Aug 18, 2014

| NBM3...

I haven't posted anything exciting for a long while and there are a lot of reasons. First, we are working like crazy to finish our game, which means lots of office hours, and also because when I finally have a little bit of free time, it's easily spent with my relatives and outside paddling... basically it feels like an overdose of computers. However it's difficult to escape some previous engagements so here is a little update on another project with the Nuthin' but Mech crew, I'll be featured in the #3 book so there is some obvious pressure here > the artists are simply fantastic and their content is beyond awesomeness...  can't slack on that one!!!
The final image will be exclusive to the book but I still can share the process, and these sketches :-)
Sketchup/PS, WIP research for Image #1 without any "mech" yet...

Aug 2, 2014

| Fantasia reviews...

Le jeu sur lequel je travaille s'approche rapidement de la fin, c'est une periode vraiment intense et ca ne me laisse que peu d'energie pour travailler sur mes projets persos. D'un autre cote, j'ai la chance cette annee, de faire partie du groupe des bloggers d'Ubisoft pour le festival Fantasia, ca fait presque 10 ans que j'y vais, le rassemblement parfait pour les amateurs de serie B et films de genre!
L'avantage c'est d'avoir un passe-Presse et d'eviter les line-ups interminables, ca change ma perspective sur l'evennement et je peux me concentrer davantage sur le contenu, merci Christophe Gagne pour cette opportunite ;-)
http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2014/en
Mes reviews c'est ici > Semaine #2 - Semaine #3

Jun 13, 2014

Jun 1, 2014

| The art explorers...

I'm really proud to announce the beginning of a new cool project with my old friends Manu and Vyle. This is going to be different and fun :) please go and check it out and leave us some comments! #speedpaintingexplorers
DYI speargun...

May 2, 2014

| XD Theater invasion...

Last summer I accepted to take on a freelance job for a friend working at Triotech, (a cool Montreal-based Cie. creating their own multi-sensory interactive attractions)  I was really busy already and only did it because he insisted. At least it was a different experience working for a 3D XD ride interactive short film, especially a Sci-fi one!
The goal was to make a classic "Aliens" type of story with quite stereotyped environments, creatures and vehicles so people felt at ease during the spooky ride. I invite you to go and try their XD theaters if you spot one in your area, it's a lot of fun!
SO... here are some Alien soldiers and their beloved slimy Queen, as I said it is not surprising but it was an interesting challenge to try to design something just slightly different from the usual space-bugs.


The fun part was to design a "transformer" type of heavy-armored buggy, that can also roll'n fly. I wish I had more time to spend defining all the details.


It was taking too much of my energy so I only worked on 2 interiors, the cockpit and a generic corridor. The challenge with 3D movie scenes is to add a lot of depth using objects or industrial parts that stick out for no reasons just because it looks cool on screen.


And I took the opportunity to learn a bit of SketchUp and V-Ray to block out a rough model of the Human spaceship (#10 was chosen, of course not my favorite)

Apr 14, 2014

| Happy podcast...

Syn Studio has just released a podcast that we recorded a few months ago, un grand merci to the team for giving me the opportunity to talk and to introduce them to a specialty of my region in Southern France;  le Muscat de Rivesaltes! Thank you Anthony for the shots of Vodka I hope it doesn't show because I felt the heat on my half-Asian cheeks, all apologies for everything that sound too weird... obviously it was happy hour time :-)

Mar 4, 2014

| Super homme...

Honestly I personally never liked Superman as a superhero, with his ridiculous costume, logo, panties and overkill powers. When Ken came one day to tell me we had to make a pitch with this guy I was horrified, after Outrun and its douchebag plot, now the big muscles! It took me a while to give up to my professional conscience (weak!) and here are the results, can't remember exactly why the deal with Warner Bros. died but for once it felt good to lose a battle without going too far into prototyping :)

Epic boss battle!
Preliminary sketches
Main characters

| Outrun...

Old illustration pitch for an Outrun-style game... for K.W, it made me realize how bad and sexist the whole setup was, how surprising? so I'm glad we never had to follow up on this.

Feb 23, 2014

| CR - Werewolves...

I'm working on a personal project and this is a rapid research for some of the characters; the grease-monkey wolf team! Not very happy but it's just a warm up.
twin werewolves

Jan 25, 2014

| Racer Nation - Part #2...

Here are some characters I made for the game, it was still at an early stage of development so nothing was set in stone yet, but the idea was to define the visual differences of the RN groups of racers and their correspondent attitudes.

