Monday, February 17, 2020

Megastructures Update #2 Feb 2020



Welcome to the second official Megastructure Book Project Update! For those new to the project, Megastructures will be a visual encyclopedia of scifi megastructures, everything from orbiting space habitats to solar system spanning stellar engineering projects. Each structure will include a scientific explanation, followed by paintings and diagrams that bring the concept to life.

The project is going well, with a lot of progress since we last spoke. The goal is to have all the artwork done by the end of 2020, and focusing on publishing it the following year.

In November, 43% of the artwork was completed. 3 months later, we are now at 62% done! In those 3 months, we now have finished art for the Polyhadral Habitat, the Orbital Ring, the Discworld, the Topopolis, the Space Farm and the Hoopworld. 18 structures to go!

We've also added 6 guest artists to the list, who will contribute 10 structures. Will give you a list of these artists in the coming months.

No art sneak peak this month, want to hold back the art until we get closer to the end of the project. But I'm excited to show some new work, as well as the awesome work of the guest artist contributors. Thanks for following along, we're really excited about getting this book complete!

- Neil

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Happy 2019!



Just a quick note on the closing of 2019. It's been a busy year for me for sure, here's a few highlights: We moved to Seattle. I did my first full year on a new video game project at Monolith Productions (can't wait to show you some of the work, but it's gonna be awhile). I restarted the Megastructures book project and did about 20 pieces of new art. My third inktober. I sold copies of Inc the book at 2 comicons. And with the new house, I finally had enough room to buy a flat file for all of my larger pieces of artwork (I know this may sound minor, but to me, I've wanted a real flat file for the last 20 years #ArtistGoals).

Next year should actually be a little more chill, it'll be busy, but with the move over, I can focus more on the art without as much chaos going on around me. It'll be year 2 at Monolith. I am on track (with some help from friends) to complete all the artwork for the Megastructures book. My friends at V1 Interactive will ship their game "Disintegration" and I'll post some of my concept art work for the project I did in 2018. And I have at least 1 more comicon I'll be exhibiting at (hopefully 2).

A huge thank you to all the people who've been following my work, whether you've been around for the last 20 years, or just joined in. I hope you had an excellent 2019, and an even better 2020 in life and artistic endeavors. Will post a full Megastrucrtures update early next year to talk about our progress!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Megastructures Update #1 Nov 2019


Welcome to the first update to the Megstructures book project! Megastructures will be a visual encyclopedia of scifi megastructures, everything from orbiting space habitats to solar system spanning stellar engineering projects. Each structure will include a scientific explanation, followed by paintings and diagrams that bring the concept to life.

The project started back in 2015 with my first illustration based on Larry Niven's Ringworld. But I was busy finishing my first book, "The Story Of Inc", and so "Megastructures" got put on the backburner for awhile. After Inc was released in 2018, I returned to the megastructures project. 2019 was supposed to be a big year of work on the book, but life got in the way. I got a brand new full time job as a concept artist at the videogame company Monolith in Seattle, I moved to Seattle from San Francisco, we sold out old house, bought a new one, got our kid into school, etc. Picking up your life and transporting it 800 miles north is a draining experience. But I am happy to say my life and schedule has started normalizing again, so it's time to get back to the book.

The book currently contains 42 megastructures, the complete list is below...

Alderson Disk, Arcology, Artificial Sun, Bernal Sphere, Birch Planet, Bishop Ring, Ceiling City, Cloud City, Discworld, Dyson Sphere, Ecumenopolis, Floating City, Fusion Candle, Gas Giant Refinery, Geofront, Hoopworld, Interstellar Highway, Krasnikov Tube, Launch Loop, Matrioshka Brain, Megatall Skyscraper, Movable City, Nicoll-Dyson Laser, O'Neill Cylinder, Orbital Ring, Orbital Shipyard, Planetshine Reflector, Polyhedral Habitat, Ringworld, Rungworld, Shell World, Shkadov Thruster, Skyhook, Space Elevator, Space Farm, Stanford Torus, Star Lifter, Star Tram, Topopolis, Undersea Habitat, Warp Gate, Worldhouse Roof

A structure or two may be added or removed before the end, although I'm gonna try and keep it at 42 since it's the meaning of life.

On the progress front, a first draft of all of the book's text has been completed. Art wise, 43% of the artwork has been completed. That may not seem like a lot, but the art is always slower at the beginning, now that we have 3d assets and a pipeline worked out, the remaining art pieces can be completed in far less time than the initial paintings.

In total, 14 structures are completely done, 13 are in progress, and the remaining 15 will be done by friends from the film and videogame industry. Expect the same realistic style from the guest artists, in fact, I'm sure much of their artwork will kick the butt of the 27 structures I am contributing.

The plan is to have all the artwork done by Dec 2020. Then comes book layout, publishing and shipping.

As far as publishing goes, "The Story Of Inc" was self published with a kickstarter helping to pay to print 1000 copies, and we're not afraid to do the same thing with "Megastructures". However, using a publisher does have some advantages, the main one is they can potentially get the book seen by an audience that we would not be able to reach with a purely online campaign. We have a number of publishers in mind, we'll present the project, and see if going the publisher route is the right thing to do. Otherwise, we'll do crowdfunding to print copies of the book just like last time.

So that's the big story for now. I'll try and post an update every few months, give an updated % completed, show a few teasers, and eventually talk about the people who will be helping out with the book. Thanks for following along, we're really excited about getting this book done and into your waiting hands!

- Neil

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Megastructures Poster 1


Next week I'll be posting a full update on the Megastructures book project. It's not done yet, but a lot of progress has been made, so I'll be talking details on the format of the book, how much is done, and the plan for getting the rest completed in the coming year. In the meantime, enjoy this Megastructures poster, and if you want a print copy of it, they're available for purchase here:

https://www.artstation.com/prints/art_poster/1YgQ/megastructures-poster-1#art_poster_size_16x24

Thanks for watching, and see you next week!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Final week of Inktober 2019

Final 4 days of Inktober 2019.





Friday, November 1, 2019

"The Story of Inc" Video Tutorials Released

2 Years ago when "The Story of Inc" was released, it came with links to almost 2 hours of educational videos showing how the book was made. Since enough time has passed for the readers of the book to get the benefit from the videos, I decided its time to release the materials publicly for all. So here's 7 new Inc related tutorial videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/soulburn3d/videos

Or if you'd prefer to read several of the tutorial instead of watching them, visit my cg education page and go to the news section to get links to all the tutorials:

http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/cg_education.htm

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Inktober 2019 Week 4

Here's the fourth week of Inktobers for 2019.








Monday, October 21, 2019

Inktober 2019 Week 3

Here's the third week of Inktobers for 2019. 








Monday, October 14, 2019

Inktober 2019 Week 2

Here's the second week of Inktobers for 2019.







Sunday, October 6, 2019

Inktober 2019 Week 1

Here's the first week of Inktobers for 2019.