Jeff Brown (Interview)

November 26, 2014 #

Originally published on CG Hubs on November 26, 2014.

Welcome to CGButterfly: Interviews. This week’s artist is Jeff Brown.

What brought you to CGButterfly Hubs?

I was invited via Google+ by Ciprian Popescu, I am glad to be here!

Do you design as part of your employment, or is it a hobby?

I love to design, and other peoples’ ideas a reality. I spend about 95% of my time painting on professional work. It has been really fun and I have had some great clients.

Do you have any special preference, such as texturing, painting, lighting, modelling, etc?

I love painting, I use photos in my workflow to speed it up and provide inspiration, but my true love is to paint. That is where I spend most of my time and get lost in the work.

Do you have a favourite piece of art?

My favourite piece is called “Mesopotamia”. It is an older piece now, about a year and a half old. I had done a piece 5 years ago as a commission with the same brief, it included a ziggurat, river, bridge, dunes, and a small city.

Do you have screenshots of your progress? Sketches, mock-ups, drawings, etc?

5. I have a couple, an image, and a video. The video is a sped up process of a 2-hour painting, and the image shows a simple progression.

Can you provide a summary of your creation process? What is your workflow from the idea to the finished design?

I generally start with a brief explaining what the client is looking for. My favourite is when there is little information provided and more freedom given. From there, I will imagine it all in my mind and look up photos for inspiration. I will sketch out the idea really quickly in about 30 seconds to get the general shapes in the right places, and get a composition I like. From there, I will go into my photo library and get a few low resolution photos to give me some colour and mood. Once I have the basic colours there, I will paint for about half an hour to get the basic idea clear. At this point, I usually send the image to the client for approval. Once I get the thumbs up, I will add in some textures to simplify the detailing, then paint for a few more hours until I have the piece where I want it to be, occasionally dropping in a needed photo texture.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Most of my inspiration comes from photos, I spend a lot of time looking for emotion-provoking images that are really moody. I use these colours and values in my images quite often, but the photos themselves don’t actually make it into the final images. I also get inspiration from audiobooks, podcasts, music, and of course nature.

What is your current project? What are you working on right now?

I’ve got about 10 going on right now, most of those being single pieces, but I have 4 longer term projects on the go. I love to have the variety of clients and themes. It varies from sci-fi Europe to ancient Greek mythology to high fantasy. One project I’m proud to be a part of is called Monstrous.

Is there anything you want to share with our community?

None of my projects are selling anything at the moment, but I would encourage everyone to check out the link I posted for Monstrous above.

Abdelrahman Kubisi (Interview)

September 14, 2014 #

Originally published on CG Hubs on September 14, 2014.

Welcome to CGButterfly: Interviews. This week’s artist is Abdelrahman Kubisi.

What brought you to CGButterfly?

Well, after I posted some of my speed sculpts on Facebook, some guys from your website approached me and told me they like my artwork, and they have this new art community and I can join if I want, and I liked the idea and joined.

Do you design as part of your employment, or is it a hobby?

No, it’s my job to work as a concept artist and, hopefully soon, as a character artist, but that doesn’t mean that I do art only as work or a chore, I enjoy every frickin’ minute of it.

Do you have any special preference, such as texturing, painting, lighting, modelling, etc?

Currently, I love modelling or sculpting to be exact… but still I’m a digital painter to start with… so I love to texture also my 3D models and sculpts. I don’t know, that means I love all of it :) >

Do you have a favourite piece of art?

Actually, I don’t… I have this habit of hating every piece I do after I finish it, don’t know why, but I find it useful cause it makes me hungry and looking forward to doing the next piece of art.

Do you have screenshots of your progress? Sketches, mock-ups, drawings, etc?

I’m going to share some with you :)

What is your workflow from the idea to the finished design?