The great thing about working at a small studio is that you have to help in any ways possible, while I was doing some illustrations and taking care of the visual direction, it was also necessary to help on the texture side (modeling and shaders > Gab). So the whole art team had to skin some cars and helmets, which was really fun and creative, some of mine below as well as some logos.

Jan 15, 2014

| Racer Nation - Part #1...

I just had a discussion with a friend and ex-Trapdoor guy and it ended up being very nostalgic, we had a great time over-there and the opportunity to try multiple genres, on different platforms. Here is the first part of a larger dump of illustrations/works done for an Ipad game we were working on after cancelling Heist. It was a retro-Sci-Fi asynchronous arcade-racing game with very tight controls, stunts and flames... it was also super addictive and supposed to be free-to-play. Mmmmehh too bad we couldn't release it! The cool 3D environments and level art below were mainly done by the art team and Yan Mongrain!
Loading screens teamwork and RSR (early name) promo poster test inspired by the F1 Grand Prix of the 60's 
 
Some environment speedpainting researches done for the background of the interactive 3D menu selection. 
The idea was to base our 1st models on classic cars such as the Shelby Cobra and the F1 Ferrari 1967 because we wanted to bring back the feeling of raw danger of competing in that era and let's face it, we love their shapes. So our futuristic world was about an underground extreme competition of nostalgic racers wanting to feel the engines, open cockpit, smoke and madness of the past. Research paintovers below.

Jan 11, 2014

| Testing...

Yesss I do like the Surface pro 2! Because it is a great tablet PC and its form factor is really practical, here is a speedie live portrait done in Sketchbook Pro just a few minutes ago at a café in Montreal. The Surface came with us in our recent road trips and we both loved it for surfing and blogging but I didn't spend any time drawing or painting, which was my initial reason to get it. I'll post some more images very soon but what I can say is that the Bamboo Stylus Feel is a nice addition and the tablet works really well.
Café speedpainting tests using the Wacom Bamboo Feel pen
The main advantages of a tablet PC over the traditional laptop + graphic tablet configuration is its versatility and ergonomic (and definitely footprint), you can handle it the way you want much like you do with a classic sketchbook, it's small and easy to use. With its integrated kickstand and added keyboard it is a breeze to use the Surface Pro and it was very comfortable in the position you see above, allowing me to use the shortcuts while painting. Yup, even if Sketchbook Pro's interface has been perfectly optimized for touch screens it's still faster with a keyboard, btw this is a great software and I highly recommend it! Reminds me so much of traditional medias.
Monsters...

Oct 29, 2013

| Surfacing...

Ok not an art review yet but my Type Keyboard has just arrived and I'm actually typing this post with it. It's been a few days but I honestly didn't have much time to play with the Surface, though Photoshop CC and the Wacom drivers are now installed and everything is working just fine!
To begin with I just have to say that I absolutely love it, it's a beautiful yet very well made tablet PC, in fact it's probably one of the best tablet ever made (so far of course), and I include commercial ones like the iPads. You can check some reviews online but you definitely need to use and feel it to understand. The construction is impressive, it doesn't weight that much, roughly about the same as my friend Anthony's most recent Macbook Air.
However, despite the pleasant Windows 8.1 discovery for browsing around (my 1st time using W.8.1), I couldn't use - or wanted to use - Photoshop without the keyboard, I can't seem to be able to use the touch with my version, btw the pen is a piece of crap and doesn't look like it belongs to the same family. It is too light, feels horribly cheap, has only one button and I still can't configure it to open my brushes (middle-click usually for me). So I ordered a Wacom Bamboo Feel stylus and I'm sure things will easily be better.
Now the display is amazing, full HD very clear and sharp, the colors are beautifully rendered and apparently pretty accurate too. There is a down side to it though, because in such a small screen things can look rather small, especially in a software like Photoshop or After Effects, the windows are super tiny and that's when you can't use your fingers anymore :) you get used to find your way with the pen which is really precise. There is almost no space between the tip of the pen and the screen thanks to the optically bonded digitizer, but there is an apparent "lag" or distance from the tip and the cursor despite spending time calibrating the whole thing. But if you're used to work on a Cintiq then the Surface is even better in this area. As soon as you start painting it works great and the pressure sensitivity is exactly what I was expecting, good enough for a mobile digital sketchbook and I am not missing the 2048 levels of the Cintiq Companion here, nor the tilt really.
Here are some shots of the keyboard cover, it is quite something and works well, feels nice and has already improved my productivity a lot, you could certainly use the tablet without it but don't forget this is a powerful tablet PC too and typing on the screen gets rapidly annoying, same goes for working with most traditional software. You can ask me any questions in the Comments section below.
By the way I've found these 2 specialized websites which give a lot of really useful information about the Surface: