Meet the Artist: David Levy

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  06 June 2006

I can see u.


  06 June 2006
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!
Freelance artist.
My Website:

My 2 D Challenge-The Journey Begins-

  06 June 2006
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!
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  06 June 2006

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
My website >>
Concept Artist Ubisoft
Nuro ( Polak Touch )
  06 June 2006
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.

Last edited by vyle-art : 06 June 2006 at 05:51 PM.
  06 June 2006
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
You dont have to crit or comment on them, but of course I'd like that

Thanks for taking the time.

", to unleash screaming temporal doom.."

Last edited by InKraBid : 06 June 2006 at 06:38 PM.
  06 June 2006
yo dude

I think that thispiece is one of your best:

Just keep the great work and post more speed paintings !
  06 June 2006
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 ) 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!

Anatomy Thread of Rist

  06 June 2006
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!
  06 June 2006
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
  06 June 2006
one more question

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.
  06 June 2006
- 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: 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!

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.

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...

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.
  06 June 2006
Quote: 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.
Anatomy Thread of Rist


Last edited by Rist : 06 June 2006 at 09:05 PM.
  06 June 2006
Hello Vyle!
I've been following the work of the "Ubi-crew" over on 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.

  06 June 2006

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

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

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