Well, when I do 2D paintings or concept art, I have to start with the idea… because that’s what matters in the end… if it’s personal work, I try to work on something I find interesting, so I have fun while working on it… if it’s a client work, then I have the idea already laid out for me, and that’s when step two begins… looking for references, I try to take my time and collect more reference than I even need to finish the artwork, I just can’t say how much important collecting reference is before starting your work.

After collecting refs, I start with a quick sketch or sometimes a bunch of small thumbnails… then I choose which sketch or thumbnail is working better (client would choose which one he likes, if it was client work) and start working more on it. After a period of time it’s ready for rendering and small details… this process takes most of the time and less energy from me… it’s like working on an autopilot… that’s why I find the idea-sketching part is the most challenging in the whole process.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Oh, from a lot of places and sources, mostly movies and other great artists out there… also a lot from game art and cinematics… especially Blur and Digic pictures.

What is your current project? What are you working on right now?

Actually, I’m currently working on a character I’m doing for BLIZZARDFEST contest.

Is there anything you want to share with our community?

Yeah, sure, I hope you would thrive more in the future and get to be a kick-ass art community :)

Darek Zabrocki (Interview)

September 7, 2014 #

Originally published on CG Hubs on September 7, 2014.

Welcome to CGButterfly: Interviews. This week’s artist is Darek Zabrocki.

What brought you to CGButterfly?

You guys! Thanks for invitation, new site looks quite cool and interesting, so I fully keep my fingers crossed that you can go well with your campaign!

Do you design as part of your employment, or is it a hobby?

Back in the days it was hobby only, now it became my full-time (freelance) job. It still gives me a lot of fun though so, yeah, it is like a dream job for myself, you do something you really love, and you get paid for it. Can’t complain.

Do you have any special preference, such as texturing, painting, lighting, modelling, etc?

I used to be a traditional painter in the past. I’ve been drawing on paper with my pencils, sketching and concepting the stuff even when I was only a hobbyist. I used also acrylics and oils to work with colour, but in 2007 I had my serious highlight. I bought my first tablet and started something absolutely new to me. Since then, I became mostly, and now only, digital painter. I almost never use my traditional tools due to lack of time. Now I am using a wide range of techniques including: photobashing, matte painting and some of 3D stuff as well. Generally, it is still ~90% painting process, I just use everything to speed up the process and to achieve the best possible results in the limited time that is usually given. It’s only up to you what you will use to create an exact picture, whether these are painted-over photos, or pure painting – up to you. For a concept artist, what really counts is mostly time, so you need to be fast.

Do you have a favourite piece of art?

Hmm, it is a really tough question since I am not a big fan of my works, I always want to make something better and afterwards I am quite satisfied with the result of the exact picture, after a few days I think I should have done it better, haha. If I had to choose one, I think I couldn’t, but I can name a few that I like quite a lot ;) First one would be my “Nazgul” artwork, that I did in 2011, I guess. It was done for a Polish board forum for a speed painting contest. I had a 1-hour version of it that I had to put into the contest, but I thought I would spend a bit more time on that one and do some portfolio piece from it. I spent an extra 2-3 h on polishing it and posted it on every online gallery I had. It became very successful, I am sure it was mostly because of Lord of the Rings scheme, but, yeah, it was my real tribute to this world with quite a big impact from myself, with redesigning the Nazgul character, etc. Another one is “Imperial Walkers” picture I did while I had my Eizo monitor crashed. It was done on some small 19′ shitty, cheap Samsung, and I wasn’t sure if it has right colours/values, haha, I put it on the net anyway, it became spectacularly popular, and I knew I need to continue expanding my Star Wars fan art series. I made a few more of them, and it brought me to some really big contacts that I can’t tell anything more for now.

I also like the “Red Lights” picture that is inspired by my previous sketch of rainy London after my trip to London earlier this year. I wanted to create some moody city shot with very intimate lighting and suggestive atmosphere. The last one I really like is “Knights Division” that I did for 3DTotal with a big tutorial process for that one. Afterwards, I put many speed paints focusing on painting horses that I really like to paint, I decided to create one big complex shot with some knights’ division moving from their kingdom on the reconnaissance before the war begins. I think this one turned out quite cool and I like to watch the more refined horses silhouettes I didn’t use to do in the past.

