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leigh
06-05-2006, 03:18 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/header.jpg

David Levy [aka Vyle]
Senior Concept Artist, Ubisoft
Co-Founder, STEAMBOT Studios

David attended the Academy of Fine Arts Maastricht (NL) where he graduated with honors with a B.S. degree in Industrial Design and Interior Architecture including a nomination to the Hoxtinjpreis. Upon graduation, David was invited to become part of a large video game company Cryo, in Paris, as a concept artist. With an experience of a little over 11 years in the game industry in more than 4 different countries, David has built a strong reputation as a Lead Artist, and was invited to various events and workshops such as guest speaker at the Game Developer Conference in 2003. David now works at Ubisoft as a senior concept artist and has participated to the development of Prince of Persia the Two Thrones, and Assasin's Creed. With his friend Barontieri they recently created Steambot Studios, a collective of artists dedicated to create, inspire and push the boundaries of concept art.

Related Links:

For more of David's work, visit:
www.vyle-art.com
www.steambotstudios.com

A more detailed BIO and credits:
http://www.steambotstudios.com/crew_html/crew_vyle.htm

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_01.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_02.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_03.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_04.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_05.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_06.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_07.jpg


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HellBoy
06-05-2006, 05:36 PM
wow let me be the first to say, dude you are cool, I really am flattered with your work especially that second last dude :)

What would you advice new comers who are interested in taking your footsteps and become as successful artist as you are?

As the whole art department, what are the main things to be aware of, for new commers.

If you don't mind, what's the spec on your personal workstations>

Finally, what's your favourite comic book/novel?

thanks in advance

ScottyDoesntKnow
06-05-2006, 05:45 PM
WOW. Your stuff is just two cool. I just want to thank you for taking part in this and taking the time in listening to our questions.

1. First, what do you think is the hardest part in developing your own company and what do you think is the easiest/best part?

2. Where do you get your inspiration from? Does it just pop out of your head or do you take alot of reference from other resources and combine it with your ideas? Or do you just take an idea and add to it bit by bit until your piece unfolds?

Thanks!

Miezis
06-05-2006, 05:46 PM
i'm palying the two thrones just now! :D love it!
nothing really to ask, except:
1. what were your influences when you created the dark prince in the two thrones? really like that character!
2. if there had been a movie about you, which actor would play you? [I like this kind of questions...]

tide78
06-05-2006, 05:47 PM
Man, that stuff is inspiring to me! That being said, what is it that inspires your art? I love the mood and especially the lighting you capture in these works.

-Z

Matellis
06-05-2006, 05:51 PM
Hey man , your art is very inspiring.

I was just wondering what are some tricks to getting into a concept art position? (besides have a great portfolio)

CHEERS!

krishki
06-05-2006, 06:27 PM
Very inspiring stuff...

Romero
06-05-2006, 06:40 PM
Hey Dave, big fan of your work so here goes.


1) When your initial concepts are ready to be painted do you choose a colour pallette of your liking before you start or do you just figure that out on the fly?

2) Any tips for understanding perspectives, I notice that your skills in this area are superb, is there any references or tips in particuplar that help you achieve your results?

3) Character concepts or environment concepts which do you prefer to do and why? And what do you find more challenging?

Cheers.

decipleofX
06-05-2006, 07:06 PM
iv seen your work on concept art, clean work flow. what artist do you admire and find your self influenced by?

Cyanid
06-05-2006, 07:07 PM
Hi david,

I am surprised that you have studied in the netherlands, as I thought that CG/conceptart is quite unknown in the netherlands. Since I am a architecture student as well, my question is: how was your education at maastricht. did you have a technical study or a rather artistical study? and how much is your archtecture/i.d-background involved in your work?

I love your stuff.

-Bart

umbrellasky
06-05-2006, 07:17 PM
Hiya! I love your style!

My question:

.You have quite a few character designs. I was wondering, did you study anatomy?

Thanks it's great of you to take time out for this :)

vyle-art
06-05-2006, 07:40 PM
Hellboy>>
- The best advice I can give to newcomers, is to make sure you have strong basics, either by learning them yourself, or even better, by going to an art school. Classical basics are a must (anatomy, perspective, proportions, composition....), and a necessity that helps you jump in the digital world. When I was a young artist, I tried many different tools (watercolor, 3D, acryl, markers, inks...) and I noticed that mixing tools allows you to understand what art is really about: communicating an idea to a production pipeline, whatever your tool is.
- I bought my workstation few years ago now, at a nice place called laboratory computers when I used to live in Austin TX, and I customized it a little but not much. If I remember I have a 3.4 hyperthreading, 2gig ram, two 21 inches old monitors (a Silicon graphics one and a crappier one), ATI 3800 pro or something. Basically a good PC but nothing mindblowing. I will give you more details once I am home.
-Choosing my favorite comic book, is killing me. On a deserted Island I'd probably take Ghost in the Shell by Shirow if that's the only comic book I could take. But I would cry to get all the hellboys by Mignola, and probably the whole Akira collection by Otomo, and probably Batman VS Judge Dredd by Simon Bisley.

Matellis>>
There are no magic tricks, I would say it involves a lot of practice, and the other important thing is probably to be able to work in a team environment, be flexible, and understand the whole production process. If you are knowledgeable about how games are made, the company you interview for will notice it, and that would be a huge plus: if you know what people need, it will be much easier to know what type of concept they need. Concept-art is the missing link between production and the people who will buy the games: so it is about creativity and fresh new ideas. If you can sell good creative ideas using images, then people will need you as a concept artist. Oh, and having a good portfolio, like you said, is at the top of the list, alongside with having a good attitude.
If you can show online that you portfolio is worth the look, companies will knock at your door in a heartbeat.

ScottyDooesntKnow>>
- Well, right now steambot is not a company, it is a label. One day maybe...
The most difficult part is to find the right people, that have the same desire and motivation about the project.
The easiest and best part in developing a team, is the feeling that you are not alone anymore in tough times.
- Inspiration mostly comes from life, and also other artists. Inspiration is very mysterious, and it is impossible to really know how to capture it. I noticed that I need to be in a very good mood and relaxed in order to create. Movies, books, national geographics channel, good tv shows, and long vacations are on the top of my list to motivate me to create :)
Mozart once said: "without travel, an artist is nothing". The more you see, the more your brain is filled with images that can inspire you. When I work for myself, I tend to do the opposite to what I do at work: I love to paint huge wide open spaces in daylight (like mountain views, airborne images, or seascapes...), which is the opposite of the usual closed oppresive spaces usually asked in videogames.
Oh, a good coffee helps a lot too.
When it comes to creation itself, there are many ways to process. There are a lot of known mechanism, that seems to imbricate themselves while creating: a huge mix of unconscious, technical knowledge (like light and perspective) and the desire to express an emotion (whether it is vertigo, fear, or beauty). Sometimes I do use image references (probably 50% of the time), as a thumbnail to get the proper light, or shapewise if I find a cool pic of a bug, or an animal that is inspiring.
-At work, it depends on the subject, for Prince of Persia or Assassin's creed for example, it is much more about historical references and textures. So I could start with a designer's "rough 3D" and turn it into a realistic arabic building, and make sure that the shapes are exciting enough to please the player in a level.

Miezis>>
-I did not create the dark prince in the two thrones, I just did many illustrations, and redesigned details on his outfit when he is evolving as the prince during the story. The darkprince was designed by a very discreet and amazingly talented artist here in Montreal called Patrick Lambert.
- For the movie thing... Ahem... Tough choice... I will pass this one and think about it :)

tide78>>
Classical painters are a huge inspiration especially when it comes to color, my favorite painter is probably Klimt. I also love Sargent, Turner, Poussin, and in the still alive section Craig Mullins, Jon Foster, Sparth and many more... I also love to know about movies DP's like Darius Khondji, and movie making in general and directors (James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Jean Pierre Jeunet...) that I also consider like modern days amazing painters.

GoranNF
06-05-2006, 07:51 PM
Hi David Levy,I just wanted to say that your work is amazing and I really admire them,especially this one:
http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_06.jpg
It's one of the best CG art I've ever seen.Nice to see a Dutchman who is so succesfull.Keep on rocking dude,greetings from Holland:thumbsup:

Lunatique
06-05-2006, 08:04 PM
Hey! It's great to see that you guys have formed your own operation. Do you need another member? :D

Question:
When you work on concepts, do you stop at rough stages first and show those to clients for approval, or do you just go straight into detail work, for the sake of wanting to make a good impression on the clients with the polished look?

vyle-art
06-05-2006, 08:15 PM
GoranNF>> I am not Dutch (I hope I did not disappoint you!) but I owe a lot to your country, and especially their teachers, and the amazing friendliness of the people I met. I was born in France, but have not lived there for the last 10 years.

Thx for the kind words by the way! I did not expect that many questions that fast!

Romero>>
- It depends on the project. At work, very often, the art Director himself, or both of us together, decide on a mood for a level, that will follow the script/scenario written earlier. Then, once the general mood for a level is choosen, we will very oftern work with the complementaries, and lighting, to make sure the main character is never too "hidden" in the backdrop, but still feels like it belongs to it.
So the short answer is: at work we definitely plan on a decided mood for a level. But at home, it can be much more accidental.

