Wednesday, April 26, 2017

1 Week To Go Before We Kickstart

We're just under a week away from the Inc Kickstarter (Tuesday, May 2nd at 10am PST), and this update we'd like to share with you the initial rewards we have available. Of course, the base reward is the "Just Give Me The Book", which is a single book for $20. But we have higher rewards levels available, and hopefully we've come up with an interesting variety of rewards that you find tempting. If there are other rewards you'd love to see, feel free to comment, if enough people want something we'll certainly consider adding rewards.

We hope you will join us next week for the big event, let's get this book printed and released!

Thanks again for all the support, without you, this project would not be possible!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ship Jumper Starship Hallway 1







A test for my Space Jumper project. Decided to give myself a little challenge and try and create a full environment from a few equal sized blocks. I made 10 tileable greebled flat surfaces, 3 catwalk pieces, and 5 smaller greebles, and then assembled the pieces into the hallway you see above. Think of it like a more high tech minecraft. A lot of fun to make and figure out how all the pieces can link together to make larger more interesting patterns.





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2 Weeks Until The Inc Kickstarter

So we're two weeks away from the Inc Kickstarter, and first off a huge thank you for all the support we've received, all the messages, the comments, the feedback, the shares, all of it gives us so much inspiration to make this thing happen, and make the experience as special as possible.

We wanted to give you a small sneak peak at the interior of the book. A lot of time and energy has gone into the layout, and we'd especially like to thank our final layout artist Paul J. Salamoff, he took the earlier rough designs and really made them sing. His strong attention to detail and collaborative attitude was a godsend. The person who lays out your book is just as important (if not more so) as any contributing artist, and we thank Paul for all his hard work.

Next week we'll reveal some of the reward tiers for the kickstarter. The lowest tier of course is "Just Give Me The Book", which is a single book for $20. But from there we have a lot of extra special gifts to check out. More next week. In the meantime, thanks again for all the support!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kickstarting The Story Of Inc!


That's right, The Inc Book Project will be coming to Kickstarter on May 2nd! For those of you who have been following us know, we've been working hard to get the book through the publishing stage of the project. We've learned a lot from this process, but after too many delays, we've decided that the audience has waited long enough, and its time to get this thing printed and into your ever patient hands.

The book has 3 parts, Part 1 is an illustrated novel, which tells the story in the form of a journal with paintings of all the key moments in the story. Part 2 is the World of Inc, which shows off all the main characters, environments, vehicles and aliens of the story in the same format as any art of book. Part 3 is the Making of Inc, which contains tutorials showing how much of the artwork in the book was made. Also included is a link to over 2 hours of video tutorials. The 184 page book contains well over 200 paintings, sketches, and 3d renders. 12 Amazing artists and writers contributed to the book.

All the art is done, the writing is done, the book has been laid out, the only remaining tasks to do are to print the book and distribute it. And that's where you guys come in.

When you print a book, you pay an amount per book. The more books you print, the less you have to pay per book. And its not like a small discount, it's a huge deal. If you print 1000 books instead of 50 books, the difference in price per book can be 5 times cheaper.

We need to sell a minimum of 1000 copies of the book to make the math work, and get the price of the book down to the $20 sale price. We have already chosen our printing company, and have set up our distribution network, all we need now is the money to let us pull the lever, get the book printed and release Inc to the public. And we hope you will be a part of this goal!

As well as buying the book for the low price of $20, there will also be many reward tiers, stretch goals, incentives, all of the stuff you know and love from the kickstarting process. After the month long Kickstarter, if we fund, it'll be a quick 3 month wait to get the books printed, shipped to our distributor, and then shipped directly to you.

We'll post more details in the weeks to come leading up to the kickstart day, but in the meantime, I hope you're as excited as we are, and if you have any questions as all, please feel free to comment, we want to hear your feedback so we can provide you the best experience. Thanks for waiting patiently for us, we're biased of course but we feel it'll be worth the wait.

http://www.facebook.com/thestoryofinc
http://thestoryofinc.blogspot.com/
http://thestoryofinc.tumblr.com/

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Landscape Painting and New Starship Hull


My good friend the Spiky Alien Landscape has been getting a lot of grief lately, and I wanted to add my opinion to the chorus of people discussing the subject. The main reason its getting poo-pooed is because if your goal is to make a portfolio that will get you hired as a concept designer, filing it with Spiky alien landscapes won't get you very far. They don't really have much in the way of design. They can show you know how to paint or photobash. They can show you know a thing or two about light and atmospheric perspective. But as an actual IDEA goes, they tend not to be very deep. So I agree completely that a portfolio filled with these things is not going to get you that dream job as a designer. But that said, for practice, for fun, for relaxation, for sheer visual joy, the Spiky Alien Landscape is just what the doctor ordered. So don't stop making these landscapes, they have their own place in the world of art and I do enjoy them dearly. But just remember, design is about ideas, its about coming up with a new take on subject while still grounding it in reality, it's about function and how that affects form, and there are many many other subjects that show off these skills far better than the Spiky Alien Landscape. Use our Spiky friend wisely. This landscape was inspired by a painting I saw in the Louvre on my recent trip to France.


