mardi 2 décembre 2014

Cave Concepts !

Over a year ago, I had some environment concepts to develop in line with a high fantasy game. A short mandate. The environments were to blend in with the factions’ existing characters. The overall guidelines: Underground caverns beneath desert like dry land. Clear Asian influence. Rivers provide prime resource and water feels sacred. Feeling of community and history. Ongoing architectural expansion. Cavern is accessible through a hole in the ground that also lets light peer in. And so on… the directions were clear but I still had plenty of room to explore. Fun times! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Y’a plus d’un an de ça, j’ai été mandaté pour proposer des concepts d’environnements pour un jeu type « High Fantasy. » Un court mandat. Les environnements devaient concorder avec les personnages d’une faction déjà existante. Dans l’ensemble, les directives étaient : Cavernes souterraines situées sous un désert aride. Influence asiatique très évidente. Des rivières souterraines sont la ressource première. L’eau prend un rôle sacré. Sentiment de communauté grandissante, d’architecture en expansion. L’entrée de la caverne se fait par un ou des trous au  plafond. Ce qui laisse aussi pénétrer la lumière….Etc….Les directives étaient clair, mais assez larges pour me permettre d’explorer. Très stimulant!
  

mercredi 26 novembre 2014

Assassin's Creed Rogue !

Almost a year ago, I was mandated to push some art for the Assassin's Creed Rogue video game that just came out this November on PS3 and Xbox one. I had a variety of different tasks to do ranging from storyboarding cut scenes, to designing door lock mechanisms, totem puzzles, artefact pillars, graphic icons and some good ol' environment concept art. Learned quite a bit in the process. Firstly, in order of appearance here...and in the game (That goes on chronologically in 1755):-----------------------Set in an open world like canyon near the north Atlantic, I designed this pillar shaped rocky mountain that serves firstly as a climbing puzzle for our hero. (Other various treasure quests were to be connected to this one where the idea of little bridges leading to other secret areas come in.) On top, our hero is then challenged with the first of many ancient totem puzzles. Once the artefact collected, the hero could dive off into a source of water and exit the area. Thus the idea of the surrounding river and a boat seen through the gap in the rock. -----------------------Next in illustrations are the different concept iterations of this ancient Totem Puzzle. At first this totem was intended to fit in the 1st Civ sci-fi art style of the Assassin’s Creed brand. The direction changed to make it look more like a typical native totem. It changed once more to have it look more like a Stonehenge monument. The game concept is to lead the player into using EagleVision to then vertically connect the patterns by pivoting the parts. (So the shape needed to almost a cylinder) When the concept went Stonehenge, I proposed the idea of aligning cracks (The stones flaws) instead of patterns. Thus leading the Stonehenge to crack up and explode…revealing the treasure at its feet. Which then helps the player identify from far which puzzles have been resolved.-----------------------Mid-point through the game, our player unlocks a secret passage (I designed …but no visual here) through a church floor in Lisbon Portugal. The secret passage leads to a 1st Civ room that I designed and that holds an ancient artifact. I came up with the concept of a triangular shaped prism pedestal that intentionally evokes the A shape of the Assassin’s Creed logo. Upon picking it up from the pedestal, the artefact self-destructs and the whole place starts shaking….Causing the famous historical devastating earthquake that destroyed the most part of Lisbon. Our hero must escape the chaos and reach his boat amidst the crumbling buildings and scorching fires.-----------------------The very end of the game (spoilers! Sorry) has our hero sailing through the frozen seas of North Atlantic on the quest to retrieve the last artefact. Our hero docks near an ice cavern entrance…and must make his way inside through frozen shipwrecks, across 1st Civ platforms until he reaches the entrance to Ice Temple…which holds the artefact. I did some concept art of the door and what could the inside of the Ice Temple could look like. Once again, the triangular shaped pedestal that goes deep down into earth (To justify, its link to the earthquake) but this time much more epic. It was also suggested that no actual ice made its way into this last room. Anyhow, the scenario heads toward treachery amongst the lead characters present and once again the artefact is stolen. Which causes an even bigger earthquake, the pointy stalactite ceiling caving dangerously in, and what I proposed has a rise in water level as our hero must make his way back to his ship…for the grand finale. I won’t get into the details, (no too spoil too much of it. In all,) but I enjoyed the variety of the tasks and getting more involved in the design aspect. Try the game out!  

mardi 25 novembre 2014

Assassin's Creed Unity --- Companion App.

