Monday, 1 December 2014

Star Wars!

Well, I just had to really, I'm a SW nerd deep down and that scene with those x-wings over the water is just too cool!! Had to break out the colouring pens for this one! Hope you like it...

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Playing with Clay.... Renders that is

A little re-posing and rendering of some old models here, read about a cool trick in Keyshot in an interview with Liz Kerby who said using the matte white plastic material with a black background creates a pseudo AO/clay render, it works a treat! I've always loved the way a clay/AO render complements the modelled forms and details, see what you think...

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Surgical Robot Photoshop layer breakdown

This visual was one of my more earlier ones, the render with HDRI itself actually came out really nicely, I didn't have to insert a photo backplate, just clean up some things on the HDRI. Looking back at this, I still like the idea of having a painted smiley face on a robot, that attempt to make a big machine look less imposing and more friendly, like the hand painted murals on children's wards in Hospitals, just something about them I find insanely terrifying.... In this case I found it too distracting and I wanted the "face" to be the cool lens array, there was just too many things going especially with the blood and sparks so I left it out - but seeing this I feel an urge to use it elsewhere.... hmmmm....

Anyway, hope you like this and find it useful. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Out of all of my mechs this one seems to have generated the most interest and questions as to how I go about integrating the Keyshot render with a photo backplate to produce a "cinematic" visual. This is something I will cover in the upcoming video tutorials but until then I've reversed engineered my PSD file to create this breakdown of the sub visual. Hope you find this interesting and if you want to see more be sure to check out my Facebook Art page

Higher Res version here

More soon!!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Factory Robot breakdown

I've had some requests to show how I go about these visuals, all of which I will be covering in the up coming video tutorial, but until then I've simplified the layers so you can see the plates in these two latest renders.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Factory Robot

Hi everyone! Finally managed to finish this mech, it's a trial run at my Gumroad tutorial, 2D concept to Sketchup model, Keyshot rendering and post work in Photoshop. Just have to find the time to sit down and record this stuff! After a few renders I ended up finding some great images of the McClaren car factory interior, so slick and modern, looks like a lab, also after much experimentation with materials I ended up colouring the body this hot McClaren sports car orange, it really popped in the white lab and also lends a bit of an industrial robotic feel to it... Hope you like it, with any luck the next post will be about the tutorial! :)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Flight delayed detailing...

Due to bad weather I ended up sat on a flight for a couple hours more than I expected! So I broke out the laptop for some touchpad magic, SketchUp geo and rendered in Keyshot, would have killed for my mini Wacom tablet! But, I got pretty far....

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Video texture

I'm love the renders I get from Keyshot but I tend to find them too "clean", I feel I need a layer of noise to bring some real world grit back into the image.... I'm dialing up the LCD video texture more here and loving the results! 

More to come!

Friday, 3 October 2014

More detail and material refinement

I'm a big fan of the Bjork video "All is full of love" by Chris Cunnigham, I love the clean aesthetic of white plastic forms covering machined black metal robotic parts, a red graphic sits so well on the surface too, it feels very Japanese somehow and yet I struggle to find the reason why... It was my initial design direction for this new mech, that black and white scheme is my default robot setting, but as the design developed its interesting to see how well the forms of the mech lend themselves to certain colour schemes. Gloss white for example is of course very bright and contrasts nicely with say matte black anodised aluminium or un-glossed carbon fibre, but as soon as your start to add bare metal next to the white, you loose the forms. I like to contrast colour and texture, you'll see this allot in motorcycle finishes, matte against gloss, dark against light, so with this in mind I decided to keep the brightness of the bare machined metalwork and darken the smooth plastic forms, shiny bright metal against a dark matte plastic, I think this is the right direction to take it - for the moment at least..... I also Googled Photoshop LCD texture and found a great tutorial to recreate that "digitised" noise which I'm loving! More to come!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Its coming....!

Little test render to see how the modelling is looking, took a photo of my screen and I'm loving the digitised noise thats appearing! Will see if I can play that up in the final renders!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Lunch time colour study

This is how I'm imagining the final render will will presented, backlit with industrial sparks casting edge light onto the mech, surface illumination with red internal lights and flares from the mounted spot lights.... Modeling next!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Next mech cooking away!

Apologies for the lack of updates, been super busy on the new (gratuitous name-check alert!)  Bond movie, so starting to stay late to get this next one rolling... First stop, Photoshop

Monday, 8 September 2014

Great White Chase!

Hi everyone! Been a while since I posted anything due to work commitments but thanks to many late nights I've finished another machine!

