19 March 2015

'Doorway' sketch

Here's a wee sketch I did. Inspired by a very famous John Singer Sargent painting, Fumée d'Ambris Gris. A special thanks to my buddy Chad Weatherford for being a sounding board on my sketches lately. Your advice is always awesome sir!

Chad Weatherford on blogspot
John Singer Sargent on Wikipedia
Fumée d'Ambris Gris on Wikimedia

24 February 2014

Architectural Visualisation

Here's a fun little job I completed recently. My client purchased an apartment in the spectacular Clyde Quay development on the Wellington waterfront. However her situation has changed and she is now seeking to sell the apartment. The unit is still under construction so she needed some visuals to accompany her advertisements, which is where I came in.

It was a really interesting task for me. I've done a lot of environment design for the entertainment industry though the subject matter tends to be quite different. Instead of the alien hives, epic temples and pock marked battlefields I've drawn for various projects in the past, I had to tackle modern sophistication instead. Luckily it's the same basic process and relies on the same foundational skills.

While the pieces were requested as 'artists interpretations' of the apartment, it was really important to still be as accurate as possible. We did not want to mislead any potential home buyers. In the interests of speed and accuracy I imported the plans into a 3D package and rendered a basic ambient occlusion render. The rest was good old photoshop. All of the ornaments in these images were from photographs supplied by my client of her current home. She thought that personal flavour would add some feeling of her personality and a kind of homeliness to an otherwise anonymous image.

I hope you enjoy seeing something quite different from me!

If you want to move into the Clyde Quay development, you can check out the apartment listing at realestate.co.nz

If you'd like to read some earlier posts of mine that contain somewhat similar work done for the entertainment industry you should check these out:
The Anchor Bar for Tintin
Another bar, and a few other things for Anthymn

If you've never heard of Ambient Occlusion before you might want to have a read about it on Wikipedia

17 September 2013

D'Artiste: Matte Painting 3

Apologies for the extended period without posting. I've been busy relocating my life with a happy little jaunt through Europe thrown in for good measure (more on that soon!). During that time however, I've been lucky enough to be included in the latest book from Ballistic Publishing: 'D'Artiste: Matte Painting 3'.


One of the three editors is David Luong, the veteran I recently studied under. I'm very honored to have two of my early attempts at matte painting included. I'm sure you will recognise them in the spreads below.

D'Artiste: Matte Painting 3 is currently available for pre-order from the Ballistic Publishing site here. You can flip through the entire book on the site. It seems to have a big focus on step by step tutorials and includes links to training videos and other resources. My copy has not yet arrived, so I'll let you know more once I've had my greasy paws on the real thing.

20 June 2013


I recently created these concept illustrations for 'Anthymn', an MMO that weaves the creation and performance of music through the traditional player experience.

Instead of wizards and mages, Anthymn has maestros. Players perform their music in battle, their 'band' of warriors working in harmony to gain combat bonuses. Even the traditional meleee classes sync in as the percussion section, just using the shields and skulls of their enemies as drums. Beyond that maestros can compose warsongs into their songbooks, which work as powerful auras on the battlefield. That age old argument of 'my music tastes are way better than yours' can finally be put to the test in battle :)

It's a really interesting concept - and I'm excited to see how the game develops. You can learn more about the project at http://www.theanthymn.com/.
They are also running a kickstarter right now which you can sign up for here if you're interested: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/37002837/anthymn

When I came aboard Anthymn there was already some fantastic art from Levi Hopkins and Richard Anderson, both veterans of the Guild Wars franchise (and longtime members of my inspiration folder). I had to work in a style that would sit alongside their work, while designing environments that would contrast with what they had already done.

You can see Levi's fantastic environment work on his blog here: http://levihopkinsart.blogspot.ca/
And Rich's dynamic masterpieces on his site here: http://www.flaptrapsart.com/

09 May 2013

Rivendell update and 3D camera projection

A while back I posted a matte painting of Rivendell which I initially began for a contest over at CGChannel. I hadn't quite finished it when the contest ended and my schedule became hectic so it was pushed to the backburner. Over the last few days I've managed to go back to it and finish it off.

Here is the updated digital matte painting.

Apart from the initial plate supplied by Jonathan Berube, I was responsible for the whole shot, including 3d models for the buildings, 3d camera projection, compositing and the animated birds.

Be sure to check it out in HD here.
You can see the previous version of the piece in progress here.
Jonathan's original photograph that the matte is based on can be seen here.
Process video to come.

02 May 2013

Sky Freight

Here is the latest addition to my matte painting reel, built exclusively from my own photography taken in and around Vancouver.

This matte painting explores the idea that mankind has developed a technology that can manipulate and overcome gravity. However, the technology isn't terribly nimble, making its applications somewhat less glamorous than your average science fiction craft. 

There's something extremely appealing to me about impossibly large objects floating serenely in the sky. From Avatar's hallelujah mountains to the District 9 saucer, I've always been captivated with this idea. I'm not sure if it's the serenity, the primal urge to fly, or the thrill of vertigo in the back of my mind. Maybe a bit of all three.

16 April 2013

Cypress Matte - Animated shot

Hey guys, here is the animated version of the Cypress Matte.  I learned a few new techniques in its' creation that I had never used before.

You can watch it in HD here.

15 April 2013

Cypress Matte Painting

Here is another matte painting I've been working on under the guidance of Blizzards wonderful David Luong. I'm currently taking his CGWorkshop course: Photo Real Matte Painting, which has been a real pleasure to participate in. David is a patient and generous tutor and I've really enjoyed exploring this new art form with him, and chatting about all things film and genre related. I've really learnt a lot about light and cinematograpy by taking a couple of pieces to a really polished level of realism. I'm sure it will help out the quality of finish in my quicker sketches enormously too.

Visit David Luongs personal website to see some real Matte Painting Kung-fu.

02 March 2013

Rivendell Matte Painting Competition

So in the interest of adding another string to my bow, and to quench my thirst for learning new things, I'm in the process of putting together a Matte Painting Reel.

Here's one I've been working on, which I'm proud to say managed to take out top honors in a contest over at CGChannel. The competition was run by Jonathan Berube, who kindly provided a great plate to work from. The task was to remove any signs of the modern world, then add Rivendell and modify the environment until it looked like it sat in the world of the Hobbit / LOTR films.

You can see the original plate on Jonathan's Flickr page if you like, so you can see where my work began and ended.

I've still got some work to do on this one though as it's not quite finished. I'll be sure to post a link to the video once its all done!

27 February 2013

Kopane School Billboard

Here's an illustration I completed at the end of last year. Kopane School in the Manawatu now proudly bears this image in a couple of spots around the school. It was printed at nearly billboard size so I had a bit of fun adding local wildlife for the kids to spot. So if you're ever passing through Rongotea, swing by and take a peek.

My thanks to Principal Neal Duff for the savvy art direction.