What is your workflow from the idea to the finished design?

Hmm, usually I start with a very initial colour sketch (it can be values only sketch as well), establishing lighting, mood of the picture and, of course, composition. When I think the thumbnail looks good, I go further with the detail, expanding colours’ palette, adding details, fixing and adding lighting effects etc. Usually, I really like to start with some initial idea, I don’t like doodling around on the canvas because I lose too much time for it, sometimes it is cool to sketch out something and wait for some happy accident, but I learned to do accurate sketch and keep it to the final stage.

Where do you get your inspiration?

From everything, starting with nature and everything that surrounds us. I also like to watch movies, being in some inspirational places, searching for photos, looking at some games and read some excerpts from the stories/books.

What is your current project? What are you working on right now?

Unfortunately, all under NDA, but there are some really big things and I can’t wait to share it with the people. Anyway, I can tell that I am working on 2 big instructional programs for workshops. One of it is VFX workshops that I always admired! I will also run my online class in 2-3 months that I will focus on creating concept art for games and movies. It will last for a few weeks, and I am planning to cover a lot of subjects, from practical knowledge to advanced concept art pictures. I think I will go through all kind of concept art stuff from enviro to character and marketing illustrations. More to be announced soon! :)

Is there anything you want to share with our community?

I can mention only one thing – LEVEL UP! program ( I founded with my friend, Wojtek, in 2013. Now, there are 3 of us, and we are doing weekly YouTube sessions with top artists of the industry, sharing the knowledge, all for free – having a lot of fun!

You can find Darek Zabrocki on his personal website.

Our Crowdfunding Campaign

August 29, 2014 #

We started a campaign a month ago.

We wanted to raise funds to purchase a more powerful, dedicated server.

We wanted to build a better community.

We managed to raise $127USD via Indiegogo. Our campaign failed.

Our initial goal was not reached, but we have many possibilities ahead of us. We have an investor who wants to donate a dedicated server for one year, and we have two artists who want to work full-time as editors/moderators. Things look good so far.

We also have plans on doing a one-month performance optimization sprint, with custom cache modules and intelligent DNS prefetching. Tech stuff.

Thank you for supporting us so far, thank you for your contributions (either public or private), and thank you for being a member of our community. We will continue to work on this community with the same determination and passion as before.

Here’s a breakdown of the campaign.

Breakdown (CG Hubs, currently CGButterfly)

Indiegogo Rewards and Perks

Some of our users asked for a detailed description of CG Hubs perks, as seen on Indiegogo.

First of all, there will be no pro or premium membership levels or plans. Our members will be bronze, silver or gold, based on their activity. These levels will entitle them to alpha/beta features, early tests, temporary features and various awards. Also, based on a filtering algorythm, the higher the level, the higher they will appear in searches or in related images.

Also, there is no requirement to have a CG Hubs account in order to contribute or donate.

Here  is a quick breakdown:

$5USD – Rookie
Thank you for your interest in our indie community! Your contribution is highly appreciated.

That’s it, thank you. We think you are an artist with an interest in our community, so you have an account on our site and you will reap the rewards later. You get a Rookie badge, if you have an account.

$10USD – Adventurer
Get a shiny supporter badge on our site and an adventurer award, so that everyone knows you are a CG Hubs fan!

Get two shiny badges, appear in our supporter search, and enjoy our community.

$25USD – Explorer
Get a bronze status, supporter badge and your name on our About page! Also, be the first to receive new print notifications.

Bronze users get early notifications of various features, the first one being new “Available for print” images. You will also get access to some testing features.

$50USD – Warrior
Get a shiny fan badge and a custom made CG Hubs poster delivered to your door, plus all of the above!

