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Artwork WIP and Finished: 197 images
Pages Complete: 77/122 (63% of book done)

Welcome to the Dec Update, probably the final update for the year, but next year we have monthly updates of pictures and behind the scenes info, so expect a lot more stuff to come a lot faster real soon. In the meantime, two last orders of business for 2014.

First, we now have an official Inc facebook page, blog and tumblr...

www.facebook.com/thestoryofinc
thestoryofinc.blogspot.com/
thestoryofinc.tumblr.com/

Please like or follow your prefered site if you want to get all the most up to date info about the project. And please invite others who you think would be interested to follow along as well. I will continue to post some info on my other personal social media pages (soulburn3d Facebook page, soulburn3d twitter, etc), but the majority of the updates will now go on these sites.

And second, our first Inc Teaser Poster is in the gallery. I think it gives a pretty good indication of the tone of the project.

Thanks everyone for all your comments and input in 2014, next year is the team finishing the book and then sending it off to the publisher. I am so excited to get Inc finished and want to get it to you guys as soon as possible. But good things come to those who wait, and I want to make sure that the final product you get is of the highest quality, so a little waiting is going to be necessary. Thanks for the support, see you first thing in 2015!
Artwork WIP and Finished: 188 images
Pages Complete: 57/120 (47% of book done)

Welcome to the Oct Update, we're getting close to the half completed mark! Plenty going on in the land of Inc. First, Chris Stoski has been kicking it into high gear lately, and gotten a bunch of amazing artwork done of the main city. Will feature some of it in the next update. And our main human protagonist is almost complete, just a few final details to finish off, thanks to the super talented Bill Zahn.

I just got back from a trip to Utah to shoot reference photos for the project (ok, it was a vacation as well), but came back with approx 3000 photos that my wife and I shot. We visited Moab, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley and Canyonlands. Such beautiful landscape, expect to see it influence some of the upcoming work.

Almost finished with the 3 main bad-guy boss robots, expect Modern Transformers meets Goldorak!

In December, the first Inc Teaser Poster! And then we plan basically monthly updates (with artwork) for 2015 till the book is complete. Thanks for watching, next year is the big push to get this project complete and in your hands!
40 min video, $2
(Gumroad, accepts Credit Card only) gum.co/afMc
(FastSpring, accepts Credit Card and Paypal) sites.fastspring.com/soulburns…

This multi-part tutorial discusses designing an epic starship in Photoshop, starting with the silhouette, then moving on to refining the shape, and ending in detailing. While the final results look dimensional, 90% of the work is actually done in 2d in photoshop, achieving 3d looking results with only the most minor 3d work involved. Part 3 focuses on detailing the Upper Level of the ship, and then final tweaks to get the final starship design.

If you haven't bought any of this three parter, you can also buy the Parts 1, 2 and 3 bundle (for $5, $1 off the price of buying the parts separately) here...

(Gumroad, accepts Credit Card only) gum.co/dlURm
(FastSpring, accepts Credit Card and Paypal) sites.fastspring.com/soulburns…

Next will be a bit of a gumroad break, and back to some free tutorials for a bit. Thanks everyone for your support!
Designing An Epic Starship Part 2: Detailing The Trench

35 min video, $2
(Gumroad, accepts Credit Card only) gum.co/COml
(FastSpring, accepts Credit Card and Paypal) sites.fastspring.com/soulburns…icstarshippart2detailingthetrench

This multi-part tutorial discusses designing an epic starship in Photoshop, starting with the silhouette, then moving on to refining the shape, and ending in detailing. While the final results look dimensional, 90% of the work is actually done in 2d in photoshop, achieving 3d looking results with only the most minor 3d work involved. Part 2 starts with taking one of the ship designs from part 1, coming up with a story on which to base the function of the ship, refining the shape, and then detailing the trench area.
Designing An Epic Starship Part 1: Choosing A Form Using Silhouette Sketches

