CthulhuCon 2015 – Poster Art

Aside

For the last few years I’ve been attending the Lovecraft Film Festival here in Portland and have wanted to contribute my art to their campaign, whether it be poster art, or something else they could use to promote the festival. During the first year I had my piece, “The Innsmouth Look” shown on the big screen along with dozens of others’ art – and while that was pretty cool I definitely had my sights set higher.

So, I approached the organizer, offered my services and was given the opportunity to create the poster art for CthulhuCon 2015! I started by creating some mockups, or quick sketches to get an overall direction.

The sketches were created in Sketchbook Pro, and after the direction was figured out I went right into modeling Cthulhu in Zbrush periodically rendering out tests to figure out composition.

render_test_02

I then created a preliminary render test, adding colors and the background to get a better idea of the end result. This is where I ended up after about 2 hours of work. I really like how turned out, the atmosphere is foreboding and the subsurface scattering while wildly excessive turned out great. This initial test was low resolution and not print quality, so I rendered everything out again…

cthulhu_passes

 

Like my previous illustrations I rendered out various passes using Zbrush’s BPR render feature then layered the passes in photoshop using a variety of blending modes. The color was added in Photoshop, as well as the background (from NASA photography) and effects. Finally, I added a little chromatic aberration to create an other worldly feeling.

cthulhu_stephenkick

Here is the final poster! My work was also featured in an article for Oregon Live!

cthulhucon_poster

Nekro – Indie Game Contract Work

I contributed a number of 3D assets to an indie game project called Nekro which is currently in Early Access. Here is some of my work!

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Shade – Zbrush Sculpt

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Shade – Marmoset Render

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Shade – Lit

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Shade – Back

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Hunter – Zbrush WIP

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Hunter – Zbrush Sculpt

 

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Hunter – Gun WIP

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Hunter – Texture WIP

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Hunter – Texture WIP 02

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Hunter – Texture Flat Shade

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Meat Mouth – Zbrush Sculpt

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Meat Mouth – Marmoset Render

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Priest – Zbrush Sclupt

The Farmer

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Farmer – Zbrush Sculpt

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Crow – Marmoset Render

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Crow – Zbrush Sculpt

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Reaper – Environment Prop

I made a quick and disorienting speed sculpt video of the creation of the Reaper prop.

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Reaper – Environment Prop Zbrush Sculpt

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Observatory – Environment Prop

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Lady Tomb – Environment Prop

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Gnarled Tree – Environment Prop

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Sigil Decal 01

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Sigil Decal 02

Sigil_01

Sigil Decal 03

Thanks for looking!

Aris Kolokantes Bat Sculpture

I really love the work of Aris Kolokantes and find that his sculptures make really dynamic subjects for speed sculpts within ZBrush. I chose this sculpture below for reference and inspiration. Check out http://ariskolokontesart.blogspot.com/

“Albino” – Aris Kolokantes

I started the model with zspheres, then once I reached a certain subdivision level I rebuilt the mesh and projected all the exisiting detail on to the new surface. This allowed me to get even greater details for the finishing touches.

Here is my early progress:

Retopology and higher detail levels

Final Model


Polypainted and rendered using layers in Photoshop

Click the image for full resolution

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The Comicon Challenge 2011

I’ve been pretty unmotivated lately in terms of creating real time characters, but my friend Satoshi convinced me to participate in Game Artisan’s Comicon Challenge. This year the theme seemed pretty interesting:

“This year’s theme for 3D Character Artists and 2D Concept Artists is “Alternate Universe.” You can either change the time period of your comic book hero or his/her gender. For instance you can make a 1842 Western styled Captain America (cowboy) OR a female Captain America OR you can do both – an 1842 western-styled (cowboy/girl) female Captain America. If you decide to mix and match, it’s your choice!”

I had a difficult time coming up with something I REALLY wanted to do since most of the obvious choices were already taken. I did some searching and I found something with potential. Before Neil Gaiman got a hold of the Sandman as we know him today, he used to be a Golden Age comic book hero with a really simple aesthetic and something I really like…a gas mask!

Here is the wikipedia entry on The Sandman

I decided to use a similar time period (1940’s) but change his gender and make a sexy femme fatale equivalent.

I just started so here are some work in progress images of what I have going so far. I’ll be updating this blog with entries whenever I make some significant progress. The base mesh was created in Zbrush using Zspheres and all the other pieces started off as simple primatives in Maya which were imported using GoZ.

Early Character Turns

Mask Detail

Inspiration Sheet

Quick Paint-Over

You can follow my progress in my thread on Game Artisans

Feel free to leave any comments or critiques!

Quick update I made the other night:

 

 

The Innsmouth Look

I recently re-read many of H.P Lovecraft’s more famous works and after visiting, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” I was inspired to create a portraiture of someone showing the later stages of their transformation. This is the result:

Click here to view the high resolution image

Zbrush, Maya, and Photoshop were my weapons of choice. I created the base head using zspheres and all the other accessories started as cubes in Maya. I used the GoZ feature to quickly get them in the scene in the correct scale to the head.  Here are some early wip (work in progress) shots that show a bit of my process

Innsmouth WIP 01

early stage of sculpting

Innsmouth Look WIP 02

defining the major details

Innsmouth Look WIP 04

polypainting progress

I decided to go for a still image so I didn’t have to worry about poly count and I could just let myself have fun without worrying about technical constraints. I also decided to try a new method of rendering out multiple passes and layering them in photoshop. This allowed me to tweak them individually which gave me an amazing amount of control over the final image.

I also modeled some addition props such as a brooch, and a pendant, but unfortunately I didn’t feel like they added anything so I left them out. They are supposed to resemble some of the strange golden jewelry the citizens of Innsmouth would receive from Dagon and his Deep Ones.

Here is a brief tutorial I put together on how I achieved the final results.