Sunday, December 30, 2012

Soulburn 3D Education Page Updated Dec 30th 2012

The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

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

Friday, December 28, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Dec 28th 2012

3A WWRp Caesar Medic Shoot 1
60 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632366827391/

Here's a sample...

IMG_74676

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Starting Over From Scratch (Every Year)

I don't keep a traditional sketch pad. I know there's lots of good reasons to keep one: having one area to store all your quick ideas, it's important to practice your drawing and observation skills, it's a great way to see your skills progress over time. But personally I always found my sketch pads to be rather empty. And it was because I was fearful with every drawing that I'd produce something that looked bad, and "ruin" the sketchbook. So a sketchbook for me was actual the opposite of what it should be, it was a reason not to draw.

While I was at blur, one of my coworkers showed me what ended up being the answer. He did all his drawings on standard sized photocopy paper. So if he made a bad drawing, he just threw it out, and it was gone, never to be seen, and didn't taint any of his other work. Of course you could do the same with a sketchbook and rip out the bad drawings, but using loose paper just made it that tiny fraction easier conceptually. So now for the last decade I've only drawn on copy paper, and it actually got me drawing way more than I used to.

In a similar vein, every year I look back on the work I've done and some of it I like, and some of it I just ask "what was I thinking?". So by the end of the year, as much as possible, I try and finish all my in progress images so I can end the year with everything finished, and start the year fresh, with no mistakes. If I suck at something in 2012, I haven't yet sucked at it in 2013, so in that spirit, I hope to make not just more art in the coming year, but better and different artwork. It will always be my "style", but hopefully improved in a number of ways, and with extra spice taking my work to somewhere slightly new. At least until the end of 2013, where I can let go of all the bad artwork I will certainly make in the coming year, be pleased with the good stuff, and prepare for 2014.

So I invite all of you to look back on the work you've done this year, throw away the bad stuff (and don't feel bad, even bad stuff helps you learn), and get ready for a great new year of artwork. Lets call it "Starting Over From Scratch" day, the 1st of January, 2013, and lets celebrate it every year hence.

Thank you for all the support, and have an excellent end of year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Dec 23rd 2012

3A WWRp Caesar Gravedigger Shoot 1
63 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632321520217/

Here's a sample...

IMG_74312

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Project: Inc

So since the world didn't end, I've decided to post one last new teaser painting from a series I plan on developing next year code named "Inc".


Happy 2012 and see you next year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

3 Paintings For A New Project: Light And Letters

Here's the first of a project called "Light And Letters", where I'm working with my buddy Don Campbell. Basically, Don will write a short story and I'll do a speed painting to accompany, or I'll do a speed painting and he'll write a short story to it. Click on the link after each painting for the short story...



Light And Letters Lost Things Rough



Light And Letters The Giant Color Sketch



Light And Letters Winter Rough

Two new paintings

This is a concept design for a custom paintjob I'll be giving one of ThreeA's toys from the World War Robot series. Always best to plan out what I'm going to paint before painting for real. This is a photograph I took of the blank figure and then painted on top in Photoshop.



20 Min doodle playing with selection marquee. Decided to end the year with something very un-Neil. It involves things in daylight, and using 2 very saturated contrasting colors. I must have gone insane!! :D I promise more monochrome in the new year though. If I ever decide to push this image further, first step is taking the sphere and adding some nice robotic patterns to it, an alien spacepod.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Dec 15th 2012

3A WWRp Caesar Bromwich Shoot 1
50 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632257741732/

Here's a sample...

IMG_73852

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Dec 9th 2012

3A WWRp Caesar AP-PEL Shoot 1
42 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632204201014/

Here's a sample...

IMG_73185

3A World War Robot Group Shoot 58
13 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632204182744/

Here's a sample...

IMG_73477

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Dec 1st 2012

3A WWRp Square MK1.5b Bomb Shoot 1
18 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632151060114/

Here's a sample...

IMG_73122

3A WWRp Caesar Deep Powder Shoot 1
58 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632151068140/

Here's a sample...

IMG_73034

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Nov 24th 2012

McFarlane Halo 3 Series 3 Elite Combat Soldier Shoot 1
36 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632093344748/

Here's a sample...

IMG_72635

McFarlane Giger Li 2 Shoot 1
10 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632089068563/

Here's a sample...

