Meet the Artist :: David Luong

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Old 08 August 2013   #31
Hi David,

Yah its a long ongoing process plus there is so much inspiration around I shall try and get started on some personal projects and post a WIP soon.

Regarding tablets I am looking into a pressure sensitive stylus for the iPad. Currently looking up to see the reviews, heard that wacom is bringing a good stylus out soon so might go in for that one. http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/19...tylus-for-ipad/

hehe, yeah we have a fun and creative team at work I really enjoy working with all of them.

Thanks,
Ashish
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www.ashishdani.com
 
Old 08 August 2013   #32
Hi David,

I really enjoyed all your work done at Blizzard and can't wait to check out the new 'd'artiste: Matte Painting 3 book which you co-authored

I would like to ask you about game cinematic aesthetics and how it differs from working on a feature film. In features, we are mostly concerned about the photo-realistic aspect and how our matte painting shot will gel with rest of the shots but my feeling is that in game cinematic you have more freedom to create more dramatic look or mood. So, how do you define the creative process and is there any difference?

Hope that made sense and thanks in advance for taking time to answer my query

Best,
Rahul
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www.rkvfx.com

Last edited by metalrahul : 08 August 2013 at 02:07 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #33
Originally Posted by ashishdani: Hi David,

Yah its a long ongoing process plus there is so much inspiration around I shall try and get started on some personal projects and post a WIP soon.

Regarding tablets I am looking into a pressure sensitive stylus for the iPad. Currently looking up to see the reviews, heard that wacom is bringing a good stylus out soon so might go in for that one. http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/19...tylus-for-ipad/

hehe, yeah we have a fun and creative team at work I really enjoy working with all of them.

Thanks,
Ashish


Oh wow, that's an awesome new pen from Wacom, didn't know about that! I was gonna get an iPad Mini next generation...but hmm we'll see :P
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
Old 08 August 2013   #34
Originally Posted by metalrahul: Hi David,

I really enjoyed all your work done at Blizzard and can't wait to check out the new 'd'artiste: Matte Painting 3 book which you co-authored

I would like to ask you about game cinematic aesthetics and how it differs from working on a feature film. In features, we are mostly concerned about the photo-realistic aspect and how our matte painting shot will gel with rest of the shots but my feeling is that in game cinematic you have more freedom to create more dramatic look or mood. So, how do you define the creative process and is there any difference?

Hope that made sense and thanks in advance for taking time to answer my query

Best,
Rahul


Hio Rahul,

Thanks for the compliments! Less than 10 days now for public sale of the book whahoo! I can't wait to see it myself physically

Great question! We will always cater to the game story and environment first, and so as a cinematic team, we'll be striving for hyper-realism. Shots that are based on reality physically, but tweaked just a bit so we can art direct it to the Blizzard style we all know and love for the respective franchises such as Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft. That's the true difference between what we do vs what film companies go for (although there are some films that take the artistic route sometimes too instead of just sticking directly with the physical reality of the look). All of the other techniques to achieve said look, is still the same as the film industry when it comes to high quality software, R&D, the team, and the knowledge applied to our shots.
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
Old 09 September 2013   #35
Hey david! as i promised im here to ask you some questions !


I know this one depending of where u work but, how works junior/senior & cie...

It's about time ? Like you work for 5 years in matte painting so you become senior ? Or u can become quickly senior if you are good, or work on alot of shots ?


It's always important to start as a concept art when u want to begin a matte ? Or you just can go into a matte directly, if you got the idea that u want ?

and, would u come visit me in france ? and why not come make a workshop into my vfx school ? !


love ya !

sorry for my bad english guys
 
Old 09 September 2013   #36
Hello David! Great work! You certainly have a good portion of cool projects behind you as previously mentioned here =)

Regarding some of the cool projects, I'm interested in how the blizzard cinematic team work. I know blizzard doesnt release games as often as other large game studios, and they often outsource their cinematics to companies who specialize in that area. Is there any downtime in the cinematic team at blizzard between games, or is there simply enough to do all year around on the inhouse projects? The last one would be my guess, since the cinematics are that awsome and I would guess it takes a lot of manpower and time to create them. But anyways, I'm just curious on how it works, if you could tell us something about it =)
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Old 09 September 2013   #37
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Ackdoh: Allo Boomji! (sorry didn't see your real name!)

Thanks for the compliments, and great to see you have some Silmarillion/J.R.R Tolkien references His world is a huge inspiration to my work. Actually that image, "Skyward Life", will be one of the new matte paintings I created just for the upcoming D'Artiste DMP book with a full tutorial on how to create it. Check out the full flipbook preview here when you can to see a quick overview of how I created it, as well as signing up for the notification when it goes on sale soon! Just a quick general overview of how I created it though was to have a base plate (the foreground) And then getting an idea of what I wanted for the background sky (fantastical/highly saturated looking near sunset looking sky). Then If would find references, and then put them all together via photo textures/painting/color corrections. I would then get a model of a tree (this one I used XFrog plants) which I used Cinema4D for, positioned it with a similar camera angle, lit it, rendered it out to Photoshop. Do further tweaks, painting and colors corrects as well as faking the shadow on the ground, and then do final painting tweaks on top of all of it for an overall color palette.