- When it comes to perspective, it is one of the only thing, that can be mastered by practice! The best example is probably Scott Robertson, he IS the master in that domain to me. I guess I got my basics in industrial design and architecture, but I never stopped practicing it. And to be honest, I find a lot of errors in my perspectives, I just hide them very well :)

-I love both characters and environments, and the best is probably a mix of a little bit of both. Sadly, very few companies offer me the possibility to do both.

decipleofX>>
- There are so many artists I admire that influence me, that a list would be very long. I mentioned some of them in the previous post. On Concept art, I could name a few like A Jones, noxizmad, Dan Milligan, Marko Djurdjevic, HPX....

cyanid>>
- Hey a dutch artist! Although concept art is still quite unknown in Europe, Holland is a very open minded country compared to France where I am originally from. When I was a student, France always had a policy of keeping the artist on some kind of "rails" that would guide you your whole life. I Studied in an amazing school the first 3 years in France, but I understood that I had to travel to find what I was looking for: a place where I could learn photography, architecture, sculpture, anatomy... Which is what I found in Holland. Let's say that the school in Maastricht gave me the possibility to try more mediums, than if I had been in another school. I could create my own schedule, which was more what I needed.

- My architectural/industrial background is still VERY helpfull every day in what I do. Whether it is for believability in material and scale, eventhough I work in games, it still helps a lot in nowadays always more realistic games.
But it also helps in fantasy stuff too: the most fantastic things are based on the most realistic backgrounds.

-Enyaladam>>
I did a lot of model drawing sessions (and still do from time to time) and have a bunch of good references when I work. I guess that's the kind of stuff that comes with time, and that you will never stop learning. I have to note, that compared to an artist like Marko Djurdjevic, my anatomy is kinda wobbly at best!! But thanks anyway :P

vyle-art
06-05-2006, 08:20 PM
Lunatique>>
- We do not need a member as of now, but maybe in a short while ;)
- I prefer to stop at rough stages usually. Most of the time, it takes a while to approve a sketch, but once it is nailed down, it's a fairly smooth road after.

se7enthcin
06-05-2006, 09:11 PM
Thank you for taking the time to do this. It is very kind of you.

How much did graduating with honors influence your first employer's decision to hire you? If I understand the first post correctly you have two BS degrees is that correct?

GoranNF
06-05-2006, 09:15 PM
GoranNF>> I am not Dutch (I hope I did not disappoint you!) but I owe a lot to your country, and especially their teachers, and the amazing friendliness of the people I met. I was born in France, but have not lived there for the last 10 years.

Thx for the kind words by the way! I did not expect that many questions that fast!


No ofcourse you didn't dissappoint me.I'm actually not Dutch too,I'm born in Iraq but at the moment I live in The Netherlands.:) Oh almost forgotten:thanx for taking the time to do an interview for CGtalk.

Kewn
06-05-2006, 09:40 PM
Thanks for your time mister Vyle! :)

I really love your stuff, great atmosphere and everything! I live in the Netherlands and I hope to get as good as you are, it's just that I don't really know what school to go to now.

- Does the academy in Maastricht teach the basics you were talking about (like anatomy, composition etc.) or is it all just about expression and arty art?
I'm studying by myself now, but I think a good art school would be a nice idea. It's just that I can't seem to find a school that also teaches these important basics.
I was almost thinking about finding a school outside the Netherlands, but now that I see you went to the Netherlands I'm starting to doubt more and more.

- Oh and do you do mostly game concepts or also many side projects, and is there any difference (in the kind of project) between art you do at work and at home?

Kewn
06-05-2006, 09:42 PM
Thanks for your time mister Vyle! :)

I really love your stuff, great atmosphere and everything! I live in the Netherlands and I hope to get as good as you are, it's just that I don't really know what school to go to now.

- Does the academy in Maastricht teach the basics you were talking about (like anatomy, composition etc.) or is it all just about expression and arty art?
I'm studying by myself now, but I think a good art school would be a nice idea. It's just that I can't seem to find a school that also teaches these important basics.
I was almost thinking about finding a school outside the Netherlands, but now that I see you went to the Netherlands I'm starting to doubt more and more.

- Oh and do you do mostly game concepts or also many side projects, and is there any difference (in the kind of project) between art you do at work or at home?

Ismail
06-05-2006, 09:43 PM
Hey, David

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions.:) Very informative.:) Your work is inspirational.:)

Any plans to release a painting dvd?:) I saw a quicktime movie of a painting demo you did on cgchannel, any plans to expand on these in your own dvd?:)

warpy
06-05-2006, 09:46 PM
David,

your stuff is truly second to none. i got no questions just a bit shock and awe :)
cheers.

vyle-art
06-05-2006, 09:53 PM
se7enthcin>>
- I got a BA in Interior architecture and industrial design in Maastricht.
I first got a diploma in France (called a BTS) that is pretty much the equivalent to a BA in industrial design in UK, US and other countries. When I arrived in Holland, and after they checked what I could do, they accepted me in final year so I could pass my diploma in interior architecture. So I got a french and an internationally recognized degree in 4 years.

- My diploma was not useful on my first job, as I had been asked to work there a year before, but it got VERY useful, when I decided to work in the US, as french diplomas were NOT recognized, but the B.A was. If it was not for Holland, I would have never been able to travel as much as I had desired. At the time, when you were an artist, french diplomas had no weight whatsoever in the eyes of an immigration lawyer...
Also what attracted the new employers, was the fact that I had used 3D in an interior architecture project, and at the time it was quite something to create a building, and do a flyby in wireframe! Wow!! :rolleyes:

The school I did in France (la Grande Tourrache, also called EID (http://www.toulon-hyeres.aeroport.fr/enseignement/ied/presentation.asp?idrub=300)) is the one that offered me to go under the Erasmus project in another European country. Great industrial design school by the way.

fungus
06-05-2006, 10:00 PM
excellent stuff - long time no chat!

keep in touch :-)

Jonny

vyle-art
06-05-2006, 10:01 PM
Ismail>>
Not sure how much I can talk about it, but gnomon is reviewing right now a project that took me 3 months to put together for them. It is about the photoshop techniques I use for speedpaintings, adapted to a production pipeline.
It will be along the same lines as the avi you saw, but in a much more detailed and explained manner. In this DVD I start from scratch, just with a round brush and an airbrush, until the final illustration piece using more complex techniques and a set of 15 or so brushes, that will be available on the DVD along with the PSD's.

FUNGUS>> ! Hey ! Miss you man!! I hope everything's fine in L.A :)

mv
06-05-2006, 11:51 PM
Hey David ! just wanted to drop by and say hi , and thanks for answering all those questions . :wavey:

Frenchy Pilou
06-06-2006, 12:06 AM
Does not exist any other exiting painting prog?
Have fun painting! :cool:

vyle-art
06-06-2006, 12:27 AM
Hi Frenchy Pilou. I remember you from another forum that starts with a Z if I am right :)?
I read your threads there very regularly.
ZBrush is probably side by side with photoshop on my top softwares, although I use it less due toe the fact that the work I do right now is very limited creatively, and does not leave me much margin for madness. Let's say I use it quite often, but not as much as I would love to.
I sincerely believe, that the future of concept art is in a sculpting software.

MV>>
We should meet one day! I really enjoy your work, I am sure we would have lots to discuss!
Thanks for passing by!

crossbones
06-06-2006, 12:33 AM
Vyle,

First off, your work is really inspiring and very photographic, you can almost taste and smell the environments.

My questions are straight forward:
1) When you block out your color, do you first start in black and white then go to color.
2) when you are doing lighting on a huge environment, how do you keep track of all the highlights,shadows etc I tend to get lost sometimes figuring out where things go on huge environments.
3)Do you use any 3D in your work?
4) I would love to see tutorials from you, you mentioned you made some for CgChannel do you have a URL.

TheGhostDragon
06-06-2006, 12:46 AM
My favorite is the following... I really loved it ...
http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/david_levy/davidlevy_06.jpg

I really wonder, how long have you been in the CG world?
You are amazing... once your Gnomon DVD s out I guess I am one of the first to buy it ;)

I live in Montreal too ... How long have you been in Ubisoft?

Once I am at some level... I like to apply there too... For now I am practicing CG just as an hobby ... I never was serrious about getting a job (probably I will just keep dreaming to get one ;) )

mv
06-06-2006, 12:51 AM
MV>>
We should meet one day! I really enjoy your work, I am sure we would have lots to discuss!
Thanks for passing by!

Definitely :) maybe some day in Montreal :)

CharmedFable
06-06-2006, 03:38 AM
Wow, your art is amazing. See I am 13 and I wanna be a concept artist when I grow up. Can you answer these questions for me?

1) What is the hardest part of being a concept artist?
2) How do you draw (digitally or traditionally)?
3) If you do traditional art alot what are your tools?
4) Just wondering cause this is a question that keeps buzzing through my head......how much are you paid from ubisoft for your concept art?