I saw this amazing footage of a simple underwater camera being attacked by a great white so I wanted to create a drone sub that would attract sharks but rather than passively get bitten it would speed off whilst keeping them close enough for some awesome predatory shark footage, so I designed something that housed twin impellers, an underwater HD camera and various sensory GPS equipment - to boil it down, I wanted to create visuals of a cool sub getting chased by a great white! :)

It was modelled in Sketchup and brought into KS for some sweet renders, I searched for photo ref of great whites and imported these to use as backplates in KS, I would find and adjust an HDRI to match the lighting to the photo, its great being able to edit the HDRI and add lights in KS5, made for much less re-lighting work in Photoshop! Loving Clown Pass renders too!!!!! The render was then taken into PS, the plate was extend with many elements added and removed, painted out/in and cropped to create that cinematic wide screen look. This is how I go about producing visuals on a film when I use KS.

Unlike previous posts which were all about the model and render in all its glorious detail, these were more about the "shot", but its interesting to see how easily you can comp in a  KS render what ever the brief....

Hope you like them


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Aqua Drone

Still in the early stages with this one but I've generated some cool product style visuals in attempt to pick a colour combo for the environment that I'm going to be putting it into. I'm imaging this is about a meter long (3' for all you imperial kids out there...) with 2 jet impellers and an underwater cam mounted on the belly..... Its function other than a being a remote operated jet boat with camera, its purpose for the environment visuals I'm about to do for it......? Well, stay tuned but I can say it'll involve some very fast Great White sharks!

Couldn't resist doing a little nod to one of my fave Manga films Akira, love Keneda's bike in that, hence the stickers.....

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Get Ready

First test render, products shots first then environment visuals, this little puppy is a GPS controlled jet-boat with underwater camera so capture the great white sharks that give chase.... Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Starfish

I was looking at some motorbikes last week and admiring the way the hard mechanics are complemented by the smooth glossy paintwork on the fiberglass body, certain areas are cut away to allow some engine parts to show, it left me with a feeling that I wanted to create something that had this seductive material combination, glossy plastic and hard machined metal... I started noodling ideas in my sketchbook and still had this tri-head mech design idea from before that I wanted to develop further so began to push this shape around, creating flowing panel lines to break up the fiberglass shells, and designing mechanical parts that would be repeated around a center - but what does the mech do....? This is probably the first time that I didn't have an idea but wanted to created interesting shapes to allow materials to be assigned and just look dam good when photographed! I created some sort of turbine elements and exhaust vents, so visually it implies some sort of flight/hovering function - a lab drone.....? Could be, I like that and it's very fitting in white, but I know I wanted to try some other colours, red is sexy, more of a nod to the Ducati bikes I was looking at, tried a yellow version and it reminded me of an ROV sub unit, so that was the theme of the environment paint up, couldn't resist putting a shark in there (Jaws still burnt into my brain from a childhood viewing...!)

Hope you enjoy it!


Mind the shark

Original SketchUp model

Idea and form that hatched in my sketch book

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Military Drone

I had the urge to make a robot for a scene involving a long corridor, strip lighting and reflections, I didn't know what it would be, just that it would make you feel a bit trapped and claustrophobic to look at it, I didn't want it to look like it was chasing you, only that it would ominously make its way towards you... no where to run..... So I started off with a quick sketch then jumped into PS, kit bashing some military equipment together to create new shapes, I came up with this 'V' shaped collar and tapered panelling in the sketch so I was keen to keep it, from here it was just a matter of making sense of what was connecting everything. I spent about two days in SketchUp with this one, I'm slowly building a library of parts and panelling that I can re-use to save time on the detailing and allow me to just concentrate on the shape and design, I knew it was going to me mostly back-lit so I wanted the silhouette to be interesting and strong.... I was looking at F-35 jets for the surface stealth panelling and colours and carried that over into the Keyshot renders, using a photo backplate and an HDRI that would be a close lighting match I came up with this scene, the blood and bullet holes were added to try and create a dramatic narrative - did the robot do that, or is it investigating...? I'll leave that to you to decide.

Hope you like it and you can follow me here too

Belly detail

 Initial rough sketch, corridor, robot, backlit, done!
 PS design
SketchUp model

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Next Mech!

A little teaser for you, I'm now working out possible scenarios to show this one off.... Don't forget to check my Facebook to see more of my work

Stay tuned!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

CIWS Sentry Gun

Enjoyed modeling this one, there is something about the heavy industrial construction of the Navy CWIS systems (Close-in weapon system) that made me want to design one of my own, and why have one gun when you can have four! This was modeled in SketchUp, rendered in Keyshot and painted into a scene in Photoshop.

The cool black product shot....

The Navy model

Desert model

Night vision shot
Original SketchUp model