Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Video Tutorial Part 2: Battle Dwarf

Well I recorded my progress, now I need to edit it.  like I said before I wont be posting the vids until the entire thing is done.

Now this will be a 5 part vid tutorial. Hopefully all goes well and we shall have something publish worthy (my end goal with this).  We shall see..

Also my comic project idea is coming together.  Its nice to see.  We have a story (we went with the war drama) and I have character sheets for the team as well as a story board I'm working of off.

All this and I have to work on my thesis haha.  Probably later on tonight I'll finish something where that is concerned.

Until then all.  Oh and if you find yourself coming back to this page why not hit the "follow" button, and get your subscribing on.  Its free, and you'll feel 15% cooler the following morning, or so the science says.

Video Tutorial

I'm officially announcing that I will be doing a 5 part video tutorial on character modeling, without a sketch.  You'll walk with me as I try and discover the "character within the sculpt" as I stated in my 3D Artist blurb :P

Part one is finished and edited, but I wont be posting anything until I am done with all 5 parts.  Should be a fun project.  In the tutorial I can tell you that we'll be going the process of model a medieval dwarf, with all the fixings.  Part one has you modeling the base character, Part 2 is detailing and intro to subtools and the shadow boxing the armor and such.  He wont be fully armored, put what he does wear will be detailed.  We will be aiming for a production ready character sculpt.  And in Part 5 I'll discuss in Maya how to turn the character into something useful.

Until then I leave with you the Ending result of Part 1:  The Base character.

Finished the quick sculpts

Decided that after a hectic night of trying to get my air conditioner to work (with success!)  That I'd relax and just finish off the two sculpts I started yesterday,  Each took no longer than 40 min to finish.

Big boy floaty:

And Afro white guy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

another hour another sketch

Just a happy guy in boxing shorts I guess, haha I don't know. 

The odd thing is I sculpt so much better I realize whene 1: I sculpt the clothes on them, and 2: They are an odd color. Idk why haha.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

time to use this blog right

So I decided to actually start posting sketches and such that I do, sort of a mental diary.  I think that would be good for me.

Heres a two hour quick sketch:

I decided that I'm going to from now one sculpt from a prebuilt topological form.  The figure here took only two hours, and good part of it was sitting there thinking where to take this.  Had I used a zsphere I would have easily doubled my sculpting time.  So its a good thing I prebuilt models for a majority of occasions, these will make good base meshes. 

Tribal redo:

Been reworking my tribal guy using photo references at http://www.fineart.sk. Got him back on track.

nude version

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Farm land

This city boy is being exposed to fresh mountain air and open plains.. let's see if it gets the brain juices flowing.


That was a long night before, sheesh. But I'm up now and enjoying my morning coffee.  As I sit here and looking out the window, I can see the state park which borders my backyard.

When I was a kid I used to look back there and see a large boulder.  Its shape seemed almost familiar, too familiar... the boulders shape began to take form, as the computer in my head began checking its silhouette against every item my young mind could comprehend.

The item I ended on astonished me: a head, but not any head, a dragon's head. Once I saw that, I could see eyes and nostrils and a mouth.  Almost so much so, that it was inconceivable to have thought that it was anything else. 

My mind raced: how did it get here? Was it a fossil.  I knew of mammoths in the Arctic preserved almost perfectly, I convinced my young self that this could be one of those situations.  But what was it doing in my backyard? Why did I not see this thing before? I knew dragons to live hundreds of years.  Was this thing still alive?  Do dragon's turn to stone when they die, are mountains and hills really just large piles of dragons giving into their fate? 

I thought about this for weeks.  It consumed.  Until one day I went to venture out into the forest and see what this thing was up close.  But approaching the edge of the park,  the familiar shape that I knew so well, was gone... 

A large boulder vanished into thin air. Maybe I got my answer.  Maybe it was simply time to move on and populate another grove, or forest. Maybe it was simply tired of being there. Or maybe it was just a boulder afterall, one who felt a rolling stone gathers no moss.
Whatever it was, I'm always amazed at the imagination I was possessed.  Growing up is great in so many ways but in the few ways its not, it's devestating.

Oh well, stay creative.

Should be posting things from a Greek festival I will be attending today.

Something different.