Regarding your question about Fabio's and Anthony's latest project, I wouldn't change anything!! What they've done is quite epic, and they did it all by themselves in a relatively short amount of time, while learning lots along the way. Usually big sweeping establishing shots like that could be just one off's so they don't have to worry about reusing a lot of that later on, but the work they put into the assets could really allow them to do so in more shots. Fabio will actually be answering some more questions about the piece in the coming days in the DMP forum so be sure to check in again soon here: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...f=196&t=1122044

Thanks for reading and asking!


I will follow up with those links.
Once again, thank you so much david.

b
 
Old 09 September 2013   #38
Originally Posted by rainth: Hey david! as i promised im here to ask you some questions !


I know this one depending of where u work but, how works junior/senior & cie...

It's about time ? Like you work for 5 years in matte painting so you become senior ? Or u can become quickly senior if you are good, or work on alot of shots ?


Allo Ben!

Thanks for dropping by For progression of career, it's definitely due to many factors. The main one, is how good you are and how much you can do in the same amount of time as someone else, and be dependable about it. That will get you noticed quickly by your supervisors and employers for potential promotions. Also showing deep love, respect, and knowledge about a certain aspect in your profession, or being specialized, can also get you noticed if that is something the studio really needs.

The other thing as you mentioned for being a senior artist or higher, is time, or 'seniority'. That can help just by the pure fact that through time, you will gain more knowledge and skills on how to do your job, knowing other people in your team and building a good rapport with them to be more efficient, and also gaining trust in your work place. All of this, will allow you to take on more responsibilities and leadership to level up anyone else who hasn't had the same experience as you do or someone who has just been hired.

A third way is moving from studio to studio. Once you start at once place, you can get the knowledge there, and move on to another place as a freelancer (or working at home) and showing that you can work with multiple clients, which in turns build trust amongst other potential clients, and bumping up your salary each time you move on.

All of these factors will eventually allow you to work on more shots, or more complicated shots or a mix of them, no matter what your expertise is in the VFX pipeline. Once people know you're good and can handle it, you will have a natural change to a more "senior" role at studios and freelancing.

Originally Posted by rainth: It's always important to start as a concept art when u want to begin a matte ? Or you just can go into a matte directly, if you got the idea that u want ?


For having a concept before going into, it's always a good idea to have a concept before starting a matte painting. Usually I go make quick value sketches that are less than 10 minutes each to get a feel of the composition, perspective, and depth. Then I move onto getting a base plate that would work for the sketch, and do a color sketch on top of that...it doesn't even have to be spectacular but just enough to hammer out the main composition, focal point, colors, and atmosphere. I would then start the matte painting from there. At bigger studios, there's usually concept art already done for you and you would build the matte painting on top of that, or have a base plate to key off of already too. If you have an idea so strong enough that you need minimal amount of concept art, that's fine too. But having at least some notion of the idea with compositional explorations will help save lots of head ache and mind changing down the road.

Originally Posted by rainth: and, would u come visit me in france ? and why not come make a workshop into my vfx school ? !


love ya !

sorry for my bad english guys


I would LOVE to come to France some day! It's on my list, but as always, traveling can be expensive and planning which new amazing land to visit each year is always a tough choice If your school offers workshop invites, please let me know! I'm always up for something fun like that.

Hope those were some answers you were seeking, thanks again Ben, and that was fine English! ^_^b
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
Old 09 September 2013   #39
Originally Posted by EinarMartinsen: Hello David! Great work! You certainly have a good portion of cool projects behind you as previously mentioned here =)

Regarding some of the cool projects, I'm interested in how the blizzard cinematic team work. I know blizzard doesnt release games as often as other large game studios, and they often outsource their cinematics to companies who specialize in that area. Is there any downtime in the cinematic team at blizzard between games, or is there simply enough to do all year around on the inhouse projects? The last one would be my guess, since the cinematics are that awsome and I would guess it takes a lot of manpower and time to create them. But anyways, I'm just curious on how it works, if you could tell us something about it =)


Allo Einar!

I'm very fortunate to be able to be a small part of the awesome cinematics team! Our team has usually very little down time, and if we do, it's very rare at times. When there is though, it's always a great time to cross train, or work on little projects to help further develop my skills for the better of the team. Last time we had some down time, we got to work on a team short film that was really fun to be a part of. It's great to be able to work on every game cinematic out there though as we are in production!

About the cinematic process, I can't talk too much about it. But usually we get the story from the game team, and then the director works with the art director to define the world, look, and feel of the cinematic (while working with the game team). Storyboards, previs and then further approvals, and then models, look dev, animation, lighting, FX, matte painting, and compositing to bring it all together. A little DI at the end, and done! We have a great number of talented individuals at the department, and we've grown almost 3 times the amount since I started working here in 2006. Each cinematic, we strive to get better, faster, and higher quality. All with as little overtime as possible, but sometimes it does require us to work a little bit extra at times. This year, I think we really outdone ourselves quality wise with Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls in amazing 1080p resolution!