25 min video, $2
(Gumroad, Credit Card only) gum.co/TsNkY
(FastSpring, Credit Card and Paypal) sites.fastspring.com/soulburns…nganepicstarshippart1choosingaformusingsilhouettesketches

This multi-part tutorial discusses designing an epic starship in Photoshop, starting with the silhouette, then moving on to refining the shape, and ending in detailing. While the final results look dimensional, 90% of the work is actually done in 2d in photoshop, achieving 3d looking results with only the most minor 3d work involved. Part 1 focuses more on form than function, coming up with unique shapes using a random brush in photoshop, then starting to refine the shapes to create something visually interesting. One of the 8 silhouettes in the video will then be refined in Parts 2 and 3 with a focus on function, refining the design's purpose and tying the look of the ship into its role in a story. Which of the 8 designs gets refined depends on you, so if you have a favorite design of the bunch, please let me know, I'll tally the votes and use it to help decide which ship I'm going to complete.
Texturing A Robot Hand Video (25 minutes, $1)

Description: Are you a 3d Concept Artist who uses Keyshot but wishes its materials were more flexible and it had better painting capabilities? Are you a Texture Artist who works on the final asset, but are tired of waiting for a complex robot with thousands of parts to be UVd? This video tutorial shows off how I textured a robot hand from my book project "Inc" using a projection painting technique that requires no UV unwrapping and gives you far more flexibility than Keyshot provides while still retaining the speed.

So I'm trying a little experiment here, usually I upload my video tutorials to youtube, but have never been happy with the video quality of the result. Recently a lot of artists have been uploading longer / higher quality training videos to their online stores on gumroad. So what I'm going to do is this: I'm uploading the original high quality video to my online store which is downloadable for $1. I'd just like to see if people appreciate the better video fidelity and the ability to have the video locally, or if people find it doesn't matter.

Note: I will still be doing plenty of free videos and such in the future, so don't worry, not everything is going pay. But I may make more long format videos in the future, sell them for a couple bucks a pop, and do my usual shorter videos and written tutorials for free.

Let me know your thoughts, any feedback is appreciated!
Welcome To The Team!

Artwork WIP & Finished: 143 images
Pages Complete: 43 (36% of book done)

Welcome to the June Update. And I'd like to introduce you to the team for Inc! A big thanks to all of these fine artists and storytellers for joining me on this little adventure, I am so lucky to have so many top notch talent helping me out with the world and story of Inc.

Neil Blevins: Story, Landscape, Citadel, Robots, Odds and Ends
www.neilblevins.com/

Bill Zahn: Story, Humans
www.billzahn.com/

Stephan Bugaj: Story
www.bugaj.com/about/

Jeremy Cook: Vehicles and Spaceships
www.2d2cg.com/

Chris Stoski: The Settlement
www.stoskidigital.com/

Dominic Qwek: Creature Design
www.dominicqwek.com/
www.facebook.com/DominicQwekAr…

Jeremy Vickery: Coral Desert
www.jermilex.com/Welcome.html

Michael Spaw: Coral Desert
morphographic.com/

Will show you some work from the team in upcoming updates.

Also, the main robot character is now fully textured after 3 weeks of after work art sessions! I'll post some pics of him in some sort of dramatic fashion in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Check the gallery for another rough painting of our heroes walking through the coral desert. And visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeFKg9… to see a video tutorial on how I set up a rough 3d scene for the painting.

More next month, thanks for following!
Artwork WIP & Finished: 138 images
Pages Complete: 40 (33% of book done)

So I know I said quarterly updates, but so much has been going on with Inc I may have to do them a little more often. I'll say "at least quarterly" updates.

This will be a short one, but we just hit the 1/3rd done point with 40 pages complete! And a staggering 138 images in progress or complete (well, its staggering to me at least considering this isn't our day job). On the story front, we now have all the major story beats pretty finalized, as we refine the specific action in each sequence things may change a bit of course, but overall we have a solid 3 act scifi adventure.

