Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This week

Recently completed a ton of revisions to two old pieces. I think they're much improved and revising them really helped me spot some mistakes that I apparently tend to repeat. Next up is Elorgo's Tale and Taishu.
I just purchased zbrush and have been playing with that since Monday. Working on a troll for reference for an illustration. Same illustration where I took the photos of the chopped up miniatures for reference. Definitely screwed some stuff up making this guy but I've learned not to make those mistakes next time. His legs are a mess at the moment because I haven't touched them. Not sure I'll mess with them since they might not make it into the final illustration.

Also, I bought a nifty gadget for my Gencon booth this year.
Last year I thought my panel was okay but the table was an absolute mess. I have to admit that I had a plan for the panel but not for the table. I didn't have a clue as to how to handle it so I just sort of laid prints on the table in piles.  I knew that for future tables I needed to get something upright so that it was additional art that could catch people's eye. Drew Baker and Mark Poole both had these pedestal sort of things where they'd have some actual prints. I think people found this to be an easy way to stop by booths and not feel awkward as well. Anyways, I found this thing for $80 that has a weighted base and spins freely from landscape to portrait format. I think I'll use it as sort of a catalog where I'll put a sticker on each page that says "available as 11x17 for $15" or "available as special edition 11x17 for $20.Run of 50" This year I think I'm going to print up a monster sized print of Taishu as that's what gets most people to stop and the print I had up of it was only like 13in wide. I imagine sales could only go up if I could get more people to at least stop.

If anybody knows of any conventions on the east coast where I should really get a booth let me know. I'd like to attend more conventions but I'm never able to keep up with when they are. I missed ConGlomeration this year and I'm really kicking myself for it. I'm also hesitant to attend horror or comic conventions because I don't know if I'd fit in.

Oh yeah, now I don't know whether I'll be at that book fair but I probably am going to use one of those self-publishing sites for the children's book so I'll post when that is available on amazon and what not.


Ralph Horsley said...

The 'pedestal' display stand looks very useful. My problem is having several folders, all piled up one upon another.

Would an AD be suitably impressed if you used one these to present work during a portfolio review - hmm, maybe ;)

Joe Slucher said...

I don't know how it is at other conventions but the lighting is so powerful and harsh at GenCon, that I try to show my work without a layer of plastic in front of it. The plastic folders on this are anti-glare which helps but I think anti-glare also cuts down on the contrast a bit.
Thinking about printing a single book of my portfolio to show AD's this year. It would be a bit pricey but might also double as something cool to hold on to.

Drew Baker said...

That's a nice looking book, Joe. Also, I'll be glad to spot you a couple of big prints for GenCon. Drop me an email.

Did you have a base mesh to start from in Zbrush? I tried sculpting without one with the first version of Mudbox and it didn't go so well. I agree though, in recent years 3D has gotten more and more tempting.

Nice reworks.

Blood Goddess: The giant head she's swinging around confuses me in strange ways. Because it's the same scale as the goddess it almost makes me wonder if she's normal size and the adventurers are tiny. (See also the arms on the goddess's belt -- they're all bigger than the adventurers' arms.) If it's another giant's head, I'm left wondering where he came from, to such an extent that I stop seeing what you've got going one because I'm trying to figure out what's up with _him_. I expect he makes sense in your story, but coming to it cold, it's distracting.

Also, it looks like he's getting a cast shadow from the shield, which is odd. It looks like the guy with the shield is behind the goddess's leg, and with the goddess's arm stretched forward the head would be even with or in front of the leg, and much higher than the crouching guy with the shield. So I expect the head to be closer to the glowing hand than the shield, and certainly not obstructed by it.

I also think it would be good to clarify your light source some more. I think a good approach would be to reduce the darks in and around the goddess's legs. In lieu of an explanation, I offer a paint over: Blood_Goddess_po.jpg with the layered psd at Blood_Goddess_po.psd.

Demon VS Angel: I don't think the motion lines behind the demon's right hand are working. If you wanted his claws to have sparked when they hit the angel there would be an intense spot at the contact point, or if you wanted the spark to travel with the claws the bright spot would be on them, but now the most intense spot is in the middle, connected to no surface at all, and not really giving any origin for the light, so they look like they're just speed lines, and feel out of place. It looks like she's paralyzed him with her touch -- that he attacked her, she touched him, and now all is still. Those speed lines are the only thing that makes me think that's not what you intended.

It looks like you've got some gray flecks where he hit her to give us a contact point. Unfortunately, the flecks are very much like the spots on the angel's belly armor, so they muddy whether he hit he belly or hip area. You could clarify it either way -- have her skirt reacting to a hip blow, or emphasize the particles from her armor, for example. Or, if you want it to be a still scene, take the flecks off her hip.

I think the feathers in the air are a problematic. They don't really feel the same as the angel's feathers, but I expect they're supposed to. Her wings are flight feathers -- long, sturdy, with clean edges. The ones in the air are short, floppy, and ragged, like would come out of a pillow or comforter, not what would come off a powerful wing.

If they're angel feathers, that implies he's a pretty fearsome foe, but she obviously doesn't think so, so that's weird. Seeing the ragged edge on the bottom of his wing makes me wonder if you were thinking of them as his feathers, bursting off when he fell from angel to demon, but there doesn't seem to be a pattern to their distribution, so I don't think that's what's going on. What were you going for?

It also feels like there's something not working with her head. I think I'd like to see more of her far cheek. Not more cheekbone, but more of her face past her mouth. It also feels like something's too big. Maybe too much forehead (and hair)? I'm not sure.

--Drew (not meaning to be a jerk)

Joe Slucher said...

Thanks a ton for the crit Drew and good timing as well since I should have time tomorrow to fix these up some more. Thanks for the paint over. I agree with everything so hopefully the revision will clear some stuff up. Thanks also for the print offer. I guess I'll e-mail you when gencon is a bit closer so that you can just bring a big print there rather than deal with shipping.

No I didn't start with a base mesh on the zbrush figure. Built a skeleton with zspheres and used zsketch to build up the mass. Then converted to polymesh 3D. I'm loving zbrush at the moment. Zsketch has made it easy to play with creating some funky little monsters pretty quick.

Drew Baker said...

Glad to help, Joe.

Woodrow J. Hinton III said...

Howdy Joe,

First off your work is looking killer.

Secondly where did you get the stand I might be interested in that investment for San Diego.

Finally you may want top check this:


Joe Slucher said...

I got it from Discount Office something. The company is Tarifold and they actually have a bunch of nifty products along the same lines. You could also consider a cheaper option such as a split-back or easel binder.

That convention sounds like it wants to be like Illuxcon. I'd sign up for it if their website had any real tangible information but as is that registration is way too pricey for a giant question mark.