KMcNamara
06-06-2006, 03:40 AM
Since I'm not really a 2D artist, I don't have any questions, but I will say that your work is jaw dropping! very inspiring.

koppa
06-06-2006, 03:40 AM
hi david how are you, love your work,
This question may come a little out of left field but i've been lucky/unlucky enough to be drawn up against Viag in the latest thunderdome, the other concept artist at work laughed his arse off when i got drawn up against one of you ubisoft boys in the first round ;)

Anyways . . . my question has viag started yet his piece yet? haha coz i havent

Ubisoft publishes some of our games in europe, and both of the concept artists here are in the thunderdome, myself and bumskee/min.

Good luck with your future games and good luck to any of your team in the thunderdome ;)

Cheers

Koppa

Pinoy McGee
06-06-2006, 06:06 AM
So who's the speediest speed painter amongst the Ubi guys (sparth included before he moved)? :)

To put it in another way, who usually finishes first when you do your lunchtime 3ch speeds.

robinchyo
06-06-2006, 07:06 AM
Hi David. I really love your work. It's a big inspiration to me and many of my peers.

I was actually looking back at your site a day or two ago, so I thought it was kind of funny when I saw the "Meet the Artist" feature when I checked CGTalk today.

Anyways, ever since you posted your PoP3 concepts I couldn't help but assume that Ridley Scott's recent films have played a bit part of inspiration for some of the production paintings. Is there any truth to this? Also, did you work on the recently released concept art for Assassin's Creed? The lighting and atmosphere reminds me of "Kingdom of Heaven". Good luck with everything!

Digit
06-06-2006, 07:47 AM
Hm, name rings a bell... didnt you once work at Bits Studio in London? Or is that another David Levy?! You've gone a long way if that is the case!

Great work, by the way!

Pegahoul
06-06-2006, 10:29 AM
Hi, Mr. David. Most of the questions I wanted to ask has already been asked so I just want to say how I love your work.
I've never played any Prince of Persia before, but when I first saw The Two Thrones artwork on Gamespot I was swept. It was totally awesome! I really admire your work and wish I could be as good as you someday (I'm still practising now)

Kewn
06-06-2006, 10:44 AM
Thanks for your time mister Vyle!

I really love your stuff, great atmosphere and everything! I live in the Netherlands and I hope to get as good as you are, it's just that I don't really know what school to go to now.

- Does the academy in Maastricht teach the basics you were talking about (like anatomy, composition etc.) or is it all just about expression and arty art? I'm studying by myself now, but I think a good art school would be a nice idea. It's just that I can't seem to find a school that also teaches these important basics.
I was almost thinking about finding a school outside the Netherlands, but now that I see you went to the Netherlands I'm starting to doubt more and more.

- Oh and do you do mostly game concepts or also many side projects, and is there any difference (in the kind of project) between art you do at work or at home?

Keep it Up!

agou
06-06-2006, 11:44 AM
Hi Vyle,
I'm a former student from EID in Toulon (la tour H forever yeah!), and I see that you spent a nice time there. Of course there are sun,sea and...other stuffs, but what did that school bring you? I remember too that industrial design, with Pantone feltip pen, is not necessarily artistic; when you just have to design a car or a garbage, you don't really have to care about lights,atmosphere, feelings. Therefore, your work is amazingly creative. What influenced you at this moment, was it thanks to your teacher, to Gaston(:)), to your classmates?I guess that competitiveness between classmates helped a lot too.
I've seen that you knew Barontieri there, and personally I knew there a lot of very talentful people ; it is amazing to see that such a little and not much well-known school has produced some great talents - some of my former classmates made successful studies in great animation and design schools too.

Thank you for your time, hope I didn't annoy you with my little "nostalgia" speech!
:thumbsup:

Rudeone
06-06-2006, 12:22 PM
Hiya David, Rudy here, what's up :)

I kind of was wondering why you chose to attend the academy in Maastricht.
Was it your first choice? or did you also check out other dutch schools like let's say an academy in Amsterdam? if so do you think there's a big difference between these schools educational wise?

Have fun at the CA workshop and Gnomon, hope to see you and Thierry later this year :)

Cheers!

Rudy

Sandpiper
06-06-2006, 01:43 PM
Hey David,

Congrats on your exposure! Looks like you made the right career move switching over to Ubisoft. :) We'll miss you here in Dallas my friend!

Also wanted to say, that even though I'm a lowly 3D guy, you're painting style really makes digital painting look like a lot of fun. You make it look like there is so much you can do with the different media. I'm quite envious sir!

Jesse

vyle-art
06-06-2006, 02:54 PM
this is going fast! I will try to answer as fast and thoroughly as possible!

Kewn>>
- The academy in Maastricht does teach those basics (at least it used to 10 years ago :) ). I especially remember having met there an amazing anatomy teacher (but can't remember his name), a dutch interior architect, and also an excellent sculpture teacher. Those guys had a great influence on me. The degree I did over there (interior architecture ) was fairly technical, and not "arty art" like you mention. And eventhough you do not learn only how to use paint as much as to do technical drawings it teaches you something even more important: structure in your train of thought. The same goes with industrial design.This knowledge will even help you in more "destructured designs" anyway. The more you know about structure, the easier it is to destroy it.

- Nevertheless, if you feel like you need to move, it might be that you have a thirst to see other things, and at that point, you should follow your desires! Go and visit the world!

- The work I do at home and the one at my day job, is VERY different. At home, it is more like a relaxing and freestyle desire that drives me. Sometimes I don't even know where I am going until I see something appear on the digital canvas. Almost like automatic writing I guess.

Agou>>
HEY ! A Tourrachien! No probleme with nostalgia, I miss la Tour H a lot :( if only I had a second to go there and say hi, I would...
- EID brought me the best basics I could dream of: a strong analysis of problems, and the technique to find ways to answer those. Gaston is probably THE teacher that made who I am today (alongside with Roger Barcilon that I met 10 years later and who taught me painting and colors and who directs Gemini's art school in Austin now). I remember very well the exercise that made me realise 13 years ago that I would do what I do forever. We had to draw a small object on a huge sheet of paper using a pencil. I choose a Key, and it took me 4 weeks to finish it I think... But during the process I understood one simple thing: once you do what you love, work is not an issue anymore since it is driven by passion.

- Classmates and teachers are a plus, competitiveness is stupid I think, at least under the same roof. It will create discord and hate. Competition should be as a team against other schools, or companies, not within friends. Unless it stays friendly, but it does not last forever.
That is one issue with most art schools: they teach you how to get good, but they don't teach you how to work in a team environment. They tend to create self centered people, which is the opposite of what is necessary in a production.Teamwork is hugely underated, and that's what destroys most companies.

- When you design a garbage can and a car, I still think you are trying to convey an EMOTION. Shapes and colors influence us even in the most recluse depth of our subconscious. And in the end, that's one of the goals of the industrial designer: get an object to unconsciously communicate to the user. Emotions drives each and everyone of us every day, more or less depending on the people.

digit>>
Yep that was me! Did you use to work there too?? I wonder how foo is doing these days.

ninjadoo>>
Great choice, concept art is a great job!
1) What is the hardest part of being a concept artist?
When producers think they can do your job.

2) How do you draw (digitally or traditionally)?
Both, I love to vary my tools as much as possible. Nevertheless in a production environment I stick to digital because of its speed and easy access to the rest of the team.

3) If you do traditional art alot what are your tools?
When I do figure drawing I use: recycled paper, with a double tip black marker, and a white corrector. If I do illustrations I use acryl. I usually warm up with black chalk.

4) Just wondering cause this is a question that keeps buzzing through my head......how much are you paid from ubisoft for your concept art?
Can't answer this one sorry ;) Let's say that your experience plays a lot in the balance.

Maytridy, theghostdragon, Pegahoul>> thanks!

Crossbones>>
1> I usually paint directly with colors, I experimented with black and white, and it's not for me. I prefer the depth in material that color layering offers. And it takes me more time to recolor a picture than starting with color. I have seen many other artists who prefer the other technique though.
2> on huge environments, I usually zoom in and out very often when I work, and also use the photoshop navigator, it helps keep track of the overall lighting. Also, once in a while, I do a copy of the image, and turn it black and white to redirect my focus.
3> On job assignments I use a LOT of 3D, it is much easier when I need to do many view of one area, and keep the right proportions.
4> the video is there (http://media01.cgchannel.com/images/news/5130/cgchan.mov)
I hope it is ok to post it here.

Koppa> I can't disclose if Viag started his pic yet ;) I have to ask him first :P

Pinoy McGee>> It depends on the day! We all have ups and downs, and we are more racing against the clock than each other :) It's more a fun thing than a contest.Lately, we actually have even more fun doing team attacks than single illustrator speedpaintings. We noticed that collaborating on one pic, is much more fun! That's what we will do in L.A at the gnomon workshop in June.

robincho>> Ridley Scott has always had a huge influence on me, as many other directors. Assassin's creed definitely has a lot of Mr's Scott's influence, as Nicolas Cantin, the art director on the project loves his stuff too. I have to say that thanks to him, the team managed to lock down a look on such a demanding next-gen platforms. My hat's off to Assassin's art and programmers team, amazing job.

