February 12, 2013
February 6, 2013
Reading up on the history of gargoyles and looking at hundreds of pictures from sculptors, illustrators, photographers and animators' interpretations really allowed us to wrap our head around this mythical creature. To relate the protective prowess of RazorWire barbed wire fences to the power of Gargoyles seemed quite fitting, as their place and reason for being has always been to protect important buildings from intruders with evil intentions, even if rather spiritual in nature. Working against a tight deadline, we started building the fence and compositing the refinery right away, while two of our character artists and myself each worked up a different animal style/approach for the gargoyle to present to Adam in a dating game of sorts.
[Click image to enlarge]
Tim's muscular bad dog, which he modeled in Z-Brush, turned out to be the winning contestant. The reward: not a date, but the honor of being put through the development wringer in the quest for the perfect beast.
Character development and art direction
In the final stages of the gargoyle's development we rendered a VR version (we blogged about this VR earlier already) allowing Adam, David and the other creatives and the client to see the gargoyle in virtual 3D from different angles.
Riffing with Adam via emailed JPEGs and exchanging screenshots of tweaks in real-time via iChat is how most of the art direction took place, perfecting the lighting, materials and minute details of the image. Once it was locked down and signed off by the client, it entered the final 8K render stage. The hero image was uploaded as simplified Photoshop layered file, allowing Adam and his team to scale the gargoyle, barbed wire wings, refinery, fence, and vignetting independently to accommodate different uses with their unique aspect ratios.
[Click image to see close-up of 8K render]
Then earlier last month, and I think of it as the cherry on top, Ruben, the art buyer came back to us to have us render the product image inset as well, with the same dramatic lighting and definition as the barbed wire in the hero image.
Guess the only thing left to say, is... Thanks! Adam, Ruben and Steve. And I really look forward to another engagement with twoxfour.
January 9, 2013
November 16, 2012
November 13, 2012
November 11, 2012
It's always a thrill seeing cool creative spaces and getting to present and talk about the work face to face, away from the screen and email. For the occasion I created an iBook of the portfolio that incoporates our motion work as well, where the animations and videos pop right off the corresponding printed page. I have to say, the iBook has been the perfect medium between book and reel and something that I was waiting for since neither a book nor a video shows the integration between print and motion. To get your own copy, make sure you have Apple's iBook App first. Then download the Raygun book for the iPhone or the HiFi version for the iPad and view it in iBook. Please be patient, the iPad file is slightly north of 100MB with all the motion in it.
I really like the people of Chicago. There is so much creativity, great architecture and art there, yet people are very modest and down to earth. And then there's this winter I heard so much about, but it did not seem to materialize... guess we brought a little California sunshine along. Michigan Avenue has a lot of really cool store windows and even though it's just past Halloween, there it feels like it's Christmas already...