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Sep 17 2011 9:36am

Saturday Morning Cartoons: “4096: Electric Space Odyssey” and “Nucleophile”

Demos are computer programs that render short films and/or music in real time. Their creators often get together at demoparties to show off their latest creations and compete with each other. These two shorts are both won at different event in the 4k category, which essentially means the executable file used to create them is 4096 bytes or smaller.

4096: Electric Space Odyssey: This demo placed 1st in the PC intro compo category at Solskogen 2011. (2:08 minutes)

Nucleophile: this demo won 1st place at Assembly in 2008. (1:35 minutes)

[Watch the demos after the jump]

Jun 21 2010 3:37pm

Illustration Master Class 2010

Last week, eighty-four science fiction and fantasy artists gathered at Amherst College to attend the third annual Illustration Master Class, Rebecca Guay’s finely-tuned week-long workshop spearheaded by faculty artists: Rebecca, Boris Vallejo, Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Scott Fischer, Irene Gallo, Julie Bell, and myself.

[Read more]

Jan 13 2009 6:41pm

Dave Seeley’s Luke Skywalker, a digital step-by-step

Dave Seeley, Luke Skywalker

I happened to see Luke Skywalker and the Shadow of Mindor the other day, which happens to sport one of my favorite Dave Seeley paintings. The image was first created as a print for sale at the Star Wars Celebration convention and then later picked up as a book cover. I asked Dave to share a bit of his process with us.

[Check out the step-by-step process below the fold...]

Aug 5 2008 3:46am

Jon Foster Demo

Jon Foster at ComicCon, in two parts. I really have to thank our Pablo for putting these together for us, if for no other reason than that fact that now I finally get to see what went on. I spent the ninety minutes of the actual demo poorly maintaining crowd control and just hanging back so others could see. This is my first good look at what these artists did.

Part One follows Jon as he begins, and then wipes out, a painting of a figure in motion. He mentioned later that a) the head and neck were too far off to pull it out in the short time period of a demo, and b) he gets a perverse pleasure in listening to the audience go “nooesss!”

Part Two shows him creating a very nice portrait. I may be reading more into this than there is, but I know Jon loves to sculpt. It seems to be the artform that, for him, is the most pure fun. Knowing that, I can’t help but think that he really get into this painting once there was enough gooeyness on the board to start pushing and carving into it like a sculpture.

Previous write-up, with a better picture of the final painting here.

Jon’s gallery here.

Aug 3 2008 11:55pm

Greg Manchess: Hellboy Demo

As promised, here’s a ten minute video of Greg Manchess painting Hellboy at ComicCon. My favorite bit is the last two minutes when he carves into the portrait with the background color—the Boy jumps to life at that moment.

To see the final painting and previous write-up, click here. You can see more of Greg’s work in his gallery.

Thanks, again, to Spectrum for hosting these events.

Aug 1 2008 11:21pm

Jeremy Enecio, on the board and in motion

Jeremy Enecio

I just commissioned (like, ten minutes ago) the way-too-young-to-be-so-good Jeremy Enecio for one of our stories. (No, I won't say who the story is by...although I will say that it's one of my favorites so far.) I was introduced to Jeremy by Sam Weber at the Society of illustrators' student exhibition. The guy just graduated this past May but it's clear he'll be a superstar.

Jeremy Enecio

While poking around his website I found this time lapse digital demo he created--it's interesting to see how similar his process is to Dan Dos Santos' traditional oil painting demo.

Jul 29 2008 8:21am

SDCC: Greg Manchess Demo

Greg Manchess was the man of the hour for the final demo. He worked the full time on a Hellboy portrait--bringing his own painterly style to Mike Mignola’s design. I figured it would be a crowd-pleaser for the attendees. What I didn’t figure was the other exhibiting artists getting all drooly over it. It looks like Stephan Martiniere will go home with it...after a little touch-up after a box accidentally got placed on top of the wet painting.

I asked Greg for a few words on the demo:

“I’ve done enough demo paintings and drawings to know that each and every time can be a disaster. Luckily, I’ve never had to quit or start over. I know my craft, but most of all, I know to never give up. So I plow on through. And usually I bring out what I had meant to bring to the onlookers anyway: the process and eventual success of an oil painting.

“At this point, I’ve learned so much that I don’t usually get nervous. So you can imagine my confusion when I started my demo at the Con this year and watched my hand shaking.

“It wasn’t from nervousness, mind you, but from excitement. I’ve done portraits and head studies before, in front of hundreds of students. But this time it was the Comic Con, and I had decided to do a portrait of Hellboy.

“I didn’t want to just render a still from the movie, or copy a Mignola drawing. I thought to take one of Mike’s comic panels of a Hellboy headshot, and using shots taken from the film for lighting, blend the two with my own sensibilities and love of the character.

“But I wanted it to be right on. It had to be. Mike Mignola was two booths away. Hellboy fans in every corner, as well as professional portrait artists wandering the floor. So, with much eagerness, I started sketching the bold black outlines of Hellboy’s mug.

“Within 15 minutes I was well into slathering cadmium red onto the panel, and started to whistle. Everyone wanted a cool-ass portrait, and I couldn’t let them down.

“An hour and a half, lots of laughs, and a bunch of satisfying strokes of bright color indicating high key lighting later, I signed off on my first painting of Hellboy. I even got an applause that was most satisfying.

“Later, I showed the painting to Mike and got a thumbs up. It’s interesting to note that when an artist has created something so popular, as Mike has, the artist has to be able to get to a point where they can let go of the character enough to allow others their own interpretation of the property.

“Mignola’s bold design, Hollywood’s dramatic lighting, and my broad strokes came together for a successful rendering. I couldn’t miss. Except for the chance that at anytime during the process, 30 years of practice can suddenly leave your hand shaking....”

You can see Greg’s work in his Tor gallery and on his website.

Jul 28 2008 2:39am

SDCC: Stephan Martiniere demo

Stephan Martiniere did a creature design for Saturday’s installment of the demo. Although known as a digital artist he kept it old school and stuck to good old pencil and paper. I was surprised to learn that he starts all of his work off with a series of pencil drawings before moving onto the computer.

Check out Stephan's work in his Tor gallery and his website.

For anyone in the Boston area, Stephan will be Artists Guest of Honor at Boskone in February. I, for one, am very much looking forward to seeing him in a non-Comic-Con-crazed environment.