Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egg Temple / Env. Process

I was recently invited down to the Ringling College of Art and Design for an environment painting demo and to visit a few classes. It was a great experience, and I saw some very impressive work from the students there. I feel like I learned a lot too... a big lesson was that it's harder than it looks to answer questions from a live audience and paint competently at the same time. For the person who asked about my favorite food, it's actually kale... not eggs.

Anyway! My process always changes a little from piece to piece, but here's the basic breakdown that I went over:

B&W thumbnail sketches... I tend to do a lot of these. Trying to establish major value relationships; foreground/ mid/ background.

Quick 3D blockout of geometric shapes to speed perspective and establish lighting direction. Particularly useful for interiors or angular subjects. Rendered out of Maya / mental ray on "Preview Final Gather".

Grid texture to serve as a guide for impending texture placement. The 3D isn't critical for this particular image, but I feel it's important to show the step.

Building off the B&W base, I throw in photo textures, noise brushes, etc... adding visual density while describing surface textures. Working over whole image, I try to integrate the 3D, photos, & painted portions. I start painting details where needed.
In a top-most layer set, I add atmospheric effects layers (screen layer light flare, curve adjustment, color adjustment, etc). Through the whole process, I try to keep my background, mid ground, and foreground separated into layer sets too. I'll flatten the individual sets as I go through, but I try to maintain these 3 basic divisions. It gives me a bit of wiggle room in case the art director has me change something.
Add/adjust details (can take a while), keep pushing depth, add post effects (adjustment layers, a few gradients)... & done!

If anything needs further explanation, please comment below. Also, if anyone has suggestions on how to improve the workflow, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for reading, and a big thanks to Ringling for having me visit!


Ryan Yee said...

Really awesome, thanks for posting your process on this!

Jeremy Deveraturda said...

very cool temple :)
Thanks for the process, it's always interesting to see how everyone approaches their painting

BTW - best of luck in the future too, sorry hear about 4MM :/

JAY said...

Very cool Jason! Did you show up prepared or was this all done on site? How long was the demo?

spikytiger said...

Hey, thanks for the comments guys!

Jay, I had the sketches done & the model built when I went down there. I demoed for just over 2 hours, and got to around image #5 (more or less). The final steps tend to take the longest; I've worked on environments like this for 16 hours or more... it just depends on the level of custom detailing required.

Michael Victor Curtiss said...

Hey! I really enjoyed this demo...Thanks!