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GameArt Spotlight #88

"Shadows & Dust" by Paul White

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Spotlight article

Wow, I wasn't expecting to be asked to write a spotlight feature, there are so many better artists out there. I've only been using Photoshop for artwork in the last five months or so, and I only use the most basic of it's features really. I had just watched Gladiator and played Severance, so I was in a swords and armour mood.

The design was done in a 3D program called Rhinoceros, (Rhino 3D) while similtaneously drawing textures and seeing how they work on the model. I wanted to try to make a picture with real energy, so I thought maybe a charging Praetorian? The sword pointing forward and cloak flapping in the wind was all I really had in mind at first. The main body was created using NURBS which are basically smooth polygons you can squish like plastacine, while the armour plates and cloak are flat pieces created using lines, which are then built into a surface. I found it extemely useful to be able to flip between Rhino and Photoshop while creating textures.

Most of the armour texture was based around an Egyptian hieroglyph design used on the sword handle, which was created using the burn/dodge and smudge tool. Once I had this I pretty much cut and pasted, distorted and resized it to create the breast plate and helmet textures. The bleached, sepia sky, as you can probably tell, is a complete rip off of the Gladiator cover and reminds me a little of the original Doom sky.

The first thing I adjusted in Photoshop was the Mohican; it really didn't look like hair so out came the smudge tool! I'm big into shiny armour at the moment so a nice bit of pure white airbrushing was in order. It's funny but until I looked at Dhabih Eng's work I was afraid to make really drastic colour changes, but his picture of Darth Maul has pure white on the back of the skull where the light hits it. The effect is incredible. So that's why I went a bit overboard with the shine. Apart from minor shading on the cloak, the final major addition was the dust on the ground. This was all airbrush and burn/dodge but it makes him look like he's just steam rollering forwards, I hope.

Anyway, that's it, I don't think I left anything out. Apart from that I'd like to thank Gameart for giving me the chance to write this; there are some really talented people posting work on this site and I'm looking forward to seeing what every one gets up to next.

Text written by Paul White for GameArt.com