Rudy>> Hey rudy!Wassup! For this year, give us a date and we'll be there. June was just too hectic!
I chose Maastricht, because they had agreements with my school in France. Our school had welcome some of their students, and so they decided some frenchies should come and visit too!

Hey Jesse!>> Funny how I am meeting more people here than anywhere else :) It's a small world! I miss Texas a lot, especially the heat! Winter was kinda tough in Montreal for a southerner like me! But you are right, it was definitely a good career move... You can't have everything in life...
When it comes to 2D, I sincerely think that what I am doing is just "emulating" 3D using 2D tools. Once the 3D tools are as flexible as the 2D ones, we will all be free !
Hi to your Dallas crew at greengrass!

Rist
06-06-2006, 04:27 PM
Hi David! or Vyle, which ever you want to be addressed as on these boards.

I got a question that came from an interview you did on CGC, which you have probably explained before, which I apologize in advance :D

i will start it off by showing this quote:
David: I think it gives a huge advantage, for various reasons. First of all, doing concept art is more the ability to solve complex problems than really being a good illustrator. You have to keep in mind many parameters (lighting, colors, composition...) and be able to mix them together to make sure the art director gets the results he needs. Maybe including and industrial design course in modern entertainment school would be perfect. Few schools already do that in LA and thanks to teachers like Scott Robertson for example. I sincerely think he is a pioneer when it comes to teaching entertainment.

CGC: Other courses you'd recommend other than Industrial Design?

David: Filming / photography and also sculpting.



Now I find these qualifications irregular, I would have thought some form of art qualification would be recommended. Well, i am going into a degree course in september which allows me to join two subjects together, which I chose Painting/Drawing AND Graphics. I thought this would be perfect because I could learn all the art basics and more through the first one and learn new techniques and styles through the computer all in one course. Would this type of course be suited to CD also? I know it neglects the composition parts of filming/photos and it doesnt give you an overall knowledge of the netertainment busines, but it does give me the skills to create images and to think up all new ideas. Please try to clear this up for me, thanks! :D

vyle-art
06-06-2006, 04:51 PM
Fl3wk>>
Good question,
The best creations come from high contrasts balanced in a subtle way. If your education is very linear: ilustration+illustration+illustration... You will not be as flexible as if you had two very different (but complementary obviously) courses.
The more abilities you have under your belt, the more flexible (hence creative) you will be.
Learning how to film using film and video, taught me more about painting than I would have ever thought. Not only that, but it taught me how to tell stories. Whether it is about exposure curves, or choosing an angle for a scene, anything's good to learn.
edit>>
Concept art is not only illustrations, it is more like directing a movie: you have to sometimes be a costume designer, prop designer, lighting artist, shader designer, architect.... And it changes every day!

Rist
06-06-2006, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the ultra-fast reply!

It seems these beuatiful illustrated concept designs on this forum and many others is a little distracting to the true nature of being a concept designer. Like I didn't know it was like being all those that you mentioned, I just thought the role was illustrator with a little more flexability to create ideas!

Well I wont direct my attentions just on one profession (CD) just yet, I still need to learn far too much before I know my true profession!

Thanks for taking time away from your busy schedule to answer some questions! It's really appreciated!

Edit: Eeek, I found some more questions if you dont mind?

These are about CG Software.

Do and did you have to learn applications like Maya and 3DS MAX to be able to compete professionally in the industry? I know these programs aren't crucial for CD's, but know the fundementals of the program helps you understand what you have to work with.

Also do you use vector-type programs like illustrator or do other people use those after you have created the illustration for them, say for commercial use.

Do you use Corel Painter at all? Or do you have everything you need for graphics within photoshop? Do you keep traditional looking work to where it belongs, in the real world?

This might have been answered, but I'm kinda throwing questions now. I see many CG artists use reference photos inside there work, like for wall texture and such. Do you ever use this method? I think it's kinda cheating in a way, but then again its to get to the end result in the end. Its like saying Corel painters cheating because you dont have to buy Oil paint tubes and brushes and clean up after yourself.

Anyways, my gibberish is over. Thanks for the time, yet again!

vyle-art
06-06-2006, 07:18 PM
Fl3wk>>
- It seems a lot of people misunderstand illustration and concept art. Eventhough there are a lot of ties, and sometimes the difference is blurry, one thing is sure: what is needed for production is not necessarily an illustration. Nevertheless, realistic projects may demand very detailed illustrations, and then, people get mixed up. Let's say that illustration can be used to sell a concept, but the idea behind it, in the end, is what counts. I guess there is a balance to find, depending on what kind of project you work on.

- I learned 3DS max and (3DS4 hehehe), at a time when no one knew concept art even existed, or could be useful in videogames. Actually I am sure, there are still companies out there who have no clue how to use concept artists...
Anyway, at that time I needed food in my stomach, and a bed to sleep on, and knew that selling myself as a concept artist would not provide me what I needed to survive, at least in Europe, and I was not good enough to go where I wanted to. I decided to become a level and character modeler so I could keep on in that industry. It was actually great, since it allowed me to become more flexible in my job as a concept artist. I think the more tools you have, the more choices you have when facing a problem, even if those tools are digital or not.
- I do not use vector software, I work directly very high res on files that might need to be printed.
- I used to use painter a lot, but as of now photoshop offers me more flexibility. If only it could mix colors, I'd be very happy (is there any photoshop software engineer out there that can hear meeee?). I don't really care about the tools I use to create artwork, whether it is digital, 3D, 2D analog or not is not an issue. What allows me to convey enough information fast enough, is the tools I need and that's all. If other people like to use pencil, or ball point, whatever makes you happy and helps you create is good!
- Yes I do use photo textures sometimes, and try to keep it as subtle as possible. It should be used as a complement and not the base of a concept. It helps, but when it becomes obsessive it kills the dynamism of an artwork. I guess it should be used with a lot of care and moderation. I have seen very ugly stuff out there with that technique. Plus if you overdo it, you become lazy. Shortcuts are dangerous when you art is based on how much you practice.

xLonewolfx
06-06-2006, 07:55 PM
dude, your work is absolutly stunning!@

are u from israel?(originaly)

Kewn
06-06-2006, 07:58 PM
Hey Vyle it's me again, thanks for all the answers! Loads of useful info in this topic. I got some new questions..

-What do you think is a good way to study, from the start to the goal someone's working too? Do you prefer any particular drawing or painting books or writers (Loomis, Vilppu, etc.)?

-I'm about to start the Illustration course in Utrecht (@HKU), but I highly doubt if that's the right thing for concept art. Lately I heard it's all about bringing the message to the people, they even say you don't have to be able to draw well for the course, which kinda shocked me a bit.
Do you think something like fine art would be better, or do you know any good schools (like what you called a modern entertainment school), anywhere?

-Hmm I feel like I got some other more important questions I just can't think of now.. Well I hope they will pop up again!

Thanks for all this!


Edit: Found another one! Sounds a bit weird maybe, but do you like to listen to music while working on a piece, if so, what kinda music do you prefer? :D

Rist
06-06-2006, 08:06 PM
Replies...too, quick.... must slow, NOT! :thumbsup: Thanks again for the exeptionally fast reply!

- It seems a lot of people misunderstand illustration and concept art. Eventhough there are a lot of ties, and sometimes the difference is blurry, one thing is sure: what is needed for production is not necessarily an illustration. Nevertheless, realistic projects may demand very detailed illustrations, and then, people get mixed up. Let's say that illustration can be used to sell a concept, but the idea behind it, in the end, is what counts. I guess there is a balance to find, depending on what kind of project you work on.


So it all depends on what the director asks of you and then go ahead and apply that task in the best possible way? Like if he only needed small thumbnails of hair styles (just an example), you dont necassarily have to render it beutifully realistic, but instead just to show the right information so that he gets what he needs?

- I learned 3DS max and (3DS4 hehehe), at a time when no one knew concept art even existed, or could be useful in videogames. Actually I am sure, there are still companies out there who have no clue how to use concept artists...
Anyway, at that time I needed food in my stomach, and a bed to sleep on, and knew that selling myself as a concept artist would not provide me what I needed to survive, at least in Europe, and I was not good enough to go where I wanted to. I decided to become a level and character modeler so I could keep on in that industry. It was actually great, since it allowed me to become more flexible in my job as a concept artist. I think the more tools you have, the more choices you have when facing a problem, even if those tools are digital or not.

I've noticed some artists use 3D applications to set their light sources and find the light bouncing off the objects they are going to use. They also seem to use it for complicated perspective issues. So I see how this type of application can be handy, muchquicker than using clay the traditional way :twisted:

I have read that it is easier to begin 3D applications by using the cheaper versions on the market because they have less features. Now you say you started with 3DS Max 4, which I know, its alot thinner in features than 8, but it was still a complex program. Would you say it was difficult to learn the basics? If you can remember, how many weeks, roughly do think it took you to learn this software? I just ordered 3DS MAX 8 Bible from amazon so i will be learning it soon too :deal:

- I do not use vector software, I work directly very high res on files that might need to be printed.

