• Jul14

    Robot Mascot created for a computer service company

    Did I mention that I’ve been working with an (almost) full time contract client? I don’t usually blog-post images I create in my “day job” working for Rival Art, 1) because there are so many of them, and b) I barely get to spend any time on them. but in this case, I spent a LOT of time making this robot for a very discriminating client (he had me changing the rivets to hex-bolts at one point). At any rate, since I spent a lot of time making it look right, I thought I would post it here as an example of what I can do with such subjects. Click above to see the rest (from the waist down). For more of a daily log of my work with RA, check out my Twitter feed, which you can see on the right side of this page!

  • Jan8

    Illustration of a flying pig with a jet pack.

    This was a fun little illustration that I did with the intent of selling on iStock as a raster image. Raster images are sold under the “image” category on iStock which until recently I had thought was only for photographs. I’d like to get into raster illustrations on iStock because I can crank them out more quickly than I can create vector illustrations. I need a couple more illustrations to apply to this category. I created the illustration beginning with a sketch using Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile, an app I bought for my ipod touch. I finished the final illustration using Corel Painter 12 and my Wacom Cintiq. Painter is new to me and I am in the process of getting used to its features.

    I hope this image will sell well because it visualizes the abstract concept of unlikelihood, and images that deal with abstract concepts are supposed to be in demand. It will be interesting to test this hypothesis. Like the Penguin Tank, this illustration was inspired by a conversation with my friend Carrie Walker several months ago. I’m just now getting around to finishing it. Thanks, Carrie!

  • Jan1

    Say you’ve scanned in an image, and it’s important to have the edges (or some other part of the image) perfectly vertical, or horizontal. But the original image you scanned from was not perfectly lined up on the scanner. What’s to be done?

    Well, you could open the image in Photoshop, go to Image>Rotate Canvas>Arbitrary… and fiddle with small amounts until it looks correct. But there is a more elegant solution, though it is not readily obvious by looking through the program’s features.

    First, select the ruler tool.

    Screen shot 2013-05-18 at 3.46.06 PM

    Then click and drag from one end of the edge you want to straighten to the other end:

    Screen shot 2013-05-18 at 3.54.16 PM

    Now, as you may have done before, go to Image>Rotate Canvas>Arbitrary… But this time, you will find a surprise waiting for you:

    Screen shot 2013-05-18 at 3.57.52 PM

    The rotation angle required to straighten the image is automatically filled in!
    Click “OK” and your image is now straightened.

    This will work for both horizontal or vertical edges, depending whether the ruler line is drawn at greater or less than 45 degrees. The rotation will also create excess areas around the image, but you can crop that off as desired. Happy Straightening!

  • Oct28

    “…and let lose then penguins of war!”
    Did you every have one of those wonderful, silly conversations with someone, where you combine two ideas, and get, well… something like this? Carrie Walker, you are an inspiration.

    This was doodled on a Cintiq monitor, using Photoshop.

  • May6

    Gold Chrome Bug Heads

    So I recently had this interesting request. A relative of a friend of mine is an airbrush hobbyist. That’s right, using a real airbrush. The usage of this tool is to be greatly respected, as it is an arcane and delicate art, taking years to master. It was once the only way to accomplish certain graphic effects that computer users now take for granted. It occurred to me that I actually have one of these locked away, an old Paasche VL that I haven’t touched in over a decade. I originally bought it with the idea of airbrushing t-shirts. Yes, t-shirts. Please don’t laugh. Every mall and amusement park had an airbrush booth once. So, this gentleman was unsure of his technique for rendering chrome objects, and wanted me to model a chunk of objects that he had designed for a painting, and render them in CG with a chrome shader…for reference. I was actually doing CG pre-viz for an analog airbrushing project. I’ll wait a second for the irony to sink in.
    All that aside, it gave me the opportunity to further explore a CG effect that quite frankly I just haven’t had much call to mess with, despite the old chestnut that it is: the chrome surface. Since the target was an airbrushed object, I didn’t resort to my old trick of using a photographic reflection/environment map. I wanted the reflection to be featureless, save for the boundary between ground and sky. It took longer than I thought to get it right, but I’m happy with the result.


  • Apr4

    Here's JohnnyI am currently helping out a college buddy of mine with the completion of his master’s thesis. He worked at Sony Imageworks on the animated feature film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. For part of his thesis he wanted to demonstrate some of the technical animation techniques he used on Cloudy, but he no longer has access to any of the film’s digital assets. That’s where I come in. He is having me create several surfaced 3D models similar to those used in the film, so that he can run physics simulations on them. Thus, all of this cheeseburger’s components float eerily in Space, awaiting simulation. When the sim is run with proper parameters, the burger should plop together and sag with gravity. It will look more natural, delicious, and ready to be dropped on an unsuspecting town.

  • Mar30

    Here's Johnny

    So, here is the completed illustration of the Firefighter from the post pervious. It’s a vector Illustration, fully editable, and if you’d like to buy it for a promotional activity for your own local Fire Department, you can do so here on iStock.

  • Mar2


    A work in progress: This is the initial sketch of an illustration that I will sell on iStock. The inspiration for this one came while I was watching The Shining. Three hapless flames are having a “here’s Johnny” moment with a menacing firefighter wielding an axe. It is meant to be a “rah rah siss boom bah” to the local fire department in your area of residence, and I hope it will sell well.

  • Jan15

    First, a word of thanks to Rice Macfie for helping me to get this little beast into its pen. I could not have done it without his help. He is a good freelance web design/tech guy if you are looking for one. Also thanks to Jason Gammon for suggesting this WordPress theme, which suits my needs perfectly. He is a colleague and friend with a good head on his shoulders who currently works at Little Red Bird. And finally thanks to Karin Lingerfelt whose advice (along with Jason’s) helped me reign in the inner control freak who wanted to design every bit of this site down to the last pixel. Were it not for their advice I would probably still be monkeying around in Photoshop. So, what will I do now that I have this spiffy thing up and running? read on…
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