Sunday, May 12, 2013

BRANIAC! - Rendering From Memory and Instinct

     This is a piece I had worked on last year and decided to dust off and polish up for the blog. It started as a gray scale render. The color pallet isn't very successful. I didn't spend much time on the pallet and that is part of it, but I would like to get to a point where my color design is a little more instinctive than it is at the moment. Expanding my color pallet and design is definitely a major goal this year.

      This is meant as a re-imagining of the Superman villain, Braniac. This was a test in my rendering with little to no reference. I wanted to pay homage to Alex Ross and his style of realistic, model based illustration. The challenge I posed to myself was to do so without looking at a model or reference. I got as far as I could on instinct and eventually used my hand and shoulder as a quick perspective reference. I also looked at some chrome material reference to touch up the metal spec. As a way to pay homage to my inspiration, I gave him Superman's cape as seen in one of Alex Ross's more iconic Superman poses. I also felt it create a nice parallel. Although I find myself uncomfortable with it being more or less a direct copy.

     I always felt Braniac was the best villain to serve as Superman's arch nemisis. So the design was meant to be more reflective of Superman and present him as a similar creature but of an opposite spectrum. Originally he had crazy wired tubes extruding from his head. I liked the silhouette it created but it never felt right, so I axed them. As I worked on it, I moved away from the Alex Ross style costuming a bit. Instead of the old school fabric design I worked in some creases to give it more of an organic armor feeling. In the long run, the pose would have greatly benefited if working from a model.

     (Superman by Alex Ross, the inspiration and reference for the Braniac design.)

     The cape, for the majority of time, was a disaster. It started out very stylized and as the body became more hyper real it stuck out like a sore thumb (Ashton Gallagher, an awesome artist, helped me sort this issue out). I eventually caved and pulled reference, if I were to progress this or turn in for professional work I would have pushed it a little further away from the reference. Adding some tatters, changing the shape and adjusting folds would have helped in this area. The pallet also needs to be revisited, going back to a color wheel and working out something more balanced and alive.

 (This is the progression of the piece. Unfortunately, I lost the very original sketch. I found myself unhappy with the resolution half way through so I bumped up the image size. This gave me the room to work in some finer detail that I am unable to achieve at a low resolution. As I improve, the ability to achieve that illusion of fine detail at lower resolutions will come a little easier.)

That does it for this pile of words and images. There will be plenty more posts in the next couple weeks so I hope it isn't a complete waste of time. If it isn't check in for more practice posts as well as another Dev Diary.


No comments:

Post a Comment