I'm currently learning Illustrator, but just for the skills. You never know, it might come in handy...

- I used to use painter a lot, but as of now photoshop offers me more flexibility. If only it could mix colors, I'd be very happy (is there any photoshop software engineer out there that can hear meeee?). I don't really care about the tools I use to create artwork, whether it is digital, 3D, 2D analog or not is not an issue. What allows me to convey enough information fast enough, is the tools I need and that's all. If other people like to use pencil, or ball point, whatever makes you happy and helps you create is good!

I find Painter a little ironic, it's like working in traditional, but with a lot more limited individualisation with how you apply your medium, and when you want to print this wonderful piece you have created, ITS ONLY GOT A SELECT NUMBER OF COLOURS TO PRINT, with traditional none of this is of relevance. But with that, the ups do outwiegh the lows in my opinion with that software. I started to learn it, but photoshop won me over :love:

- Yes I do use photo textures sometimes, and try to keep it as subtle as possible. It should be used as a complement and not the base of a concept. It helps, but when it becomes obsessive it kills the dynamism of an artwork. I guess it should be used with a lot of care and moderation. I have seen very ugly stuff out there with that technique. Plus if you overdo it, you become lazy. Shortcuts are dangerous when you art is based on how much you practice.

Ah, I'm starting to learn some of the advanced things in photoshop (still quite a newbie with the program), like levels and the possibilities of 16bit channels etc, and i find using keys just dramatically cut the time in half and reduces the frustration tremendously! Seen as I am still learning the features of this fantastic software, I havent really gone and used photos to my advantage with images.

Thanks for the warning with the overdo business! :D

Hmm, to make this post actually count, and I dont mean post count! :D

One thing thats starting to bug me quite a bit. To get into these huge companies (not particularly the size, the fame), do you need GREAT qualifications and have been teached by the BEST in the country. What I mean does it matter where you got your degree and does it matter if you only have a grade C in say English :eek:

HellBoy
06-07-2006, 12:28 AM
thanks for the reply m8 :thumbsup:

tide78
06-07-2006, 12:45 AM
Classical painters are a huge inspiration especially when it comes to color


Yeah, I can see the Baroque influence in there a bit. Cool stuff man. I dig it.

-Z

vyle-art
06-07-2006, 05:23 AM
LõneWõlf™>>
I am not originally from Israel. My family is a mix between previously named Tchecoslovaquia, France and Algeria. I was born in France.

Kewn>>
- The best way to study is to have a great teacher! Books are good to fill in the blanks though. Loomis and Vilppu are great. There also was an american pncil artist I can't remember the name of, which was great about doing pencil lines showing the driving force of an object, very dynamic. But ahem. Can't remember his name :)
- Hmmm, an art school that does not motivate people to develop their art skills? Maybe they mean that you do not need a high level to start with. If I was a student nowadays (and had the money of course.... Which is sometimes a big issue) I would go to L.A and learn from Scott Robertson at the art center. Actually if I could do that today, I would go too! Gnomon also seems to have their stuff together with amazing teachers.
- I always listen to music when I work. And it varies a lot: it can be classical, Lounge music, electronic, overall usually something relaxing, although I sometimes wake myself up with more dynamic stuff like bad religion, beastie boys, rob zombie, queen of the stone age.... And movie music too. Amelie's soundtrack is very efficient for some reasons.

Fl3wk>>
- Exactly yes.
- Max's basics can be learned fairly fast, but it goes so deep, that it will takes years to master (and I am a millions years away from that...).It depends on how curious you are, but I noticed that the best way to learn a software, is to start with a little project, and discover slowly all the ways to achieve your goals.
- To get in a big company, what counts the most is a good portfolio and a great attitude, that's the two really necessary weapons, don't worry too much about your C grade in English (as long as you can communicate with a wacom pen!). Until I started studying what I liked, my grades were so-so :rolleyes:

Kewn
06-07-2006, 06:20 AM
Yea I'd love to go to LA too, but as you mentioned, I don't think I got the money to do that. And well, about the school here, they say it's nice if you could draw, but you don't need to be good at it to make illustrations. I think it's more about illustrations to fill up texts or something. I find Maastricht way more attractive now, probably too late to enroll now, but I'll see what I'll do. Thanks again :)

Rist
06-07-2006, 08:14 AM
- Max's basics can be learned fairly fast, but it goes so deep, that it will takes years to master (and I am a millions years away from that...).It depends on how curious you are, but I noticed that the best way to learn a software, is to start with a little project, and discover slowly all the ways to achieve your goals.

I see, it just seemed so complex when I looked at it with taking any tutorials or any kind of help. I will be using that book I ordered which should make things easier. I find it facinating how you cannot master it on the fly, tahts where the experienced bunch are noticeable over the guys that just learnt the basics!

- To get in a big company, what counts the most is a good portfolio and a great attitude, that's the two really necessary weapons, don't worry too much about your C grade in English (as long as you can communicate with a wacom pen!). Until I started studying what I liked, my grades were so-so

Thats great to see! It just worried me when I read a few bios of guys in high positions. Like one went to the University of California or something (something real advanced) and got excellent grades in all the natural grades (maths, science, english). But I suppose that particular guy had rich parents :shrug:

Thanks for the fast answeres, yet again :thumbsup:

shahdee
06-07-2006, 10:21 AM
hi there :) i just have to say, that i admire your work a lot. prince of persia is my favourite game (that can be obvious :P) and i really like your concept art. my dreams are also to work for ubisoft once.

i'm just curious, how hard is to get a job there?
and how much time does it take you to finish a piece?

tnx, and have a nice day :)

marslord
06-07-2006, 11:12 AM
hi

your artwork is perfect and really wonderful

a qustion about POP:

why in concept art and final design of game design use persian symbols in combination with arabic and even romance symbols ,
I think old persian architecture and art is perfect and enougth to be refrence and base for design ,

thanks

vyle-art
06-07-2006, 01:20 PM
shahdee>>
- It depends on the necessity of people and projects timing in the studio. It comes and goes. Also it depends on the quality of your portfolio and the experience you have.
- For a finished piece, it takes from 3 days to 8 days depending on the complexity, for marketing illustrations it can take up to 15 days.

marslord>>
- To be honest, it probably comes from the fact that we are no experts in that domain, and very often we are given references to work from. Those references come from different sources, and are put together by our directors, to answer a mood and specific situation in the game. On top of that, when it gets in our hands, we tend to add a big dose of fantasy and craziness in the details and especially architecture or characters. That is very true especially on prince of persia, where environments and characters are a very "romanticised" version of the way occident imagines how persia would have been at that time (think about the orientalism painter's movement in Europe, we used all those painters as inspiration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism#Orientalism_in_the_arts) in the creation of the pop series). On the opposite, Assassin's creed is much more accurate in precision and realism. I hope we did not offend anyone using such a mismatch of symbols, but after all, it is juste a game :love:

Tranchefeux
06-07-2006, 01:22 PM
Hi,

No questions right my congratulations for your very interesting work.
Good continuation.

E.T

waseemkadri
06-07-2006, 02:16 PM
What Is Your Inspiration?

KovacsIstvan
06-07-2006, 02:18 PM
I can see u.

Riddick
06-07-2006, 02:22 PM
I have not really questions for you Vyle!
Your team with Barontieri, Sparth and the others is really great!
I'm very impressed by your work on the winter landscapes and the lights in your Art!
Vraiment chapeau Monsieur, c'est très beau!

WMBrown
06-07-2006, 02:23 PM
Really nice work! i can't wait until i am at that level of quality :P

would you be willing to give some critique and say wether or not this project for my reel would turn some heads?

and i will admit, i'm still new to the whole thing, i'm still looking for work.

i really like the portrait of the prince of persia character, very nice!

Nuro
06-07-2006, 02:29 PM
Hello Vyle

I saw that you used brush custom. can you speak to us about it about advantage !

Amazing Style for me .

tu dechires mon gars, j'espere que toi et Steambot vous allez tres loing
Nuro

vyle-art
06-07-2006, 06:45 PM
mike_angelo>>
A big mix and varied range of artists, movies, photos, books....
Usually, when I work for myself, I enjoy anything that touches adventure, flight, travel, fantasy.... It most of the time starts with a blob of colors, or a vague idea, or a sudden desire to create. And sometimes it turns into surprises I had not expected.
Sometimes I am so struck by an image in a movie, or something I see in life, that I try to memorize to see why it struck me so much. Sometimes I just type a word on google images, and use the thumbnails to inspire me.

kovacsistvan>> Scary!

Riddick>> nice to see you here!
Nuro>> Can't wait for you to be here! Looking forward to it! merci pour les compliments ;)

WMBrown>> The technical aspect is good, I would only say that the image needs a focus points, that might tell a story. Maybe a glass of whiskey and a wallet filled with money? Maybe it is the lair of some detective? Little details that would basically attract the viewers's eye and make sure you keep him locked on the image. That way you will force him to create a story in his head, and that's what most viewers need: the pleasure of dreaming.

