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So after sketching the six heads, last weekend I decided to pick one and model it. I made an organized base mesh, sculpted it in Zbrush, then went back to Maya with displacements/normals and rendered my look-dev passes, (diffuse, SSS, primary spec, secondary spec, skin reflection, eye reflection, three different cavity maps and the blurred HDR background) which are here comped in Photoshop. I haven’t begun any texture looks yet, so this is just the comp ready to go. All of the passes are at 100% but it looks kinda cool… although in the end I imagine it will be quite different. Now I just need to find the time to keep working on it! Click here for a higher res version.
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I recently got a Wacom Cintiq and it has really reinvigorated my interests in sketching and drawing in Photoshop. I still suck compared to all the stellar artists that we work with at Gnomon, but I’m not going to get better without trying! But it is nice to be reminded that yes…. 2D is faster than 3D. I just need to seriously improve my design/rendering skills. Anyhow, I reluctantly share this in an effort to prove that over time, with practice, I will be able to do better. Now I need to go watch some Gnomon DVDs. Heh. Let me know what you think… Thanks for watching.
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This head was actually sculpted in class a few months ago for fun. Once crits were finished, I decided to connect my iPod to the classroom speakers and have everyone sculpt a head in a couple hours. We then collectively picked the ‘winner’ and he got something from the Gnomon store (congratz Josh Herman with your pig dude! Heh… who is now working at Legacy Effects btw). Anyhow, I participated too and this sculpt has been sitting on my drive for months… so this weekend I decided to have some fun with it and do some look-dev in Photoshop. Click here for a high-res version.
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This video shows my progress developing a creature from design to animation in seven days. Created for a Gnomon master class that stopped at look-development, I continued to develop the creature for a new Gnomon Workshop training series that is coming soon. But for now, this video is an entertaining glimpse at the kind of work that I do.
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In this very brief overview, I discuss how this image came together, starting as a spontaneous Zbrush sculpt that gradually evolved into a finished narrative illustration. Without getting technical, I show progress images that emphasize that while I usually start with a concept, sometimes it is fun to figure things out along the way.
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While making my image ‘Guardian’, I only recorded this small portion as I was working on one of the insects. This is extremely time-lapsed down to just six minutes, so expect to get a little dizzy as you watch me model, layout UVs and sculpt in Zbrush. Hopefully the music helps you keep up!
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These images were created during my 2008 Gnomon Master Class. They Illustrate how Photoshop can be used to quickly explore the possible looks for a model, both in texture and surface properties. There are an infinite variety of ways that a character could look and before beginning 3D texturing, it is best to explore those options to find the most suitable look for the project. These examples are created in about twenty minutes each using a layered Photoshop document that has rendered passes from Maya for diffuse, cavity, spec and reflection. Once I settle on a direction, I can then use this file as a road map for what I will need to do using BodyPaint, Photoshop and Maya. Click here for a high-res version.
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This image was created quickly, in an evening, and is based on a pencil sketch that I had sitting around. It is generally faster to work from a concept, as exploring ideas in 3D can easily take up a lot of time, even though it is fun. As I had no intention of animating the character, I created a very rough box-modeled base-mesh in Maya, meaning that it has an unorganized topology, that was exported to Zbrush for sculpting. The sculpt is then rendered in Maya/Mental Ray using a Subsurface Scattering Shader (SSS), which is rendered as a series of passes. The passes are then combined in Photoshop, which is used to create the final image with techniques identical to my look-development procedure.. Click here for a high-res image of the above progress stills. The high-res version of the final image is in the 3D Artwork section.
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Jester is based on a series of sketches I did back in 2001 when Gnomon was commissioned to design and produce the SIGGRAPH stage demo content for Alias|Wavefront Maya V3. The project was called ‘Zufuhr’ and took place in a fantasy incubation factory. Jester is meant to be a plaything for the children. I didn’t get to develop this guy then, but a couple years ago I finally got around to it. The final image has no post-processing, except for the 2D smoke added behind him. I chose to develop him in 3D, after doing some 2D look-dev, for the purpose of creating a DVD on character modeling, texturing and shading. Therefore this guy just needs to be rigged and he’s ready to animate, which hopefully I’ll get around to one day! Click here for a high-res image of the above progress stills. The high-res version of the final image is in the 3D Artwork section.