ILM Art Department Challenge Results!

So after a looooong loooooooooong wait, we finally got back the results of the ILM Art Department Challenge.  I didn’t win one of the prizes, but I’m very proud and honored to have been one of the survivors who made it all the way to the final round (top 5.7%) of this challenge with such amazing artists!

Anywhoo, here are some of the pieces I put up for the contest:

Vader's Lament - Keyframe from Round 1. This is the moment from Episode V right after Vader walks away from the Death Star bridge after Luke has rejected his offer to join him and rule the galaxy...I tried to convey his sadness by showing him with his head down in his meditation chamber after throwing down his helmet in frustration.

Vader’s Lament – Keyframe from Round 1. This is the moment from Episode V right after Vader walks away from the Death Star bridge after Luke has rejected his offer to join him and rule the galaxy…I tried to convey his sadness by showing him with his head down in his meditation chamber after throwing down his helmet in frustration.

Stromtrooper Interrogation - Keyframe from round 1. This is a scene from Episode IV that was not shown: the scene where imperial stormtroopers invaded Luke's home and interrogated and murdered Owen and Beru Lars. I made an effort to show the intensity of the moment with the intensity of the light on Owen's face as well as the intensity of his stare.

Stromtrooper Interrogation – Keyframe from round 1. This is a scene from Episode IV that was not shown: the scene where imperial stormtroopers invaded Luke’s home and interrogated and murdered Owen and Beru Lars. I made an effort to show the intensity of the moment with the intensity of the light on Owen’s face as well as the intensity of his stare.

Some Thumbnails of various ideas I had for the Moment keyframe.

Some thumbnails of various ideas I had for the Moment keyframe.

Sand Drill - Vehicle Design from Round 2. This scene depicts Jawas finding an abandoned and rusted drilling vehicle on Tattooine, from the same manufacturer as the Sandcrawler, their normal mobile home. They look up in awe and curiosity a they contemplate what to do with it. These vehicles were once used to drill in search of water underground prior to the development of the moisture farms on the planet.

Sand Drill – Vehicle Design from Round 2.  This scene depicts Jawas finding an abandoned and rusted drilling vehicle on Tattooine, from the same manufacturer as the Sandcrawler, their normal mobile home. They look up in awe and curiosity a they contemplate what to do with it. These vehicles were once used to drill in search of water underground prior to the development of the moisture farms on the planet.

A couple sketches of the vehicle itself and the final composition.

A couple sketches of the vehicle itself and the final composition.

Hoth Landing - The other vehicle design from round 2. Darth Vader going out to meet Emperor Palpatine as he arrives on Hoth in his own exclusive Alpha-Class Imperial Shuttle shortly after the Empire successfully captured the rebel base on the icy planet. The bottom wings usually stick out beneath the ship when in flight, giving it somewhat of a stinging hornet silhouette, but here they are shown rotated around and outward as it prepares to land.

Hoth Landing – The other vehicle design from round 2. Darth Vader going out to meet Emperor Palpatine as he arrives on Hoth in his own exclusive Alpha-Class Imperial Shuttle shortly after the Empire successfully captured the rebel base on the icy planet. The bottom wings usually stick out beneath the ship when in flight, giving it somewhat of a stinging hornet silhouette, but here they are shown rotated around and outward as it prepares to land.

shuttle_design

Design sketches. Early iterations/silhouettes were based on letters of the alphabet, like several Star Wars ships.

Design sketches. Early iterations/silhouettes were based on letters of the alphabet, like several Star Wars ships.

Composition sketches

Composition sketches

Release The Wampas! - A keyframe from round 3. I read in the Ultimate Star Wars book that several wampas were held captive at the rebel base since they have been known to attack the base in small groups, sooooo...I figured what better time to release them to do just that (as a convenient diversion) than when the base has been taken over by imperial snowtroopers!

Release The Wampas! – A keyframe from round 3. I read in the Ultimate Star Wars book that several wampas were held captive at the rebel base since they have been known to attack the base in small groups, sooooo…I figured what better time to release them to do just that (as a convenient diversion) than when the base has been taken over by imperial snowtroopers!

Release The Wampas initial sketch

Release The Wampas! initial sketch

Unfortunately in this round my schedule didn’t do me any favors with the demanding requests, so some of my other submissions for the final round weren’t my favorites, but I have included them here for completion’s sake.