InKraBid
06-07-2006, 07:35 PM
Hi!
Its a pleasure every time I start a new POP game, loving every moment of the action and getting to the end of it to unlock the game art :) I was completely blown away when POP1 made its appearance , and have kept playing the games, no doubt due to the beautiful graphics of the games, no doubt due to you :). The only minus would have to be that I never beat the POP2 boss, but at least he was a great looking monster to be beaten by :)

I've got a few Q's:

Do you have any other publicly accessible tutorials I can check out? That video spun my head, but I got some great clues from it :)

Do you have any hints to making large areas with texture? I noticed you used a few large texture brushes for sand and such, are there any other small, fast tricks?

How do you make the large gradient areas without it looking like a PSgrad? Many small strokes, opacity, special brushes or is there a button they've hidden from me?

Also, you mentioned composition, any tutorials or artists you'd recommend?

If you want to, check into my gallery at http://www.artwanted.com/inkrabid
You dont have to crit or comment on them, but of course I'd like that :)

Thanks for taking the time.

InKraBid

CptObvious
06-07-2006, 07:44 PM
yo dude

I think that this[/url]piece is one of your best:
[url]http://vyle-art.com/gallery/albums/speedpaintings/SPship_A.jpg (http://vyle-art.com/gallery/albums/speedpaintings/SPship_A.jpg)

Just keep the great work and post more speed paintings !

Rist
06-07-2006, 09:21 PM
How did you get approached by UbiSoft? Was it you who approached them or did they find you? I read about you being asked to join Activision (I think :shrug: ) and go to canada, I think, sorry I got a bad short term memory, of all things! But activision and ubisoft arent the same company as far as I know. So basically, how did you join Ubisoft?

You have told us what skills you needto join a company like Ubi, but never how to join them. This would be interesting to know! I know it can be different for each person, but ya know, curiosity wins over! :D

Thanks.

Kewn
06-07-2006, 09:22 PM
I got some more practical questions now: About practicing, it may sound weird but as long as I got no good school to go to, with good teachers to learn from, I find it hard to stick to practicing. I think it's because I cannot be sure the way I practice is a good way, I think and doubt to much.
Should I practice drawing and get very good at it before starting with painting? Should I start with anatomy, perspective, composition, color, _whatever_... All these doubts just seem to make it harder. I wish I had like a good practice schedule or something, just something to be confident with.

It's kinda difficult to explain what I mean but I think you get it now. It would be great if you'd have some tips! And so many thanks for your time and effort again!

Incidental
06-08-2006, 02:47 AM
Hello there Mr Levy!

Was just wondering how you supported yourself in your round the world jaunts?

Is this where bar experience comes in useful or were you lucky enough to find work in the industry?

Thanks for your time!
/thumbs up

waseemkadri
06-08-2006, 08:19 AM
What is the role of a concept artist? like if there is one character model to be made, what help does modeler & texture artist get from you? only concept art or you are with them till they finishe modelling and texturing? I mean to say does modeller and texture artist require concept artist's help while working.

vyle-art
06-08-2006, 02:33 PM
Inkrabid>>
- The only tutorials I have right now are on my website. Those can take quite some time to create, and lately I have been too busy to do more :( . I will probably totally update my tutorial section around august.

- For large area with textures, I created a brush that fakes perspective using various settings on the pen pressure. It is one trick that does not always work, so on complex images (unless they are speedpaintings), I tend to use photo textures, or the texture checkbox option in the brushes when painting.

- For the gradients, I am using nothing special, just the PS gradient tool! Sometimes I use the airbrush or the round brush. But for the most part I use the PS gradient :)

- Composition, is one of my weakest points. The best person I know about composition is Sparth (http://www.sparth.com/): it is totally natural and intuitive for him! I use very basic systems (the 3X3 rule), but like I said it is very basic. I am learning a lot on that subject now. I heard of a french book by Jacques Bouleau, "the secret geometry of painters", and that's what I am reading at home now.

- I checked the gallery quickly. I would say that you seems to be still floating between genres and styles. By touching 3D and 2D you are doing the necessary experiments to make your choices. I did not see any in your gallery, but on top of doing fantasy images, I should post technical exercises (like model drawings, still lifes, light analysis...). In short I mean that if you want to master fantasy, you have to master reality. My favorite is probably the black and white mystic.

Tiger1313>> I love your speedpaintings! And just saw your gallery. Great work. THanks for the comment!

Fl3k>>
Sparth and Hydropix are the ones that advised Ubisoft to contact me. We knew each others from the forums, and had met in person in Austin. We had a great contact, and talked about how great it would be to work together. One year later, it happened!
Most of the times, you will find a job by a contact, or someone who has arleady worked with you, and know you are reliable. You can call it word of mouth, or networking, but in the end, it is your attitude and qualities that sells you.

Kewn>> Drawing is the architecture behind painting. Draw first, but start practicing painting on the side. Think of a plan of attack, and decide of a project that would motivate you that would also help you raise your abilities.

BLOWFISH>>
Hmm, I am FAR from rich, and moving so much only came with many sacrifices. I have not seen my family in a long time, and I have eaten pastas many times without butter...

mike_angelo>>
Once again it depends on the project, and the way the hierarchy works. You want to make sure you are not stepping on anybodie's toes, but overall you should always be available for questions and help, or even additional sketches that could make a difference. Overall, it should be the art director's role to communicate any changes necessary especially on big projects, but it depends on his work techniques and the way management regards concept artists. Nowadays, concept artists are still VERY underused and ignored on most projects (even big ones). Companies and studios that understood that, are on the top of the world now, especially japanese companies: think Metal gear solid, devil may cry and other strong licenses, those only came because of creative freedom, not dictatorship and ego of one person.

Rist
06-08-2006, 05:29 PM
Fl3wk>>
Sparth and Hydropix are the ones that advised Ubisoft to contact me. We knew each others from the forums, and had met in person in Austin. We had a great contact, and talked about how great it would be to work together. One year later, it happened!
Most of the times, you will find a job by a contact, or someone who has arleady worked with you, and know you are reliable. You can call it word of mouth, or networking, but in the end, it is your attitude and qualities that sells you.

It seems going to these events to see fellow artists and such is really important, especially if your goal is tork in bigger and better companies.

Some more questions, about your workflow and CD stuff:

- So you say you dont just illustrate as a CD, but use what is neseccary to complete the task. Does this include tradtional things too like Marker Pens, Inks, Pencils, Pens, Paints? Or is all your work Photoshop exclusively? I guess working straight from photoshop would be much more efficient due to everyone having a copy of your work, and also accidents are less likely to destroy the work. Another thing would be that modellers would be able to take your concepts home on their laptops/disks and do work at home if its needed. of course this is idle speculation, only someone like yourself would know the real uses for having everthing digital.

- Backing up your work if very important due to viruses and system crashes. What kind of back-ups do you use?

- All these files and folders everywhere due to years of working, where and how do you sort it all out? Do you use software to help you orginise things or or just done on built-in features of Mac/Windows?

- At what resolutions do you work on your images? I find it difficult to work on high resolutions due to system limits (which I will hopefully rectify soon). Is it important to start at high resolution? I know if you start large, then you got all that head room to down-grade resolution and make things smaller. As opposed to working small and then you are very limited due to not being able to size up.

- Do you listen to music while you work? I find it quite a nice treat due to it blocking out the ambience of the room. But it can also distract. What songs do you listen to if you said yes?

- Not sure if your allowed to answer this one, but what is your average hours per week at Ubisoft?

- How many concept artists participated in the development of Prince of Persia the Two Thrones. And how many, estimation, concept designs did you do (rough figures if possible, i.e 100+ or maybe 100 - 200, thats sort of thing if you dont have the exact number).

Some of the questions might be too up close and personal, I apologise if it somehow offends. But I just find it very interesting to actually have a chance to speak to one of you guys and find out how you live and work.

Cthogua
06-08-2006, 07:02 PM
Hello Vyle!
I've been following the work of the "Ubi-crew" over on CA.org for a while now and your concept art, personal images, and speedpaints especially have been some of the ones that really inspired me. Something that I am curious about is what you think about the random/abstract design processes. What I mean is like scribbling/erasing out a bunch of lines/shapes and pulling forms out of that, or layering patters or textures utill something suggests itself. I ask because I can kind of see it in your work, especially the speedies, a beautiful controlled chaos. I was wondering if thats how you arrived at the style of shapes and lines you seem to favor, sort of a mix of circuitry and art nouveau....hehehe techno-nouveau. I'm specifically thinking of the last two pieces in your "Homework" gallery, Megacity_A and Archi_L.

I'm going to try to make it to Adapt in September, and I see your on the roster. If I make it out there I'll defiantly swing by your booth/room/whatever...however they're gonna have it set up.

Cthogua

Pamyla
06-08-2006, 07:05 PM
Hello,

I just wanted to comment that your work is very awesome and I can see and feel the passion in it...it is very vibrant and alive!