IMG_42287

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Nov 18th 2012

So since my Toy photos are in fact TOY photos, and not just purely ThreeA photos, it was time to diversify things, so this week I started a few shots from the McFarlane Toy Halo collection.

McFarlane Halo 4 Series 1 Grunt Storm Shoot 1
48 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632034469745/

Here's a sample...

IMG_71869

McFarlane Halo 4 Series 1 Crawler Shoot 1
40 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157632038586422/

Here's a sample...

IMG_72270

Also check out a lot of new Halo 4 artwork from Sparth here: http://sparth.tumblr.com/
And more work from John Wallin Liberto: http://john-liberto.cghub.com/images/

I also just picked up the Art of Halo 4 book:

http://www.amazon.com/Awakening-The-Art-Halo-4/dp/1781163243/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353275457&sr=8-1&keywords=halo+4+art

It's possibly the best artbook I have ever seen. Part of me wants to just never make artwork again, because I can't possibly reach that level of awesome. Another part of my just wants to quit my job and paint full time. And of course the more sensible part of me just needs to find more time for painting. I'll let you know which path I end up taking :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Speed Painting: Instagram Monster Scene

Had exactly 1 hour to do a painting on the weekend, so I quickly spat out this experiment (did an extra 30min the next day tightening a few things). Has a very Instagram-my look to it, which seems to be all the rage these days, although Instagram was not used, was done entirely using standard photoshop layering techniques. May write a quick tutorial on the subject sometime soon. Anyways, it's not the most original piece, but fun to paint when time at the computer is so limited and I needed to unwind in a creative manner.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Nov 11th 2012

Adventure Kartel Group Shoot 2
20 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631978731072/

Here's a sample...

IMG_71763

Adventure Kartel Zombot 10 Finger Gang 1 Shoot 1
40 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631977894045/

Here's a sample...

IMG_71452

Adventure Kartel Zombot 10 Finger Gang 2 Shoot 1
21 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631977897801/

Here's a sample...

IMG_71654

Adventure Kartel Zombot 10 Finger Gang 3 Shoot 1
33 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631978721194/

Here's a sample...

IMG_71488

Adventure Kartel Zombot 10 Finger Gang 7 Shoot 1
24 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631978726066/

Here's a sample...

IMG_71321

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Nov 4th 2012

WWR Custom Mini Bertie Pineapple Shoot 1
42 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631922330218/

Here's a sample...

IMG_70662

Adventure Kartel Zombot 10 Finger Gang King Shoot 1
44 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631921717995/

Here's a sample...

IMG_70493

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Oct 27th 2012

Popbot Portable Popbot Badbot Shoot 1
18 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631868996223/

Here's a sample...

IMG_69918

Popbot Popbot Badbot Shoot 1
48 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631869206678/

Here's a sample...

IMG_70059

Popbot Group Shoot 5
10 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631869005861/

Here's a sample...

IMG_70167

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Oct 21st 2012

Adventure Kartel Ankou EX Fat Drown Shoot 1
36 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631816260821/

Here's a sample...

IMG_69722

Adventure Kartel Ankou Shadow Security Straight Face Shoot 1
36 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631816442972/

Here's a sample...

IMG_69579

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Oct 7th 2012

WWRp Bramble MK2.5 Heavy Gravedigger Shoot 1
51 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631709137865/

Here's a sample...

IMG_69332

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pixar Update and Personal Artwork

First, a quick Pixar update.

Bunch of new DVD/bluray's coming out soon I wanted to mention, including the release of Finding Nemo on Blu-ray.
  • Brave (Out Nov 13th)
  • Pixar Shorts Volume 2 (12 short films including Presto, Day & Night, La Luna, etc) (Out Nov 13th)
  • Finding Nemo Bluray (Out Dec 4th)
I'm still working on our film "The Good Dinosaur" making environments and props.

And sorry for the lack of new artwork recently, the only time I have to do personal art is a few nights a week once the family is all asleep, and I'm currently working on a larger concept project, so no time for one offs. But hopefully in a month or so I'll have some time to do some more personal stuff, and hope to show the bigger project before years end.