I decided to take a break from my tribal guy and do another somewhat odd render of my clown, of which you can find a works in progress page on my website I made the photo look odd and I kind of like the cross processing effect I have somewhat exemplified.  This is in now what done, just something I did to relax from a good run.

As some of you might have seen I added my twitter to this page. Whether or not thats a good idea is beyond me, but I'm attempting a true online presence, and felt it only right.   Follow me if you'd like, I say some silly things every so often, and have 5 WHOLE FOLLOWERS, Woo!  As apposed to half followers, you know the dismembered apathetic hands and body parts.  BAM, took the pun both ways in one sentence, oh yea, I'm bad :P

I'm planning on doing a couple of tutorials later on tomorrow, for those interested.  It will either be on the basics of using GoZ, a program within zbrush that will allow you to seamlessly communicate with photoshop, or maya, or any other program of your choice.  That or how I composite my images in photoshop using a zbrush render. We shall see if I have time to do either at all haha.

The comic idea is rolling around in my head. Something oddly pleasing about it. Might try and pull out one of my comic styles again or try and do a comic rendering of sculptures, such as found in the comic http://www.theadaboy.com/

I might even break out the old vector style I used to do a year back:

Here we see a T-shirt design I was hopping to do.

This of course would depend on the two storyline we might do.  one a gritty war piece set in NYC, the other a slightly lighter toned tale about the bonds between people. 

Sculpting the characters for the project would allow for quick transitions from image to image, but the upfront time in the beginning is a lot, unless I truly plan and plan. If working from a drawing of mine, I can sculpt, model or render fairly quickly.  If left to my own devices I tend to stray the path and fall into the "well now where is this going" pit fall.

Drawing on the other, gives the comic a whole different feel, something tangible I guess, but considering I trying to bring in facebook, twitter, blogger, and GoDaddy into the equation, that might prove tricky.
I do know I want the comic to have sort of the same feel as the viral marketing for the film Cloverfeild.

For those who don't know Cloverfeild had a lot of real world ties and being based in New York the idea of setting up websites for businesses made a lot of sense.  Things referenced in the film, all became real, even the characters had facebooks.  Its all made the film become something more than itself.  The only difference here was that Cloverfeild was based in a Film format.  Each viral campaign revolved around the notion that the main medium was something found elsewhere.

But what if the medium was in itself the viral marketing?  What if we kept it all online, the internet became a playground a window into a universe that I and my friend create. Something that would of course be dramatic and entertaining, but revolving not only around a webcomic, but in all other main web media's as well.  What would it become?  What would it be called?  I know I dream big, haha.

I doubt anyone here has read this far, seriously maybe two have gotten past the initial image and have scrolled down.  Your mother.  See? only two of you are slightly offended or bemused depending on your sensitivity to such things.

Good chat.  Stay creative

Good night.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Running over ideas with my good friend, while having coffee.

I think I might do a webcomic without actually doing a webcomic. The comics premise has never been done before, I think.  A comic that floats around the idea of newspaper clippings.  I wont say the story here, but the idea is the story goes on and viewers get a glimpse day by day, one clipping at a time.

Articles don't have to flow sequentially,  but those that seem out of place all contain clues to the back story.  Viral websites, and other connections make the experience real to the viewer.  It becomes like a game almost attempting to figure out the back story and find out what happens to your character in-between.  Updates on sites happen on between, giving the viewer something to look for.

On another note coffee is a wonderful thing.

Update and Blog tutorial suggestions.

Today whilst completing some work for an upcoming teaching gig I have at the Montclair Art Museum, I decided to progress my dying tribal guy.

I added texture, hand painted from alpha patches, and adjusted proportions of the hands, feet and shoulders.

Please click for full detail

I think it flows a lot better now, you can really feel that spear going into him.  Though unfortunately I'm still undecided with what to do with the piece overall.  I guess I'll see where this guy takes me.

Its 4:00 A.M, and once again I find myself unable to sleep.  Its unfortunate really, I don't understand why.  Perhaps the preoccupied nature of my mind while sculpting.  Who knows.

On a side note:  I am looking for freelance gigs, any and all I'll entertain. Something will hopefully get this ball rolling. I updated my site with new work, hoping to bring in some customers, you can view it by going to www.matthewkean.com or just click on it if you're lazy :)  This guy is now added to the "Works in progress" Section of my site.