You have a very impressive bio, thanks for the interview with us!

Pamyla

Djampa
06-08-2006, 08:46 PM
Amazing Q&A you generated here.

Never saw so much high quality information on concept design like here on this thread.

You should write a book after that. BTW if you know any nice books on concept design, please mention them here.



I am right now writing on concept design for a special studies group at Méliès Cinema 3D and Animation School here in Brazil, I always thought that emotions were the main subject a concept artist should work out to bring out the idea behind the concept itself, reading your answers I can see you made it clear too.

Would you say that basic knowledge about psychology and theater would improve concept artist’s view? I think personally that the most we know about mind, emotions and how they operate better artists we become, at least we become better as human *lol*.

Can you say to us a little more about your background with emotions/ psychology at your work?



Thanks a lot to be sharing your knowledge and time with us here,

vyle-art
06-08-2006, 10:52 PM
Fl3wk>>
- I have not used traditional media at work in ages, although once in a while for no reason whatsoever I would throw a sketch on paper (sometimes when I have a complex building to prepare, I do a top view or something). Your workflow suggestion about being easy for the pipeline is very right: by using photoshop you reduce the amount of translations to the digital media (scanning, contrasting etc...). So all in all, much more logical in production, plus the tablet PCs coming up soon will make all this much more userfriendly.

- For backups, I work with 4 hardrives at home. I have a raptor drive to run my softwares, an internal for main work (250GB), an external for large backups and video editing (250GB), and another one for large work in progress especially when dealing with recording (250GB).

- For the organising, well, I am just very organised :) In my life I am quite the opposite, and I can't remember the things I did the day before (my gf hates htat too...), but on my PC and at work, I am very tidy, and everything I do follows precise naming conventions.

- I work around 4000 pixels for painting and general concepts. I work at 6000+ pixels for marketing illustrations. I hate having to resize my pics in the middle of a work, but I sometimes do the mistake.

- I have to work with music, I think I mentioned that earlier, my most influencial and inspiring tune is the theme music from the movie "Amelie".

- 40 hours week

Pamyla>> thanks for the kind words! I am the lucky one to be interviewed here. Such an honour! Thanks again to CG talk, for allowing me to participate.

Djampa>>
- Thanks for the kind words! Well, if I was to write a book, there would definitely be a LOT of stories to tell! But that would probably take a long time, and people would not believe me on many of them! I think I went through all the worse experiences of the gaming industry history ...

- I had never thought about the importance of Psychology and theater in my job, but it makes total sense now that you say it. The systems I use right now, when it comes to emotions are very basic, and I would say more "gut feelings" driven. I think it comes back to the "story telling idea" that I mentioned regarding script writing or film making studiying.
So many books to read, such little time to live!
But that's a great comment that gets me thinking! Thanks!

Rist
06-08-2006, 11:11 PM
- I have not used traditional media at work in ages, although once in a while for no reason whatsoever I would throw a sketch on paper (sometimes when I have a complex building to prepare, I do a top view or something). Your workflow suggestion about being easy for the pipeline is very right: by using photoshop you reduce the amount of translations to the digital media (scanning, contrasting etc...). So all in all, much more logical in production, plus the tablet PCs coming up soon will make all this much more userfriendly.


Traditional media can be rather messy and inefficient. I see why its important to stick to digital. I bet you had to start with traditional when learning to draw and such (studying).

- For backups, I work with 4 hardrives at home. I have a raptor drive to run my softwares, an internal for main work (250GB), an external for large backups and video editing (250GB), and another one for large work in progress especially when dealing with recording (250GB).

Damn, all I got is a 80GB main for my software and downloads, then a 19GB as my storage,which I just put my work there and my software back-ups. I need to invest in an external HDD : / Well thats a poor student for ya!

- For the organising, well, I am just very organised :) In my life I am quite the opposite, and I can't remember the things I did the day before (my gf hates htat too...), but on my PC and at work, I am very tidy, and everything I do follows precise naming conventions.

I consider myself like this too, but I dont have enough digital work to say that I name every file/folder correctly.

- I work around 4000 pixels for painting and general concepts. I work at 6000+ pixels for marketing illustrations. I hate having to resize my pics in the middle of a work, but I sometimes do the mistake.

Damn thats large! I am lucky to get maybe 1500X1500px...

- I have to work with music, I think I mentioned that earlier, my most influencial and inspiring tune is the theme music from the movie "Amelie".

Sorry I must have passed it by accident. I will look up that theme tune.

I added this one a bit late I think. You dont mind answering it do you?

- How many concept artists participated in the development of Prince of Persia the Two Thrones. And how many, estimation, concept designs did you do (rough figures if possible).

Thanks for your time!

The Prof
06-09-2006, 07:47 AM
"For large area with textures, I created a brush that fakes perspective using various settings on the pen pressure. It is one trick that does not always work, so on complex images (unless they are speedpaintings), I tend to use photo textures, or the texture checkbox option in the brushes when painting."

Could you explain this in depth a little more? I am intrigued. Perhaps a screen shot of the brush settings or a description of the settings or perhaps even the brush itself as an abr file to download?
Great works, I always look forward to your posts on CA

rawwad
06-09-2006, 11:04 AM
Hi man! I am your big fan, love your works very much.
I haven´t much time now, but I will ask you some question later, cya :)

DarkTownArt
06-09-2006, 11:04 AM
Hello David :)


I have seen the little V signs on your most recent work.
According to their design: Are they understandable as a hommage to V for Vendetta?

Have fun ^_^

kikkokman
06-09-2006, 04:33 PM
wow wow it buautiful nice concept idea

rpena21
06-10-2006, 06:07 AM
Hey Dave, your work is okay at best.

Alright just kidding. You know you rock! Keep up the great work, my friend! It's always exciting to see new work from you.

Isn't V for Vyle?

vyle-art
06-10-2006, 03:31 PM
Fl3k>>
- I used to be a poor student too, and I can tell you one thing: my first PC was the best investment I ever did.

- We were 5 on Prince of Persia: Hydropix, Viag, Patrick Lambert, Martin Deschambault, Myself. Difficult to tell how much work I did. I will count and post the numbers!

The Prof>>
I will probably post that brush once the CA workshop in Montreal is over (tuesday). But it is fairly simple: opacity and roundness are both set to "pressure" on a basic round brush that looks like a "rust texture" that fades on the side. Ahem, yep, probably easier if I post it.

rawwad>>
Thanks! Looking forward to answer those.

Azurelle-Ray-Ray>>
Actually the V (for vyle yep) is not for Vendetta. I actually did not know that comic book until recently. I thought signing the whole nickname was not very discreet, and also got lazy.

Ray-Ray (also called smeagol if I remember? Brad booker is sitting next to me right now and he is the one who gave me the tip!)>>
:P Great to hear from you! Congrats on your new little family member! And tell hi to Vanessa. I miss going to Barton springs on hot days, I hope Austin is still as beautiful as it was!

DarkTownArt
06-10-2006, 09:30 PM
Azurelle-Ray-Ray>>
Actually the V (for vyle yep) is not for Vendetta. I actually did not know that comic book until recently. I thought signing the whole nickname was not very discreet, and also got lazy.


I see what you mean, and that's really a cool coinsidence since the two signs look exactly the same - but there are too many different people on the world, so coinsidences are a real must.

Keep up the good work. I especially like your prince of persia "portrait" :)

Az

Djampa
06-11-2006, 02:01 AM
Djampa>>
- Thanks for the kind words! Well, if I was to write a book, there would definitely be a LOT of stories to tell! But that would probably take a long time, and people would not believe me on many of them! I think I went through all the worse experiences of the gaming industry history ...

- I had never thought about the importance of Psychology and theater in my job, but it makes total sense now that you say it. The systems I use right now, when it comes to emotions are very basic, and I would say more "gut feelings" driven. I think it comes back to the "story telling idea" that I mentioned regarding script writing or film making studiying.
So many books to read, such little time to live!
But that's a great comment that gets me thinking! Thanks!

:) Thanks for the answer. Glad I made you get thinking. :)
"gut feelings" driven... *lol* Thats the best I´ve heard ! I´d say you may have a lot of "gut feelings" then... hehehehe your work rocks !

Best wishes,

Vahn
06-11-2006, 10:13 AM
hello Vyle. Youre a great and very inspiring contemporary Artist :thumbsup:

questions:

What are for you personally the 3 most important qualities of cd in the whole production ?

Do you think that this job will ever evolve more in europe in the future ? :)

I assume that for your gut driven system it is very important to be able to work very fast with fluent brushwork. Especially in your free work at home where you let yourself be inspired by the image itself. How much Ram do you have so you can be fast in those 4000 & 6000px high resolutions ?

Rist
06-11-2006, 11:52 AM
Fl3k>>
- I used to be a poor student too, and I can tell you one thing: my first PC was the best investment I ever did.

- We were 5 on Prince of Persia: Hydropix, Viag, Patrick Lambert, Martin Deschambault, Myself. Difficult to tell how much work I did. I will count and post the numbers!