This November, Ubisoft Released the awaited Assassin's Creed Unity video game. On a short mandate, I was to design a series of French Revolutionists Characters as final Illustrations for the Companion Game playable on Ipad and smartphone. (The Companion game, done in Quebec City, in itself is meant to be played by a friend while one is playing the original console version. ) It has you choosing and hiring a limited set of Parisian Revolutionist Assassins then sending them off to invade / riot a part of the City. Thus, the directions were for me to design rebelious characters with poses, visual attributes that could label them to one the 4 categories: Attack , Stealth, Defense, and finally...Balanced. ( with energy-type bars showing how much they had of this) In addition, the characters had to feel believable in the brand, cool but generic enough not to overpower our assassin hero, while feeling they are actively part of the French Revolution setting. ( I worked in a color palette that references the obvious red, white and blue of the french flag. )No one under 18 or over 45. With 30 % of them being females. Oh...And most importantly, they had to read well in different formats ranging from super small on a smartphone to midsize on a tablet. (Never as big as the version I'm posting here. But hey, it more fun to see details, right? ) The characters poses thus had to emphasize strong recognizable silhouettes. And last but no least, the very small icon-like cropped up version of the characters showcasing their face had to read just as well and ideally present one of their 4 character attributes. Oh! and once chosen by the player,the characters would eventually be shown side by side. So The characters could not be cropped to the left or to the right. oufff... It was a rare opportunity for me to push character design in a more realistic style. Unfortunatly, I was quickly needed on an other mandate, thus stuck for time... and they ended up wanting 3 times more characters to choose from. So another illustrator was free to takeover ( and redid these in his style) All in all, it was great fun. Check out the game. It's free!

jeudi 30 octobre 2014

What's for dinner, dear...?

(Another old one ( but-no-that-old)...that I finally got around to post. Ah, only a few left before I start fresh on some new stuff ! ) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Encore un ancien ( mais-pas-si-ancien-que-ça)...que j'ai enfin le temps de poster. Ah! Il ne m'en reste que quelques z'uns avant que je me lance dans du nouveau ! )

Robert Plant (...or Tripping Daisy?)

mardi 9 septembre 2014

SNAP-CRACKLE-POP-EYE !

Bon, une autre de ces vieilles illustration que j’ai ramené à vie quelques deux ans plus tard…en me convaincant qu’elle méritait enfin d’la couleur. Bref, à l’époque lointaine, je me souviens avoir fait découvrir l’univers Cartoon du Marin boosté aux Épinards… à mon p’tit gars. Et en soirée, lorsque qu’il dormait enfin, me laissant du temps « d’adulte », je buttais des dieux Grecques Épiques dans God of War. Là, je me suis dit que ça méritait un mix des deux univers. Et vlan du cartoon Epicness ! En injectant autant de l’univers du Marin ( j’évite de le nommer pour pas que ça POP dans un moteur de recherche.) que possible dans une seule illustration, en me disant que ça n’arrivera pas deux fois. Dans mes recherches sur ce Cartoon remontant aux BD des années 30…j’ai remarqué la bonne quantité de contenues jugés politiquement incorrects d’après nos standards actuels. ( ex : Olive qui se fait vraiment maltraité par Brutus. Référence évidente à d’la drogue avec le Marin qui se pop un coup « d’épinards » ( !) par sa pipe. Le bébé swee’Pea qui risque le drame fatal…etc…) Voici donc, version légèrement incorrecte. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Another one of these dusted old illustrations dating back two years….that I finally got around to add color and finish. I wasn’t sure if this flash of an idea deserved spending more time on it. But anyhow…. At the time, as I remember, I was introducing my kid to ye’ old Sailerman Classic Cartoon Character here, (not mentioning his name. don’t want to “POP” up in search results ) Toot-toooooot! And at night, once my boy finally fell asleep thus rewarding me some precious “adult-time” I got down to playing God of War in all its’ blasting epicness. So I got this idea of mixing both in a single illustration. Go Cartoon Epicness. Yes! And cramming all I could of the Sailermans' franchise stuff in there too, figuring I might as well since I won’t be doing it twice. Then researching back to it’s early cartoon start in the 1930’s, I realized just how much of the referenced cartoon content wasn’t politically correct for even today’s cleaner standards. ( ex: Olive being “mistreaded” by Brutus. Subliminal drug reference of the sailor consuming energizing “spinach” right through his pipe. Swee’Pea baby getting into some serious life threatening drama. …Etc…) So it’s all here in its’ slightly incorrect glory.