Thank you for your contribution, we rounded up some artists and they will deliver some breathtaking posters to all of you. Get all the badges above and all included features.

$100USD – Paladin
Get silver status, a collector badge and two custom made CG Hubs posters delivered to your door, plus all of the above. Get early access to all our alpha/beta features and be the first one to test them. Get the beta tester badge, plus all of the above.

Silver users get access to alpha/beta features, early notifications of most of the community events and everything else included.

$250USD – Wizard
Get the art collector badge, gold status and your name above all the others on the About page, plus all of the above.

You love art! You love CG! Thank you for helping us. In turn, you will get access to all alpha/beta features, you get temporary updates or enhancements to your profile, plus everything else included.

$500USD – Armoured Assassin
Get a rotating banner on the homepage or the image page for three months.

In addition to the actual perk, you will be entitled to request a new site feature, or a profile feature, unique to you.

$1,000USD – Rune Master
Get a rotating banner on the homepage for 6 months, a mention in the press release and a logo in the footer for one year.

In addition to the actual perk, you will be entitled to request a new site feature, or a profile feature, unique to you.

$5,000USD – Dragon Slayer
You are an investor. We will share everything with you, we will work together on improving and enhancing the community. We will praise your name.

Leo Lee (Interview)

August 27, 2014 #

Originally published on CG Hubs on August 27, 2014.

Welcome to CGButterfly: Interviews. This week’s artist is Leo Lee.

What brought you to CGButterfly?

A friend’s invitation.

Do you design as part of your employment, or is it a hobby?

Yes, I’m currently a freelancer but still got huge enthusiasm in doing art stuff as my hobby.

Do you have any special preference, such as texturing, painting, lighting, modelling, etc?

Painting, for sure. But I’m trying to touch something fresh to me.

Do you have a favourite piece of art? What is the story behind it?

I paid a lot of attention on studying classical painting, like Joaquin Sorolla, Johannes Vermeer, Andrew Wyeth and so on. They are all my favourite great artists and I got inspiration from them. I would like to introduce the series of painting in terms of fishing by Sorolla, he shows awesome sense of light on the sea and sails, as well as the people. It was describing the fisherman’s work which should be a hard life for them, but with Sorolla’s painting, people were enjoying it rather than suffering. I guess this could be the power of art.

Can you provide a summary of your creation process?

I usually start with B&W only and focus on the relationship with different values, and pushing depth by using light to build up a proper sense of space, then I can throw whatever I like into this ground. Sometimes I may play around the colour first, but still keep the sense of space and light in mind. In terms of colour, just keep it simple at early phase and then introduce more along with the progress. A good use of colour is totally dependent on the good structure of values. By the way, I don’t like to follow any rules to put in colour, and, usually, I spend around 80 percent of the time on the valuable rough level, like brainstorming, light, dynamic movement, composition and so on, 10 percent on polishing details and texture stuff, and the last 10 percent of the time might be for beer, cigarettes, and browsing Facebook.

What is your workflow from the idea to the finished design?

I will work out the line sketch as the rough to show to my art directors and get the commentary, then push further to the final line level or with values. At this level we probably could decide the final proposal of design, and then they perhaps need me to list several groups of colour for choice. So, following the two main steps before, I will continue to work on the details, like rendering, texturing, blocking outline, till finish this project.

Where do you get your inspiration?

As I mentioned before, I get inspiration from those classical masters from 19th century, as well as some current great artists, like Craig Mullins, Moebius, Gino, Adrian Smith, these people are all resource of knowledge to me. I learn techniques from them, but in terms of design stuff, I usually find realistic things as my reference.

What is your current project? What are you working on right now?

I started to work on my personal comic book since the beginning of 2013, and it is still a long journey to go.

Is there anything you want to share with our community?

I want to emphasize the importance of basics here, basics are everything.

You can find Leo Lee on his Wix page.