Im trying to also figure out where I want to go with this blog, something that oddly enough does relax me.  Im trying to find a good topic to do a tutorial on, I want to hear from you, those that simply pass through haha.

I don't only do 3D work, In fact I do a lot of 2D work as well:

Here is an attempt create an edible spokes character, I chose to do turtle soup. Tutorials could pertain to photoshop as well as anything else that you'd like. Its up to you.

For now I will attempt to rest these bedroom eyes, and will hopefully finish more in the coming morning.

Stay Creative, all

Good Night.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thesis Project

Though you could easily find more on my website about my thesis, I decided to give a quick synopsis of what its going to be as well as post some images and videos from it.

My thesis is based on the Aesop's fable "the two fighting cocks"
In the original Asop fable, there are two fighting roosters attempting to lay claim to a farm. The bigger rooster beats the other to submission, and then jumps onto a fence and boastfully caws. An Eagle see this flying over head, swoops down and takes out the prideful rooster. The weaker rooster is now left to rule the farm he has won be default.
In my version however the Two roosters are going to be fighting over a woman in a bar. the bigger rooster is going to beat the other into submission, garnering a swift and physical exit, provided by my eagle which in this case is the bouncer. The woman leaves with the calmer smaller rooster. the end. 

Now That all sounds fine and dandy, but what does it look like?

well my characters for this short look like this:

Here we see the boncer (eagle), Shy guy(small rooster), Love interest (farm), and finally the douche bag (large rooster)

I have my story boards done out, and its 37 scene panels, not including transitions and cuts,so I'm hoping that translates well.

They are fully formed, I am a sculptor at heart and love form, especially the human form, I feel constructing the character this way gives me a better sense of who they are.

Yes these are turntables from Zbrush however, these models all have correct edgeloops for animation

These vids are probably small, and are best viewed in youtube to see.

Now out of these characters, the small rooster or shy guy, however you want to call him, is my main man.  He'll be telling the story through his eyes, though the story has no speaking.

He was my focus, and currently I have him crudely, but satisfyingly rigged and has blendshapes begun in zbrush

Zbrush has a lovely feature in its plugin suite simply called blendshapes
more info if you click the link. 

It allows you the ability to sculpt in layers on zbrush and import each layer as a separate blendshape.

Layered blendshapes in zbrush is something I've been playing around with for a while. In a previous project I did, I used zbrush's powerfull layers to create blendshapes for a mad hatter character I created. 

 Now this was two years ago, long before the plugin was available for zbrush so I had to manually import each layer, masked off of course, so that they could fluidly work with each other.  Using Jason Osipa's book: "Stop Staring" (then at volume 1 haha) I began to assemble a decent facial system, and brought it all together with my own facial rig:

And of course with that I had to play with it, and so here was the presented head, with wrinkle maps, 36 blendshapes, and a crappy lip sync of Osipa's provided tracks:

But back to the thesis.  I'll be doing renders of the bar soon, and will have all the characters rigged by next week.  Then its blendshapes, and then animation tests.  These next three weeks will be filled!  I'm also teaching a class on game design this summer and will be preoccupied with that, but I promised myself I'd get something done.

Anywho thats all for now, good night.

another side project: Clowny, and Publication.

Something of a pushed project I began and then halted to begin rigging on my thesis animation.

Clowny will hopefully be finished soon, I really hope to reopen this in the following week and really get the ball rolling.

Also to note for those in the US, I recently got a small section in the latest issue of 3D Artist magazine. 

thats me in the upper center!

I hope you all go check it out. 

Here we go

This is the first blog post of this...blog,  Here I'll be posting things like current projects, tutorials, and things I find interesting.
 To see what I do, my site is www.matthewkean.com
I'm a character artist and digital sculptor who wants to share with everyone my thought process and creation process when doing one of my pieces.  

To begin I'm working on a current piece called death of a tribal, inspired by some paintings by Frank Frazetta.

and the nude version

I'm still trying to figure out composition, and I'll probably add a second character to mix.

Speaking of Frank Frazetta, there is a fantastic collection of Frank's work here:

This includes a majority of Frazetta's work and is a wealth of information. 

If any questions, please feel free to comment.