Next update will include info on the team, so far we've got work back from 7 of the 8 participants, and the stuff I'm seeing from the team is fantastic!

My big milestone in May was finishing the design and modeling of one of our two main characters. One protagonist is a robot, one is human, you can guess which one I've been working on :) Anyways, construction is complete, all 1617 pieces of him (252 of which are screws). June is texturing month for me, then on to the final design of the bad guy robots.

More next month!
So I've decided to release quarterly updates on how the "Inc" Visual Development Book Project is going. As well as a summary of what's been going on (and the odd tidbit of story), I'll try and release a picture or two from the book with each update.

The current plan (everything is subject to change of course) is for a 120 page book, landscape format, and we've got 50 pieces of artwork so far for a total of approx 30 pages, so we're actually 25% complete! Right now the team will be 8 including myself, with 7 already working on images.

The current format will be 2 parts. Part 1 will be the Narrative portion, which will be short clips of the script mixed with artwork depicting what's happening at each major story beat. Think of it like those old school story books you could buy for movies, where they have images from the movie followed by an abridged version of the story and dialog. Part 2 will be the World of Inc, which will delve in more detail on the characters, robots, environment, creatures, vehicles, weapons, etc, flushing out the world building aspect of the project.

I'm really excited about how things are going, my goal is to see this finished by Christmas 2015, which I think is doable even though all the work on this book is being done in our spare time. There are plenty of sub-projects going as well, like the Inc official facebook page, possibly some model kits of Inc characters and vehicles, etc, but right now our focus is the book.

Next update I'll introduce you to the team, between the bunch of we have a ton of experience in animated features, visual effects films and videogames. I'm really lucky to have so much talent say yes to the project. Each person was picked because they're really good at some aspect that the project needs (like one person is handling the humans, someone else is doing the majority of the vehicle designs, I'm focusing on the environments and robots, etc), and so far the work I've seen from my cohorts is fantastic.

Thanks for your interest!
Hey everyone! First off, a big thanks to all of you for your encouragement and feedback in 2013, it was a tough year but in the end I was able to take off 3 months and finally got a chance to explore a few subjects that I've been meaning to put some focus on, from some new cg tools to a lot of education to a bunch of new artwork.

2014 is going to be a huge year. On the art front, I can now reveal that I'm working on my first book, it's going to be a visual development book on an IP I've been toying around with for a few years now. I'm also super lucky to have a number of artist friends helping out, including two who will be writing the script for the story, and then quite a number of visual artists who will be contributing artwork to the book. Expect finished paintings, 3d models, rough paintings, sketches, even a few traditional models as we explore the story and world of "Inc" (that's the codename, it used to be codenamed "One World Divided"). I've already got about 2 dozen new paintings ready, and have plans for dozens more. I'll post a teaser here and there, but for the most part I'm gonna keep it quiet so we can surprise you with the majority of the work once the book is ready. So even if you don't see tons of new artwork from me next year, I'm actually doing a lot and you can expect to see it all hopefully in 2015.

I'll also continue my educational plans with more youtube videos, as I continue to plus out the 20 stage process that I released this year on my educational page: www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati… Also hope to do a few more live workshops, so hopefully I'll have one in your area.

CG tool wise, I probably won't be too focused on my scripts this coming year, but I will continue providing bug fixes, and I'll be working behind the scenes to hopefully improve some of the stuff you're already using or will use in the future.

No Pixar film for me in 2014, as many of you know, "The Good Dinosaur" got pushed back 2 years from its original release date, so hopefully you'll see some of our work on that in 2015.

That's it, have a great last few days of 2013, hope your plans for 2014 go awesome, I'm hopeful 2014 will be fantastic, it's time to turn this thing around and explore some new territory. Cheers!
Added a new lesson called Analyzing The Artistic Style Of Your Influences. This is a good exercise to do if you want to explore the kind of work that inspires you and see how it can relate to pushing your own artwork in new directions.
Just posted a 4 part tutorial on how I hand painted a 3A Ghost Hunter Bertie MK3. May be interesting for people who like painting model kits, and also for digital painters as a lot of the rules of traditional texture painting also applies to digital:

www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…
The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…

- Another new layer breakdown on Youtube: Layers Breakdown: Earth Dweller. www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati… Includes some Annotations.
The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…

- Another new layer breakdown on Youtube: Layers Breakdown: Reaper IX. www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…
The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…

- Starting a new series where I breakdown the layers of some of my paintings. First one's here: Layers Breakdown: Fortress II. www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…
The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…

- Added a new tutorial called Common Zbrush Sculpting Brushes In Mudbox. www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati… This is also my first tutorial which includes some video material, I intend to use video more in the future for tutorials where it's easier to get a point across by showing it to you directly.
- Added some extra info to Contrasts In Composition. www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…
I don't keep a traditional sketch pad. I know there's lots of good reasons to keep one: having one area to store all your quick ideas, it's important to practice your drawing and observation skills, it's a great way to see your skills progress over time. But personally I always found my sketch pads to be rather empty. And it was because I was fearful with every drawing that I'd produce something that looked bad, and "ruin" the sketchbook. So a sketchbook for me was actual the opposite of what it should be, it was a reason not to draw.

While I was at blur, one of my coworkers showed me what ended up being the answer. He did all his drawings on standard sized photocopy paper. So if he made a bad drawing, he just threw it out, and it was gone, never to be seen, and didn't taint any of his other work. Of course you could do the same with a sketchbook and rip out the bad drawings, but using loose paper just made it that tiny fraction easier conceptually. So now for the last decade I've only drawn on copy paper, and it actually got me drawing way more than I used to.

In a similar vein, every year I look back on the work I've done and some of it I like, and some of it I just ask "what was I thinking?". So by the end of the year, as much as possible, I try and finish all my in progress images so I can end the year with everything finished, and start the year fresh, with no mistakes. If I suck at something in 2012, I haven't yet sucked at it in 2013, so in that spirit, I hope to make not just more art in the coming year, but better and different artwork. It will always be my "style", but hopefully improved in a number of ways, and with extra spice taking my work to somewhere slightly new. At least until the end of 2013, where I can let go of all the bad artwork I will certainly make in the coming year, be pleased with the good stuff, and prepare for 2014.

So I invite all of you to look back on the work you've done this year, throw away the bad stuff (and don't feel bad, even bad stuff helps you learn), and get ready for a great new year of artwork. Lets call it "Starting Over From Scratch" day, the 1st of January, 2013, and lets celebrate it every year hence.

Thank you for all the support, and have an excellent end of year!
So I have quite a number of tutorials on my website about cg art. For those of you who saw my Instagram-like experiment this week, here's a tutorial discussing the techniques I used:

www.neilblevins.com/cg_educati…

Hope you find it interesting and maybe some of the techniques useful in your own artwork.
www.pixar.com/featurefilms/bra…

This coming weekend will be the release of Pixar's 13th film entitled "Brave". I was lucky enough to work on this film more than 3 years ago on a preproduction test, where I modeled and shaded a whole ton of trees. Sadly, scheduling conflicts didn't allow me to work on the final film (although a few of my assets did make their way onto the screen), but the production sets team for Brave did an absolutely amazing job, from working out ways to put bark on trees, to growing tons of moss to pushing sculpting to new heights. Spectacular work everyone!

Also make sure to check out the art of book, so much beautiful concept art...

www.amazon.com/The-Art-Brave-J…

Hope you get a chance to see the film this weekend!
So I just went and added about a dozen older pieces of artwork to round out my gallery. Pretty much everything I'll add from now on though will be new artwork. Thanks for watching, you guys rock!