One of a number of starship hull test images. I made these images to explore variations in greebling and hull plate shapes and configurations. The tests are a little less practical and a little more abstract, but they have been really helpful, and should be a great source of inspiration and practical experience the next time I decide to make a full fledged 3d model of a starship, space station or even a mechanized planet. 90% of this is painted in 2d inside photoshop, some pipes are rendered from 3dsmax and then photobashed into place to create more complex configurations, and many patterns were inspired or produced by Darktree, Bercon Noise and Filterforge procedurals.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Thanks for everyone who attended the IAMAG Master Classes 2017


I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Patrice and Ben for organizing and inviting me as a speaker to the IAMAG 2017 Master Classes, I had a great time. Also a huge thanks to everyone who watched and gave me feedback on my talk: "The Story Of Inc: Developing Your IP with an Illustrated Novel", all the students who came by to get a critique, and all the other speakers, who not only gave excellent talks, but were also extra cool at the dinners and hang out events afterwards. Here's a few highlights from the show...

Talks:
- Goro's VR talk: First off Goro is just the most enthusiastic guy ever, seeing him work in Quill in VR was just a pleasure, how fast and natural he was, he gives a really great sense of where the tech is going in the future. If you haven't painted or sculpted in VR yet, find a way to do it, it's fantastic.
- Dan Roarty's talk: Trying to pull off texturing a realistic human head in 60 min is no small feat. And don't worry Dan, mudbox is awesome, you don't have to apologize for not being a zbrush user.
- Nikolai Lockertsen's talk: I learned a whole ton of tips on using Procreate for my sketching. Love the perspective assist. And he's a super nice guy too.
- Sandra Pilny-Lockertsen: Many talented artists who didn't give a talk also attended, and had many great discussions with them about life and art. It was really interesting hearing about the similarities and differences making films in a small market like Norway vs the large US market. And just learning in general more about the story boarding process.
- Mike Blum's talk: With all the focus on big prominent blockbuster animation, it's easy to forget sometimes that there's a huge amount of smaller animation going on for Comedy Central, Adult Swim etc. There's a lot of talented people in this space showing off alternative styles and ideas that really should get more attention.
- Andrew Schmidt's talk on directing, I knew Andrew from Pixar but it was great hearing about what he's been up to since he left for a career in directing animated TV for dreamworks. A lot of great advice on what directing is really about.
- Ryan Church's talk: The sheer volume of quality work Ryan showed at the talk was incredible, honestly, only a hand full of images end up in the art of book, wish they were all there.
- Nathan Fowkes: The thing I've loved about Nathan's work for so many years is how rough and brushy it feels, he captures light with just a few strokes of his traditional or digital brush. And I found out he's also a big hard scifi fan :) Nathan does a lot of teaching, if you ever get the chance to take one of his courses, I can pretty much guarantee you will learn tons.
- Sadly, due to scheduling, I was unable to see all of the talks. I was able to see about 15 min each of Ash Thorp's talk and Jason Scheier's talk, Ash's talk about his current projects and inspiration started off really strong (and he's an Eastman & Laird TMNT fan!), and my wife who got to watch all of Jason's talk and she said it was excellent. The part I saw was great, I love analyzing film. I got to hear some of Allan McKay's talk from back stage, and he got into a lot of nitty gritty about the business of VFX, a topic that doesn't get discussed enough, it's so important. And I was really bummed to miss Marc Simonetti and Raphael Lacoste's talks because I was manning the portfolio review area, both are spectacular artists who I've followed for a long time, and I got a chance to hang out with Marc a bunch in the evenings and he's a super nice guy. Thank goodness we can watch the talks on video afterwards. Not as great as seeing them live, but will work in a pinch, I look forward to watching them all.

Q&A:
- Ian McQue's Q&A: It was awesome hearing this guy's professional story, a story of too many sequels that finally persuaded him to find creative freedom in his own artistic projects, and those projects ended up being wildly successful, which sent him down the path of fulltime freelance. A good lesson for us all.

Student Portfolio Review:
- I got the chance to review and critique dozens of student portfolios, and I found it really interesting. There's certain strong points that I saw in most of the portfolios, but also the same things that need work kept appearing again and again (cinematic lighting, variation in line weight, portfolio organization, etc). I have a much better understanding now of where the schools are excelling and where the schools may be lacking, and hopefully that knowledge will help me focus some of my educational materials a bit more to help out in those areas.

Also met so many other amazing professionals at the parties, students, people's significant others, people's kids. Thanks to everyone for coming. There was some discussion about whether the conference should expand (it was 21 presenters and about 300 people), but I felt that the size was kind of perfect, it allowed everyone to make real bonds with each other, get a chance to talk to each other frequently more than once, compare notes, it just felt more personal than say a 70,000 person siggraph.

