a door.

House Icon, Ryan BerryTo make my shadows, I am simply making shapes, setting the color to a value just darker than the main house, and then turning off the outside line.  Same for the highlights.  Then it is all about making the shapes look bubble-like or organic in some way, that helps capture that Icon/Cartoon feeling.

For my hard lines, that is all I am using lines.  I play with the stroke value to get them looking more how I want.  For those of you looking to get a better grasp on how to use Illustrator from the ground up, I will be doing a few tutorials soon!

As I mentioned in my last post, those lines need to be expanded, or as you re-size they will retain their “stroke” and get MUCH bigger/smaller in relation to the object.  Once expanded they become filled objects themselves and are ready for the tweaking!  Once again I need to soften all my “door” line edges, and then I am just about done!

Here is my Final Logo!Logo Design, House Icon, Ryan Berry














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Working on the House, In Illustrator…

As you may have guessed I am not working on a house 🙂  Just working on a house icon in Illustrator.  When I get down to icon work I do one of two things.  1)  A long work-up often including, prototypes, google searches, sketches, sleeping on it, and then making someone else decide, not listening to them and going with something else.  Or 2)  Sit down and slap something neat looking together in Illustrator…

Today I used method two and came up with this little Icon…

House Icon, Thegrav, Ryan BerryIt’s supper simple, and looks pretty damn cool.  It will also fit perfectly in my clients WordPress theme.  But it is missing something.

A quick tip here:  when I was finished with the line work I selected all my lines and expanded them.  (Object > Expand).  This way, since I relied a lot on stroke weight to suggest shape, I can re-size this sucker at whim and it looks the same.

Now I need this little thing to pop!  I have decided to do this by trying to merge the “social media” icon look and the cell shaded cartoon look.  Wish me Luck!  My first step is to decide on a light source, in this case I am gonna put it in the upper left hand corner, just “off” camera.

Houseing Icon, Ryan Berry, TheGrav

Another tricky thing to keep in mind is perspective.  Generally speaking the laws/rules of perspective are something you can tweak, or outright ignore when looking at cartoon like images.  However tossing them out whole-sale can get you into a bit of trouble.

As you can see in this image I am starting to get my shadows placed but I am having an issue with the shadow edge in the chimney.  As I keep working it may be less noticeable or I may find away to fix it.

With lots of suggested lines, like I have here, it is all about balancing to get those shapes to truly pop.

House Icon, TheGrav, Ryan BerryI have added a second shading color, I also spent some time softening all my hard edges, by the time this is re-sized and read to be deployed really minute details like those hard edges are hard to see.  However the all around effect is that the image is just a bit softer, which is worth the extra time.

Now a light source does more than create shadows on the object, so I have some choices to make here.  I am not going to add a shadow to the ground, but I am going to add a few high-lights.

Like I do with most of my work, I am currently zooming in, zooming out, getting up from my chair, and just really looking at this object from as many angles as I can.

Here it is after a few highlights, and now it is time to sleep on it.  I am honestly not sure how it will get used!  Cool Icon?  RSS Feed button?  hmmm…

House Icon, TheGrav, Ryan Berry



Evil Inc.

So a few months back I was driving home from work and I ended up behind this guy who’s rear window vinyl decals were so old they were just dying.

At a glance I would have guessed that they belonged to one of the hundreds of popular surf companies that have come and gone here in So Cal over the last ten years.  But that wasn’t nearly as important as what it inspired me to work on… I didn’t see the logo it was meant to be, I saw Cthulhu

Sketch, Cthulhu, Dark Art, IllustrationThis is the Sketch I came up with for my full design.  I was moving toward a corporate sort of logo look, so clean and simple.

You can get an idea of how I work in pen off this image, using red ink I did a lot of the rough work before I went over that in black to define the lines I wanted to save.

Now I new I wanted to get this cut out of vinyl so I worked and aimed towards that goal from the beginning.  Once the basic design was set on paper I moved to Illustrator to make it into a nice line drawing that could be dye-cut so I could make a few and in this case slap one down on the top of my gaming rig at home.

Cthulhu, Illustrator, Sketch, Vinyl Dye-CutAnd here it is as an Illustrator file ready to be cut!  I decided to add the letters “EVL” in a Lovecraftian font down the tie after a short talk with a co-worker and then we set about testing it to get it to cut right and look good.

We actually had to cut about 3 before we got the thickness to work right, and then all I had to do was pick a color!  I went with a darker “dried” blood red!

It is a simple yet very cool custom sticker and I liked making it from the ground up!  Sooner or later I may try to cut a larger one in white and slap it on my car!

I will snap a picture of the sticker applied soon and share it with you all!