Friday, 10 May 2013

Erik Ryan: Talks and Guides

While researching new techniques for my own art, I discovered some very helpful videos featuring the film and game concept artist Erik Ryan, who has been in the industry for over 8 years. It seems that one of his unique selling points is creature concepts, demonstrating a very strong understanding of animal anatomy. In this first three part video, Erik demonstrates some of the process behind a 'Darth Vader' character concept he created, as well as critiquing a student's work:

Interestingly it seems that Erik when through a very explorative silhouette phase with his 'Star Wars' Vader concept. From these thumbnail sketches he picked out successful elements to create his final piece. Later in the videos he discusses rendering, collecting images of wounds and cuts from the web and applying them to very transparent blend layers. This adds real texture and depth to image, that would be hard to achieve from brushes alone.

He really demonstrates his ability to create successful creature concepts with a critique session of a students domesticated lizard creature. The student explains that the creature should be predatory and egressive, yet tameable to be kept as a bet. This leads Erik onto to gathering lots of reference images online to refer to. He is very critical of the work, breaking it down extremely thoroughly, commenting n everything from the herbivorous hippo-like legs, to the inaccurate darker underbelly. This enforces the fact that there is a very critical benchmark within the industry. Every concept should be extremely well considered.

It is also great to see an established artist sharing the secrets of his trade. Erik discusses this during the talk, expressing the importance of team work and development through sharing tools and techniques. I have recently been picking my friends brain, who I feel is becoming a force to be reckoned with in terms of conceptual art. He has happily shared with me the new approaches he has been picking up on, and likewise I always try and share new tools and techniques that I discover. Through being critical of each others work and offering advice and pointers, I feel that one can learn far more than being reclusive and protective over your practice.

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