The Danji At the Rebel Base – Keyframe 2 from Round 3. Here we had to come up with a new race of warriors who have rescued C3PO ad R2D2 and returned them to a secret rebel base on a cavernous planet. The wheeled vehicle design was based on a ridged circular saw.

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A Dramatic Meeting – Keyframe 3 from round 3. Here we had to redo the previous keyframe, only this time it was on a stark and volcanic planet.

Danji Princess - Character design for round 3. The idea was that this warrior princess was the leader of the Danji race that came to the aid of the rebel forces against the empire. The men in the background are just a crowd of men, I didn't get to transform them into aliens like I wanted to, but you get the idea!

Danji Princess – Character design for round 3. The idea was that this warrior princess was the leader of the Danji race that came to the aid of the rebel forces against the empire. The men in the background are just a crowd of men, I didn’t get to transform them into aliens like I wanted to, but you get the idea!

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The Calm Before The Shootout: Keyframe from Round 3. Here I showed a bar scene in which a bounty hunter is talking to a lady bartender seconds before he gets into a blaster fight with some shady characters in the back corner.

Bounty hunter bar sketch

Bounty hunter bar sketch

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The End of A Journey and the Start (and End) of a Study

I am about to submit my completed Artstation.com “The Journey” contest entry….I think I’ve done all the tweaking I care to do at this point.  I hope I win!

I think it's done...

Imagine the start of an epic journey…

Also I needed to work on painting with shapes and values, not using line work as a base as well as some practice with rendering light and shadow on clothing, so….I figured that this would be a pretty good picture to do a painting study from:
Original

Original

My Study

My Study

 

 

 

A New Journey

Here’s the 2nd update for this week:  I made big changes to my entry for the Artstation.com 2D Character Challenge, in both my overall story and the composition.  My previous composition ended up looking more like an environment illustration than a character-focused concept, so I ended up scrapping it altogether and keeping a few elements: the chimp is still going on a journey to space, the boy still has a stuffed chimp, only this time the little boy is going to space with his pet.  I pictured a dramatic scene with the astronauts walking slo-mo style towards the camera and looking off into the distance.  I have included a few iterations below:

The first try…

Cleaned up foreground with much better faces…

Cleaned up the lines some…

Added some garish base colors just because I felt like it…

And now some added values, mostly to capture the strong sunlight coming in from the left….to be continued!

Artstation Challenge and More Fundamentals

So this week I entered the Artstation.com 2D Character Art Challenge: The Journey, seen here.

The idea is to make the viewer care, in a single image, about an epic journey that your original character is about to embark on.  So, my character is a chimpanzee named Tommy and his journey is  a mission to the moon! 🙂

My story: “So Long, Tommy!”
A little boy is excited to see his pet chimpanzee, Tommy off on his journey to space.  Tommy, however, is less than enthusiastic about his blastoff and is having second thoughts.  He can be seen far off screaming out the window, desperately trying to abort the mission now that he understands what’s about to happen.  The boy is oblivious to the chimp’s screams and waves enthusiastically, holding his stuffed chimp to comfort him in Tommy’s absence.

I started off with a moodboard to get an idea of where I wanted to go with this: While this is definitely a daunting journey, I definitely wanted a humorous feel for the piece, especially highlighting Tommy's horrified facial expression juxtaposed with the cute little boy's oblivious excitement...

I started off with a moodboard to get an idea of where I wanted to go with this:
While this is definitely a daunting journey, I definitely wanted a humorous feel for the piece, especially highlighting Tommy’s horrified facial expression juxtaposed with the cute little boy’s oblivious excitement…

So here are my initial thumbnails for this scene: the difficult part is capturing the opposing moods of the boy and his pet chimp, since they are so far away from each other…

So Long Tommy 1

These were ok...

These were ok…

This one I liked, but not enough of the boy is captured to effectively communicate his mood...

This one I liked, but not enough of the boy is captured to effectively communicate his mood…

This is the composition I liked the most, I'll just have to use some good lighting to highlight Tommy's face in the window, maybe tweaking some things here and there.

This is the composition I liked the most, I’ll just have to use some good lighting to highlight Tommy’s face in the window, maybe tweaking some things here and there.

And a quick sketch of the chimp stuffed animal.

Now on to the boring (but necessary) stuff.  In addition to filling many pages with lines and ellipses (yay!), I also filled some with some more perspective exercises from Scott Robertson’s How to Draw.  My line quality is definitely getting better, as well as my understanding, even though I’ve done most of these exercises before.  I’m just more focused this time.