24 Mar 2014

New Madison College Rig (WIP)

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Been too long but in an odd way, it’s a good thing. :)  In this case, “quite” equals busy and busy means I’ve been head down working on multiple projects.  Some I can share and others will have to wait but in this post I wanted to share some work from a project I’m working on here at school.  One of the challenges of teaching 3D animation at a smaller institution is a general lack of resources…and in this case that means rigs.  In my An2 class (a general body mechanics class for character animation) I find myself combing the net for good character rigs that can support strong athletic movements with a decent feature set (IK/FK snapping, IK/IF switching, stretching, good hands and feet controls and so on).  While there are a few solid rigs out there for public use (Morpheus, Goon and Ultimate to name a few) what I find is a general lack of support when new software versions inevitably break features.  Because of this my colleague, Nathaniel Albright, and I have decided to jump in and develop a rig for the students at Madison College.  We’re still planning the rigs features (some basic and some not) and generally locking down the overall look but I think we’re off to a good start.  Here’s what we have so far:

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1-We have the overall look of the model with a few shoulder variations we thought might be worth exploring.  After examining the options we went with a simple ball and socket structure which allows for easier deformation in this area.  In this pic we’re also starting to set up our feature goals for the rig…


2-In this image I’ve been working out color roughs for the look of “Binks” (that’s what we’ve decided to name the rig…after Ed Binkley who founded Madison College’s Animation Program).  There’s still some discussion between Bink and Binks but I like Binks so, since this is my blog…I’m calling him Binks! :)  All in all I tried to say with a blue color scheme to represent the schools colors.  I was also trying, on a few, to incorporate a wave shape as a nod to the schools new logo.


3-In color roughs version 2 we’re narrowing down the look of the skins and playing with ideas for spec maps to help give the model a little texture (we’ll see if it makes it through to final).


What I’m not showing you is the tons of drawings to find a general shape that we were looking for (seriously, tons).  Starting with a blank piece of paper and a general idea can be difficult but also a great deal of fun.  What we knew we wanted was something athletic, somewhat superheroish and a little stylized but beyond those simple ideas we had zip.  SO, to get started in this direction I referenced Sean Galloway and Phil Bourassa’s art as well as Christopher Wright’s models…and that really helped keep us on track during this process.  Overall I think we’re going in the right direction and I’ll be posting more on this topic as the rig comes on-line.

08 Dec 2013


JeffArt Comments Off


WIP!  Did I mention this is a work in progress? :)  As a total guilty pleasure concept I thought I’d play with a Rad Rod/West Coast Customs kind of thing…which TOTALLY defeats the rat rod idea but hey…I wanted to try it…so IN THE FACE.  It has a ways to go but I think the foundation is fairly solid…except for the ellipses, and the engine, and maybe the roof…and doors…but other than THAT, it’s solid…ugh.

21 Nov 2013

Color Version

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This is a color version of a painting I did last year for The Darkest Age RPG.  The original cover was black and white (posted below) and I really wanted to see it in color…so I used overlays and straight paint to build it up and to drop color in.  All in all I like how it turned out and I think the hue really helped me solve some problems that eluded me in the original.  Thank you hue.

25 Oct 2012

Vehicle Thumbs

JeffArt Comments Off

What up world,

So we’re doing some vehicle work in concept class these days…here are some quick little vehicle thumbs for you to make fun of.  Word.

24 Oct 2012

The Darkest Age Cover

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Wow, it’s been a long long long time!  Sorry about the wait (for anyone who actually stops by :) ).  Between some new course work as school and a little boy who just turned one, my time has been difficult to manage…which means that the blog has been put down for far too long.  So I’m going to attempt to get some new work out there as well as update the book section.  Thanks for your patience.  This new piece is a cover piece for a new game called “The Darkest Age” which is a new role playing game by Spectacle Publishing.   My good friend Rob Gee is one of the writers (he’s also doing a ton of content art for the interior) and he contacted me late this summer about working on the project.  While I wanted to do much much more, I unfortunately was only able to get the cover done before school started and my free time evaporated.  Regardless, it’s a kick ass project and I hope is does extremely well for the group…  By the way, I’m posting my original thumbs for the work as well as the cover without text and with.  I hope you like it!