Thanks Einar!
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
Old 09 September 2013   #40
Cinematic DMP

Hello David,
Would you be able to explain a bit more about the responsibilities of a cinematic matte painter and/or contrast the position compared to a live-action dmp, please? How do the requirements differ in terms of artistic or technical knowledge? Is a cinematic dmp more of a technically proficient illustrator or rather a 3D artist who can paint?

Thank you.
Seema
 
Old 09 September 2013   #41
Originally Posted by seemaschere: Hello David,
Would you be able to explain a bit more about the responsibilities of a cinematic matte painter and/or contrast the position compared to a live-action dmp, please? How do the requirements differ in terms of artistic or technical knowledge? Is a cinematic dmp more of a technically proficient illustrator or rather a 3D artist who can paint?

Thank you.
Seema


Allo Seema!

Thanks for asking such great questions! It's actually very similar as the pipeline we have is setup to be like a small film studio. We get the Director who asks the Art Director what he likes to do to support the overall story visually, and he does some quick concepts, then gives that to the concept team where they will do concepts for environments. These are in turn used by the DMP team to give a rough idea of what the matte painting should look like. The DMP Supervisor would dole out the tasks and shots to the individuals for what suits them best. A person could be more of a generalist and do lots of things, or they can be more painting for projections and work in Photoshop, or they can be more of an environment modeler and texture artist. Most know the software or learn on the job if needed to do a matte painting shot such as Maya, C4D or Nuke, 3dsMax etc. All of these guys would work on the shots together and then output the assets to a compositor later on to be finalized (in some cases they fully finish the shot). So I think it overlaps just as much as the film/vfx studio as a DMP artist on cinematics. It's just we cater to our "clients" internally as a game studio, while the clients on the film/vfx side is to the overall studio they are servicing. Being proficient in both technical knowledge and artistic knowledge is the best, but there are some who lean more on one side or another, and they all work together as a team to get the shot looking it's best.

I haven't worked in a film/vfx studio in forever, so I am thinking it might be the same, but please clarify for me Seema if I'm not! How are things done over at Mr.X as far as skills for a matte painter there in your team?
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
Old 09 September 2013   #42
I'd also like to add that we do have our own Environments Team, where they model and texture the sets in our cinematics, they're amazing! The DMP team would take those and enhance them if needed with projection painting, or if they are one off shots that don't need full reuse of the asests in other shots, would be done all by the team if that's the most efficient way of working.
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
Old 09 September 2013   #43
Hello David,

Do you think you could you give us all a simple walk-through of your daily life as a cinematic artist at Blizzard?

As an aspiring artist I still hold onto that dream of one day working for such a place like Blizzard Entertainment. I'd also like to end this by saying that your work is simply amazing and good luck to all your future projects!
 
Old 09 September 2013   #44
mattepainting in visual effects today

Thanks David
I believe the exact matte painting process in today's vfx production is documented in detail as part of the matte painting 3 Ballistic book, especially the established workflow at Mr. X
It is really shot dependent but there will even be video walk-throughs of real production material included with the book, I've heard

It's nice to hear that the Blizzard cinematics department operates similar to a visual effects studio



Originally Posted by Ackdoh: Allo Seema!

Thanks for asking such great questions! It's actually very similar as the pipeline we have is setup to be like a small film studio. We get the Director who asks the Art Director what he likes to do to support the overall story visually, and he does some quick concepts, then gives that to the concept team where they will do concepts for environments. These are in turn used by the DMP team to give a rough idea of what the matte painting should look like. The DMP Supervisor would dole out the tasks and shots to the individuals for what suits them best. A person could be more of a generalist and do lots of things, or they can be more painting for projections and work in Photoshop, or they can be more of an environment modeler and texture artist. Most know the software or learn on the job if needed to do a matte painting shot such as Maya, C4D or Nuke, 3dsMax etc. All of these guys would work on the shots together and then output the assets to a compositor later on to be finalized (in some cases they fully finish the shot). So I think it overlaps just as much as the film/vfx studio as a DMP artist on cinematics. It's just we cater to our "clients" internally as a game studio, while the clients on the film/vfx side is to the overall studio they are servicing. Being proficient in both technical knowledge and artistic knowledge is the best, but there are some who lean more on one side or another, and they all work together as a team to get the shot looking it's best.

I haven't worked in a film/vfx studio in forever, so I am thinking it might be the same, but please clarify for me Seema if I'm not! How are things done over at Mr.X as far as skills for a matte painter there in your team?
 
Old 09 September 2013   #45
Hio Seema,

Glad to hear that too! And I also can't wait to see the book myself too as well as Milan's wonderful section for Mr. X's workflow and tips

For those checking out this thread, you should also check out Milan's "Meet the Artist" thread that just went live this week here for more fantastic industry Q&A's: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...f=165&t=1122801
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
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