Opensubdiv for Max Update

Some of you may remember a post a few months ago about the Pixar OpenSubdiv Initiative. So the first few steps in getting Catmull Clark in 3dsmax have been taken by Marius Silaghi, he has just implemented them inside max as a plugin that you can buy here: http://www.mariussilaghi.com/products/turbosmooth-pro

I bought a copy of the plugin and it works quite well!

But do note, there are a few drawbacks. The main one is that you can't use fbx to export the creases to other apps. So, for example, if you want to export your model to mudbox so you can add some detail, the creases won't come along for the ride, and so you won't be able to successfully paint or sculpt on the mesh.

This is why I still believe that autodesk really needs to integrate this technology themselves into max, so they can make it full compatible with fbx. My hope is that maybe they'll just license the plugin from Marius, he's already done a lot of the work, and he really should be compensated for his pioneering spirit.

So if you don't plan on moving assets between multiple 3d apps, give the plugin a try. Otherwise, lets keep pestering autodesk to get it integrated into the new max release!

Toy Photo Page Updated Sept 30th 2012

WWRp Bramble MK2.5 Heavy Iron Panda Shoot 1
62 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631654651609/

Here's a sample...

IMG_69029

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Sept 23rd 2012

WWR Caesar Sand Devil Shoot 1
83 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631606105961/

Here's a sample...

IMG_68713

Monday, September 17, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Sept 17th 2012

Popbot Portable Popbot 2HandPopbot Shoot 1
34 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631554845211/

Here's a sample...

IMG_68271

Popbot Portable Popbot Sangreal ZeroDay Shoot 1
22 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631554838087/

Here's a sample...

IMG_68129

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Toy Photo Page Updated Sept 8th 2012

WWRp Bertie MK3 Mode A Deep Powder Shoot 1
75 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631475598408/

Here's a sample...

IMG_67796

World War Robot Group Shoot 57
6 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631475721424/

Here's a sample...

IMG_66508

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Painting: The Northern Gate

This image came to me in a split second before getting home, in appeared in my mind with such clarity, that I feel as though it may not have been a moment of inspiration, but instead a memory of an image I once saw. But I can't for the life of me remember what image it would have been. Something by John Harris maybe? Steve Burg? Maybe the subject is something pretty common that lots of people have done? I just can't remember. So if you see an image that looks just like this one, here's my homage to that image. If not, then I'm pleased that this came with such ease.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

New Tutorial On My CG Education Page

The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:
http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/cg_education.htm

Toy Photo Page Updated Sept 2nd 2012

WWRp Bertie MK3 Mode A Sand Devil Shoot 1
50 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631368130888/

Here's a sample...

IMG_67274

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pixar's OpenSubdiv Initiative, And How It Can Help You

Pixar has just announced the OpenSubdiv initiative, the open sourcing of the full Catmull-Clark subdiv surface algorithms.

Here's a little essay explaining what this means to the CG artist: Pixar's OpenSubdiv Initiative, And How It Can Help You.

Revised Weapon Design, the M-0908 Mars Issue Submachine Gun MK2

The Story: After the launch of the MK1, soldiers on the field complained about numerous design problems with the weapon, from getting their gear straps stuck in the opening between the grips and the body of the weapon, to a scope that was too close to the body to provide comfort when in use. Responding to these complaints, the MK2 was created to solve a number of these issues. While not perfect, the weapon proved to be far more successful than the MK1.

Information: After my initial design, I received a lot of excellent constructive criticism on how to improve the weapon overall, making it far more believable and useable. So I decided to make a revised version taking many of these suggestions into account. I'm still very new at this, but it's been a very cool couple of weeks doing research, getting suggestions, and overall improving my weapon design skills. This learning will continue undoubtedly on future weapon designs. Again, thanks to everyone for the feedback!

Toy Photo Page Updated Aug 26th 2012

Popbot Group Shoot 4
18 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631152302352/

Here's a sample...

IMG_66194

Popbot Heavy TK Soh Shoot 1
30 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631152319126/

Here's a sample...

IMG_66353

WWRp Bertie MK3 Mode B Sand Devil Shoot 1
56 Photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulburn3d/sets/72157631246486786/

Here's a sample...

IMG_66763

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two new paintings

A new color abstract...


...and a new robot head speed painting called "Tophatbot Rough", trying to find a good balance between something that's too sketchy and something that's far too computer perfect.