jeudi 12 juin 2014

Eagle Knievel in Kolor ! Yah!

Procrastinant comme un vrai pro ( une misère terrible à m'installer pour illustrer ces derniers temps. Tentations multiples du démon de l'été ) me v'la enfin ...avec la version couleur de cette oiseau maudit. Avec tout ce temps loin de mon écran post-boulot et mes crayola virtuels toute séché...j'avais initialement pensé y mettre un décor derrière, mais non. Rien. J'ai même enlevé ( jeu des 8 erreurs avec la version noir et blanc?) le martien controlleur sur le dos qui gérait la bête. Trop compliqué, chargé. Finit! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Proscatinating as a true professionnal ( arrgh! Lately it's been painfully hard to get down and paint after “work” hours on my own free time. Too many satanic temptations elsewhere I guesssss.) I finally managed to bring color to this this bad bird. I had an idea for a background behind, give it context, but figured it was sufficiently busy in it's concept to let it breath. You'll notice ( not that you actually will) I also dropped the idea of the martian in a vessel stuck to the bird's back...that's on the black and white version. It was overkilling it. Enjoy!

vendredi 4 avril 2014

Eagle Knievel !

(((je montre rarement l'étape préliminaire noir et blanc d'une illustration destinée à la couleur. Surtout quand c'est en technique plus peinturé où je rajoute/change beaucoup de trucs au fur et à mesure. Mais dans un cas plus cartoon comme celui-ci, avec des tonalités plutôt en aplats, pas de dégradés ou textures... je me suis dit que ça serait le moment d'en pousser un. Puisque ça restera assez fidèle avec la couleur)Sinon, euh...Que dire que ce Boss-Colosse-RedNeck-ailée-controlé-par-un-Martien-Maniac ( un brin cliché) fait partie d'un projet plus gros que je ne peux parler pour le moment. Tout comme le personnage qu'il attaque...( tant de suspense. C'est trop...je sais.) Mais je peux vous dire avoir hate d'y mettre d'la couleur pour un prochain poste futur.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(((Rarely do I push this far the preliminary black and white version of my illustrations that are destined for color. Especially if the intent is more of a painted roughly style where a lot is created in the later stages. But this one, being more of a cartoony style with flatter tones and little gradients, felt like the One to push...just for the fun of finally posting one! ))) So, euh...This Big-Bad-Redneck-Alien-controled-Mutated-US-Eagle-on-Wheels is part of a larger project that I can't speak of for now. It's also fighting a character I won't show either. ( Too much suspense, right?) But I can tell ya' I can't wait to color this one for a next showing. Stay tuned!

mercredi 19 mars 2014

AnuBeast !

Et vlan....Voici une requête concept d'un guerrier style égyptien-Dieu-Anubis. Tout en étant en ligne avec un certain style artistique, le personnage se devait d'avoir une attaque corps à corps, être de force moyenne, suffisament générique pour l'avoir dupliqué en une armé de soldat...sans pour autant être banal. Les références tirées du film la Momie ainsi que Stargate. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here's a character design request of a Anubis Egyptian like fantasy warrior...of sorts. It had to be in the style with the brand, have a melee attack, medium strength and sufficiently generic ( without being boring) to be duplicated into an army. Inspirational references taken from the Mummy movie and Stargate.