If you didn't attend, you can buy access to the recordings of the talks here: https://www.iamag.co/features/masterclasses17tickets/ Learn all about how the team made the Inc Book Project, and 20 other great talks by professional artists!
I can only imagine next year will be even more kickass.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Neil Blevins At IAMAG Master Classes In 1 Week

Hey everyone. So this coming Sunday (March 19th) is the weekend I'll be at IAMAG 2017 in Paris France giving an hour long presentation called "Developing Your IP with an Illustrated Novel". It will cover the creation process of the Inc Book project, I will be discussing how we made the imagery, wrote the story, talking about all the things you need to know about making your own book, working with publishers, business considerations, showing off a ton of never before seen art from Inc, and if there's time at the end, perhaps a live painting demo. The conference will feature 21 artists in total, some amazingly talented people will be there (Ryan Church, James Clyne, Ian McQue, Raphael Lacoste, and many more), artists from all different walks of life. Check out the official site below, come grab a last minute ticket, and hope to see everyone there!

http://www.iamag.co/features/iamag-master-classes-17/


Monday, March 6, 2017

Ship Jumper Super Robot 1

Working on a new IP called Space Jumper, more on that in the future. In the meantime, here's a Rough Line Sketch and Rough Painting for a giant robot that will feature in the property. All painted in photoshop.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Inc Aliens Warp Gate 2

“We were now heading straight for the mothership, hugging it as dangerously close as possible, sending the remaining probe smashing back into the huge ship that had launched it.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Megastructures 7 Star Lifter

A star lifter removes mass from a star for either raw materials or to change the nature of the star itself. For example, you may remove mass from the star to collect hydrogen or other elements. Or you could remove mass in order to extend the life of the star, to make the star dimmer, or reduce the chances of a super nova.




Monday, February 6, 2017

Art Education and CG Tools Email Lists Moving

So after a successful move last week of my Art email mailing list, its now time to do the same to my Education list and my Soulburn Scripts list.

For anyone who doesn't know about the lists every month or so I send out an email letting people know when I've added new material to my website. I have 3 lists, one for Art, one for Education, and one for Tools. Some people sign up for all 3, some just for 1 or 2.

While social media is great, a lot of social media sites don't show you all of the posts from the people you follow. So the only way to be sure to see ALL of my updates is my mailing lists delivered directly to your email address.

Just visit these pages and put in your email to subscribe. It'll send you a confirmation email to make sure you're not a robot, and you should be all set.

For my Educational Material:
http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/cg_education.htm

For my Tools (3d assets, materials, Soulburn Scripts):
http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_tools/cg_tools.htm

So sign up today, it just takes a minute of your time.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

NeilBlevins.com Art Gallery Mailing List Is Moving!

Yes, after 12 years (May 13th 2005 to be exact), its time to move the mailing list to a new provider. For anyone who doesn't know about the list, every month or so I send out an email letting people know when I've added new artwork to my gallery. While social media is great, a lot of social media sites don't show you all of the posts from the people you follow. So the only way to be sure to see ALL of the artwork I post is my mailing list delivered directly to your email address.

Just visit this page and put in your email to subscribe. It'll send you a confirmation email to make sure you're not a robot, and you should be all set.

http://www.neilblevins.com/artgallery/artgallery_news.html

As an extra incentive, I will be releasing some new artwork on Wednesday morning that will be exclusive to this new mailing list. So sign up today, it just takes a minute of your time.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Monolith Artifact 1 3D Sketch

Another Oculus Medium experiment, our intrepid explorers come across a giant alien artifact, a monolith stuck in the earth like it had been dropped from the sky.

This software has possibilities beyond creatures and characters, it could also be used for previs and sets. The artist can sculpt a previs scene, then invites the director into the vr space. The director looks at the scene, makes comments, the artist can sculpt ideas and make changes in realtime, and the director can move around the virtual set taking snapshots of potential camera angles. Basically, a more flushed out version of what James Cameron was doing on Avatar. The potential for a more collaborative realtime environment is immense.

See turntable here: https://vimeo.com/198149396
See in Medium here: https://vimeo.com/198149005

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Zz6WG

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Inc Oasis Wall 1




 "We cautiously made our way closer to the city built in the shadow of the Citadel. What at first appeared insignificant now seemed impenetrable. Tall walls circled the place, and guard towers served as a reminder that you were watched at all times."

I decided that another painting of the Oasis wall was in order, this time with a more dramatic camera angle to show off the perspective and to illustrate the rough sands blown by the winds. All painted in photoshop with the exception of Inc the robot, which was originally a render that I swiped from another painting then painted over to change the pose and lighting.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Oculus Medium Sculpt 2

Took an old creature drawing from 10 years ago and went to town in Medium.

See turntable here: https://vimeo.com/197845147
See in Medium here: https://vimeo.com/197845444

Monday, January 2, 2017

Oculus Medium Sculpt 1

Sculpted in Oculus Medium in VR, then exported to 3dsmax and rendered in vray.

The Skagin is a small creature that lives on the moon of a distant planet circling a distant star, during the day they burrow into the soft soil to stay hidden, at night they venture out to scavenge from the carcasses left behind by the day predators.




See turntable here: https://vimeo.com/197730091
See in Medium here: https://vimeo.com/197729676

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/wqkv9