My real first PC was in 2003, and I've been fixing upgrading it ever since. Been a real investment in both luxary and studying! I'm thinking of getting a new one with my student loan when I go to UNI. Even though I might have to pay the loan back, atleast I bought something worth while.

I dont really have any questions right now, thanks for posting :D

Diego_R
06-11-2006, 08:35 PM
Hello Vyle, love your work since the first time i saw it at CA
I wanted to ask you if you think that it's possible to reach a professional level, and be updated with the latest trends in the industry without going a normal/top school? these last months i've been doing a lot of stuff at school without seeing the purpose.
I attend to a fine arts school where no technical skills are being teach. So i'm always asking myself if i should do my own schooling.
Anyways, thanks for taking the time.

tebaochet
06-12-2006, 12:55 AM
Hi Vyle ! Are you a member of Ubisoft's 3D team ?? - what a great job !! which's software do you often use ?

Thanks for answering us !

subvicto
06-12-2006, 08:53 PM
hi vyle


i am currently a 2nd year ID student here in montreal,i like to sketch A LOT

so i went in ID, they say its hard to find a job, got to be the best and loads of negative blabla ( good thing my parents didnt really know what is ID really like )

i planned to be a car designer , they say its even harder to find a job , you have to be the best of the best and loads of negative blabla

now i want to be a concept artist... suis-je suicidaire?

vyle-art
06-13-2006, 02:16 PM
Also, I would like to thank CG talk to allow me to post here, it is a real honour. I am very humbled, and feel so lucky to help one way or the other the CG society.
Vahn>>
3 qualities (that I can think of right now):
- Creative, team player, hard worker.
- Hopefully that job wil be recognised more in Europe, either that or productions won't be competitive.
- 2gig of ram, ATI radeon 9800 pro.

Diego>>
- It is possible, but it will take you extra discipline and motivation.ALso you do not need a "top" school per say. You need a top teacher, and you can find that in many schools I am sure. Just ask other artists online, and see what could match where you live and what you need to learn.
About your art school, first of alldo not be too confrontational, it could be that what you are learning are the basics, and they want the students to be confortable before going into more complex things. On the other side, if you think that it is really not what you expected, and you feel really not happy, nothing stops you to switch to another art school.
- Own schooling sound good at first, but for 99.99 % of the people, it is not the right way to go. A teacher will allow you to advance MUCH MUCH faster. Think Mister Myiagi in Karate kid :wise:
Ahem, maybe that was not the best exemple... :P

Tebaochet>>
Not part of the 3D team, just concept design.Softwares I use are: Max, Photoshop, and sometimes painter.

subvicto>>
- Hi there! It is a good thing when you are young to have desires and dreams. YOU are the master of your own life once you are freed from your parent's education harness. Fulfill your dreams, and don't dream small. I love car design, and eventhough I did not manage to get in that industry, it allowed me to grow in the game industry, and discover a completely new dimension. If you are always protected from failing, you will never know who you are. Face your fears!

- I am not a competitive person, to be honest. Any industry is somewhat competitive, but if you approach it as being a passion, and embrace it, you wont' need competition to be motivated. Competition in between people of the same company is the fuel needed by people that are insecured and unmotivated or lazy. Competition against other companies as a team, is what really counts.
Think like an organised war, not a coup d'etat.

SquarePixel
06-13-2006, 10:04 PM
Hey Vyle,

I've always enjoyed and admired your work, theres a couple of questions I would like to ask you. How much of your ideas in the concept stay? Does the art director usually have open mind to your ideas? Or does the art director have final say so. I realize that a concept artist usually is the spark for most visual creation. I'm just trying understand if the concept artist can put alittle of his or her personality and vision into the concept.

Much respect, and thanks in advance!

Take care man

PS: DesignstudioPress Forum is back up!!

rawwad
06-15-2006, 11:30 PM
here I am :)

At first I must say again,that I love your work very much. Your ideas and style is just fantastic.
You are one of artist that I called "speed realist" (for example work of Craig Mullins), because you have very dynamic style, with sharp brushes but your works still looks realistic, I mean, with right shadows and light atmosphere which make it more realistic. Many artists have beautiful scenes fully of details but not realistic as yours.
How you know which realistc lightning and color atmosphere is good for it and make your idea realistic, and are you use any references ( enviroment, nature photos) or 3D basic light scene?
Also I want ask you how brushes you use?
If you use mostly basic brushes or you have lot of customs, because in your works you have very intresting brushes strustures, looking like something from graphic design.
Which tablet do you use (wacom right :D ) normal or special with screen board?

And one question to your ideas, which are very original and great. What is inspiration for you? music, movies, film, dreams, ...?
And which kind music do you listen usuall?

That´s everything what I want know :)
Good luck and be original as always! :thumbsup:

Tibor

The Prof
06-16-2006, 06:00 AM
"The Prof>>
I will probably post that brush once the CA workshop in Montreal is over (tuesday). But it is fairly simple: opacity and roundness are both set to "pressure" on a basic round brush that looks like a "rust texture" that fades on the side. Ahem, yep, probably easier if I post it."

Sounds interesting, I look forward to seeing/trying it out.

PS. Did you enjoy the workshop?

Ismail
06-16-2006, 06:58 AM
Many thanks for taking the time to respond to our inquiries, David.:) Greatly appreciated.:)

vyle-art
06-16-2006, 02:06 PM
Square Pixel>>
Nice to see you here!

- It depends on many parameters, and especially the project and management you are working with. If the pipeline is organised and logical, there are many chances the CD's vision will be followed almost perfectly once built in game assets. If the art director does not really understand the use of concept art, there are many chances your game will look like a mutated potatoe. In the next gen games, this is what will make a huge difference: not as much the technology, as the concept behind the game. Normally, when it coms to graphic vision, the concept artist is THE person. The art director and the concept artist should just work hand in hand to makes sure that vision is implemented in the game: communication and respect are a must.
Can't wait to be back on DSP!

Rawad>>
- First of all, when it comes to realistic lighting, it is all in the analyse of light. Whether everyday, or when looking at movies or still pictures, I try to understand how lights affects shapes and materials.So working from references is important. It does not need to be obsessive, but using references once in a while is a great practice. Once you assimilate those references light, they are in your memory, and you can reuse them when necessary.
99.99 % of my brushes are custom brushes. I usually start a new set just with a round brush and an airbrush. I do use a wacom intuos 9X12.

- For inspiration, all is good! Everything you listed works, I have a preference for books and movies, but I also love to read magasines that vulgarize science and technology. I spend a lot of time on the NASA site, google image search, and the passion for sport also motivates me.

The Prof>>
-The workshop was amazing, I am alsway happy to share techniques with other professionals, and get things moving. It's a huge motivational boost to see so much talent under one roof, it is all about sharing and creating, many artist don't really understand that.
- I will post the brush as soon as possible.


Thanks again for all the interest! And thanks especially to CG talk for allowing me to be invited here. I sincerely believe the future of concept art in videogames has just begun, welcome all to the revolution!
I really hope my answers have somewhat helped!
Looking forward to meet all of you guys in future forums or during workshops!

Keep painting!

David

Rist
06-16-2006, 04:21 PM
Your information in this thread is invaluable. I have some issues that might be cleared up if I explain them and ask the relavent questions.

Most members on here use the 3D programs, and in most cases are animators and modellors for the industry. But this type of work does not appeal to me, it never did. I prefer to work flat, on either traditional canvas/paper/board, or from Photoshop/Painter. Do you think, to be able to get into the industry, that I would have to learn things like MAYA and MAX? I know it would be useful to have as a skill, but like I said these things dont interst me, and also I would prefer the precious time spent on the skills I do need to develope.

When you first started using a wacom and a computer, how did you begin to learn the basics of learning how to paint with pixelsm and even more to use photos to blend into the work for textures? I know styles and such are learned through experience and time, but how would one new to graphics start such a learning curve?

I'm going to be learning Photoshop for the next 8 weeks and I think I know how to go about it. For one I might do some master copies entirely in photoshop, then maybe some life studies, but what then? Could you give me some advise on how to use this time wisely?

When you are at the end of a project and deadlines are very close, do you work overtime, and what hows would this mean for you?

When making your images, how do you go about selecting your colours? Do you have a library of colours that you have saved and then just bring them up when you think you need that specific set, or do you just use the two sqaures on the toolbox?

You say 99% of your brushes are custom, is there a chance you could go more indepth and explain what type of customs you use and what for?

I find it difficult to think up compositions off the bat, especially when creating illustrations, do you use thumbnails first, just get ideas of compositions?

This one is more of a personal question that as nagged at me and because your not in my country and dont see if you could explain this. In most jobs for game companies and film productions, they ask that you have like three years of experience. Is this job in that industry, or three years of...? I dont see how I could break in if I need experience to begin with. Are there some companies that allow you in if your portfolios good and you have the required degree?

Well theres the questions :D thanks for the time, again.

leigh
06-16-2006, 04:37 PM
Thanks a million for taking part in the Q&A, David! :thumbsup: