Friday, April 30, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Computer Games #280 - Cat Mansion

Mythril Armour, Purgestone, Will of the Justiciar (cm)
Night's Shadow (cm)

For more artwork from Dungeon Siege II, visit The Fantasy Art of Computer Games.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Computer Games #278 - Koinup Editor's Choice

Today we present a KoinUp Editor's Choice -- Artwork by Second Life artist/photographer Cala Rossini a.k.a. Trixibelle


What's Koinup?
Koinup is the first social network to share your virtual life by publishing your machinima, screenshots and virtual stories.
It allows users to upload, share and review contents they create within virtual worlds, metaverse, mmorpg and games as Second Life, IMVU, World of Warcraft, The Sims 2 and many others.

Why is Koinup different?
Koinup is different in respect to the other social networks because it is focused on contents generated in virtual worlds, metaverses and games.
Koinup is also different because it allow its member not only one media, but almost any kind of media.

If you join Koinup, you have the chance to publish and share your videos, your pictures and your stories shooted in virtual world and games as Second Life and many others.
Photography enthusiast can join Koinup and publish their pictures or, using our storyboard tool, share stories mixing images and words!
Machinima authors can join Koinup and post their movies, but also create their own storyboards or even publish posters or stills from their upcoming videos!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review - Ballistic Publishing's The Art of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


The Art of Uncharted 2 - book (small)



Hi Everyone!

We primed you on Uncharted and Uncharted 2 with a couple of YouTubes in a previous blog post. It's time to review the actual book from Ballistic: "The Art of Uncharted 2".

First of all, is it an "art book"? Yes. It's packed with art. Most of it is concept art and only some of it is the final product. So, if you were hoping for a book that explores the world of Uncharted 2 with great cinematic shots of the often it-looks-like-a-real-place quality environments, this book probably won't satisfy.

Probably the reason for all the concept art that's packed in this book is the commentary that goes along with it. "The Art of Uncharted 2" is probably more accurately titled "About the Art of Uncharted 2". It's not as nitty-gritty-detailed as Character Modelling 3, which occasionally drills down to the level of settings in the software used to produce various game models and effects. But it does contain a lot of commentary on the key aspects of the visuals in Uncharted 2. Here are a couple of examples:

On Chloe Frazer (p67): "...when you start iconifying the features of a girl that make her more beautiful, you tend to choose similar things like a smaller chin, a more triangular face, and bigger eyes. With Chloe, I tried to push things towards the iconic features of a beautiful woman while trying to keep things real. Female characters are always the most scrutinized, the most challenged, and the most commented upon. One example of things that we considered while building the female characters was to omit the wrinkle maps for them. We have wrinkle maps for faces so when the character emotes you can bring in, for example, the forehead wrinkles, which adds more realness and believability to the characters. Even though it happens with real women, when we tried it with Chloe and Elena, they looked a little creepy. So you always have to walk the tightrope with female characters."

On Shambala (p193): "... so I thought, let's take the base of a pyramid and wedge a square into it, and then give it an almost more Indian-style roof treatment. ... It combined elements in a unique way to make something that felt like it was somewhere new and undiscovered. That addressed the question of "What are we going to do to make this thing look wondrous and unique, but also believable?"

There's a lot of art in this book, and the commentary really adds insight and depth into what you are seeing, to make it more than a mere collection of artwork from game development. On Environments, Art Director Robh Ruppel comments (p91), ""Okay, we have a room with a hallway, that leads into another room. How can we make this interesting?" that's when we start doing the research and gathering reference. We'll do a few thumbnails, a few color sketches, talk it over with the designers and game director, and establish an emphasis for what needs to be conveyed. What do we want the player to feel here? What's going on here emotionally? Where are we in the story?... we just always want the visuals to enhance what's going on with the emotional beats of the story and gameplay. So if the design or goals change in a particular level, I have to make sure that the visuals are also in sync and doing their job."

One of the things you'll probably take away from reading The Art of Uncharted 2 is that being able to draw is not enough. When you take wider considerations into account, being able to draw starts to be dime-a-dozen.
This book, then, is probably more for artists, especially artists thinking about going into the gaming industry. If you just love the world of Uncharted, or are hoping for lots of pictures of the hotties Chloe and Elena (and there are a few excellent, very-high-quality and high-detail renders of the key characters), you may want to flip through the online book previewer first.

The Fantasy Art of Computer Games #277 - Baldur's Gate II

The Fantasy Art of the Baldur's Gate Games Main Page

The Fantasy Art of the Infinity Engine Games

bg2 new Jaheira


bg2 new Imoen

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Computer Games #275 - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Hi Everyone!

Once again, I'm the lucky recipient of yet another review copy from Ballistic Publishing -- you may know them from some of their other books, such as Exotique 5 and Character Modelling 3 which covered in extensive detail the Sony Playstation game Killzone 2.






Ballistic's latest book is The Art of Uncharted 2. I'm not a console player myself (I prefer the greater control and customization typically afforded by PC gaming), so this was my intro to the game as well. We'll review it shortly, but for the moment, if you're not familiar with the game series, here are some vids.

You can pre-order the paperback or Special Edition from Amazon, but I urge you to visit Ballistic's official site. Not only does it detail the leather-bound Special Edition, but also the Collector's Limited Folio Edition. And every copy of either the Special Edition or Limited Edition comes with a "a free 15-minute walkthrough video of three concept pieces from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The video shows pieces by Naughty Dog Art Director Robh Ruppel and Concept Artist Andrew Kim".

The first YouTube below is from the original game, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. When I was looking it up online, a non-gamer friend happened to be looking over my shoulder. When I explained it was a computer game intro, her jaw dropped--"I thought it was a video of something."



Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Flondo - Happy Holidays

Flondo has published "Exotica", featuring some of his latest and best works. We reviewed it here.


Happy Holidays by ~flondo on deviantART

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Computer Games #272 - KoinUp Editor's Choice

Today we present a KoinUp Editor's Choice -- Artwork by The Sims photomanipulator Veronica Mancini a.k.a. Kira_87.


What's Koinup?
Koinup is the first social network to share your virtual life by publishing your machinima, screenshots and virtual stories.
It allows users to upload, share and review contents they create within virtual worlds, metaverse, mmorpg and games as Second Life, IMVU, World of Warcraft, The Sims 2 and many others.

Why is Koinup different?
Koinup is different in respect to the other social networks because it is focused on contents generated in virtual worlds, metaverses and games.
Koinup is also different because it allow its member not only one media, but almost any kind of media.

If you join Koinup, you have the chance to publish and share your videos, your pictures and your stories shooted in virtual world and games as Second Life and many others.
Photography enthusiast can join Koinup and publish their pictures or, using our storyboard tool, share stories mixing images and words!
Machinima authors can join Koinup and post their movies, but also create their own storyboards or even publish posters or stills from their upcoming videos!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Marta Dahlig


Marta Dahlig

Exotique 5 cover Exotique 5 limited editor cover



Hi Everyone!

As you know, my website presently showcases the fantasy art of computer games, so there's a lot of art out there that doesn't fit there at the moment. I can, however, introduce it to you on this blog.

Today, I'd like to introduce the Polish artist Marta Dahlig, one of the digital artists featured in Ballistic Publishing's latest portfolio of "the world's most beautiful CG characters", Exotique 5 (pages 169, 196).

Sabin Duvert by Marta Dahlig

The Winterspring Assault by Marta Dahlig

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Computer Games #266 - Koinup Editor's Choice

Today we present a KoinUp Editor's Choice -- Artwork by Second Life artist/photographer Cala Rossini a.k.a. Trixibelle


What's Koinup?
Koinup is the first social network to share your virtual life by publishing your machinima, screenshots and virtual stories.
It allows users to upload, share and review contents they create within virtual worlds, metaverse, mmorpg and games as Second Life, IMVU, World of Warcraft, The Sims 2 and many others.

Why is Koinup different?
Koinup is different in respect to the other social networks because it is focused on contents generated in virtual worlds, metaverses and games.
Koinup is also different because it allow its member not only one media, but almost any kind of media.

If you join Koinup, you have the chance to publish and share your videos, your pictures and your stories shooted in virtual world and games as Second Life and many others.
Photography enthusiast can join Koinup and publish their pictures or, using our storyboard tool, share stories mixing images and words!
Machinima authors can join Koinup and post their movies, but also create their own storyboards or even publish posters or stills from their upcoming videos!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Fantasy Art of Leung Chun Wan

Leung Chun Wan is one of the digital artists featured in Ballistic Publishing's latest portfolio of "the world's most beautiful CG characters", Exotique 5 (pages 15, 18, 107, 112, 188).Exotique 5 coverExotique 5 limited editor cover


North Sky by ~hf-zilch on deviantART


Requiem by ~hf-zilch on deviantART

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