dimanche 9 mars 2014

Army General

J'avais le mandat de concevoir le personnage d'un vieux mais puissant, riche Général d'armé d'une troupe militaire aux influences Perse. On devait sentir que le Général était supérieur à ses soldats en y voyant plus d'armure chic travaillée, tissus etc...Mais sans compromettre son côté solide et prêt au combat. Et tout ça dans un style défini de Fantasy art. J'ai voulu m'essayer à le peindre de façon plus “rough” en focusant sur les bons tons...sans abusé de lumière bling-bling facile. Et m'essayer dans des couleurs un peu plus vive aussi. Voooilà! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Had this mandate to design an old but powerful and wealthy Army General leading a troup of persian-like soldiers. All of this in a given Fantasy Art style. The Army General was to visually stand out from his men by having more armor,and fancier bling-bling. But he still had to feel sturdy and ready for battle. I tried to paint this one a little more loosely by focusing on the correct tones. And not going overboard easy on the gloss or high contrast. But I still wanted to challenge myself with flashier colors. There goes!

jeudi 30 janvier 2014

Raving RABBIDS INVASION ----- l’INVASION des Lapins Crétins !

Raving RABBIDS INVASION ----- l’INVASION des Lapins Crétins ! For my first year and an half at Quebec’s Ubisoft Studio, I worked on the Raving RABBIDS franchise for it’s “INVASION” facebook game. It is no longer online, but the concept was absurdly funny and a joy to design for. It all started for me in MAI 2011. In this spin-off spoof of the popular Farmville and CityVille building game titles, the idea was to actually transform a normal bland isometric city into something obnoxiously ridiculous that suits the Rabbids’ pee-brained mind. So instead of really building cities, you’re “Rabbidizing” ( the term used-game) the games’ existing buildings …and making them stupid enough to scare off humans…thus take possession of the map. Within all the jokes and craziness, the game had a solid game structure, currency etc…And was mostly all done in vector based Flash. I was assigned to invent/ design the vast majority of the rabbidized buildings…emphasizing on the humor of the brand and the players surprise to see the result of the transformed buildings. (And when done penciling them…then join with my 2 other colleague illustrators in production vectorizing and coloring them. Ready to be animated. ) I went on to helping out in creating assets, rewards, items for the game I was congratulated for my inventiveness and on nailing right on the ridiculous somewhat raunchy juvenile humor true to the Rabbids brand. So nuff’ said…Great memories! Here’s a small selection of the pencil design concepts I did ( I did more than a hundred of them) of the transformed buildings. Some actual screenshots of the game …to get a look a feel. And then the coloured vector version I did of these designs. There’s also a link to trailer. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Pour ma première année et demi d’embauche chez Ubisoft ( Québec) j’ai travaillé exclusivement sur la license des « Lapins Crétins » pour le jeu facebook « INVASION » qui parodiait les fameux jeux de construction Farmville et Cityville. Tout ça a commencé en MAI 2011 Le concept était donc de plutôt transformer une ville isométrique existante, dit « Crétiniser » (terme utilisé dans le jeu) dans une ville complètement ridicule à l’humour juvénile et prête pour y accueillir les Lapins (très) Crétins. Ceci rendant donc la ville très coloré, absurde…et chassant les humains du coup. Malgré le ridicule du ton, le jeu avait une bonne structure gameplay et système de monétisation et une communauté active qui trippait. Ma tâche était donc de concevoir la vaste majorité des bâtiments dans leurs états normales (et volontairement banals) et leur états colorés-crétinisés-ridicules. J’en ai réalisé plus d’une centaine. Une fois tous les concepts en crayonnés approuvés, j’ai rejoint les 2-3 illustrateurs en place pour vectoriser et coloré les bâtiments…et les préparer à l’animation. Ensuite, c’était l’étape de la création d’icones, items de collection etc.. En somme, belle expérience où j’ai pu faire renaitre l’adulescent immature en moi…Et j’ai aussi reçu des éloges pour ma créativité,…d’avoir bien saisies l’humour propre à la licence des Lapins Crétins. Bon assez dit, voici une sélection de crayonnés des bâtiments, des versions couleurs vecteurs…et des images pris du jeu. Et le lien de la bande annonce : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLDr9_dUYfY