Feb 132014
 

Megafaces Sochiclick for larger

I am just back from the Sochi Olympics where I was working with the amazing teams from Asif Kahn and iArt on the “Megafaces Facade” for the Megafon pavilion. Over the past six months I have been providing creative direction for this crazy project.

I was asked to come on-board to provide expertise in computer graphics, lighting, faces, and overall aesthetics to the piece. The challenge from a visual design perspective was to take raw, 3d scan data from the ‘photobooths’ in the pavilion and then develop an automated solution, which we called the Creative Processing Pipeline (CPP), for coloring, relighting, composing and outputting the faces to the facade in way that, well, looks cool. It is a bit like composing a drawing or photograph, but algorithmically so that it always (ermm, almost always) produces a compelling visual result.

asif-khan-designs-an-architectural-mount-rushmore-for-sochi-winter-olympics_asif_khan_megaphon_sochi_-hufton_crow_024_tnChecking the output before the opening ceremony

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Feb 012014
 

Ogre Digital Sculpture - early concept designclick for larger

Every so often I get the chance to work on fun, creative visual effects projects. I was approached by Realise Studio in London to help them with a character design for a commercial – an Ogre. The script had potential – a father has been transformed into an ogre by the pressure of his day-to-day life, a much-needed family holiday transforms him back to himself. Short and sweet. The proposed methodology combined prosthetics with selected digital-face replacement, as good strategy to reduce the amount of work in post-production (as opposed to creating a fully computer-generated face for the entire commercial as in the Audrey Hepburn piece).

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Sep 152013
 


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The White Horse is finally installed in London. This is the project of artist Mark Wallinger and was originally planned as a towering 50m tall horse (as tall as the Statue of Liberty) to be erected in the countryside of Kent and visible from the Eurostar. But around the big crash, arts budgets downsized and so did the scale of the horse. Now it is only a very average ‘life-sized’, but it is still striking in its crisp white finish and realism. About a year ago I worked with the team from Sample & Hold to refine the digital version of the horse, based on a scan of Mark’s actual horse. I spent time adding anatomical accuracy and life to the head, face, legs, and hooves (at the time my horse skills were primed, having just finished Spielberg’s War Horse).


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After a bit of massaging the data was sent off for fabrication. Through a combination of 3d printing, CNC machining, and casting, the piece was brought to life – albeit at a scale smaller than originally intended. But if you are in London and want to check it out, it will be on display on the Mall (just off Trafalgar Square) for two years.


fabrication, in progress

Sep 102013
 



If you haven’t yet seen the Galaxy chocolate ad with the reincarnated Audrey Hepburn it is worth checking out here. The piece is bound to stir up controversy – bringing a beloved actress back from the dead to flog chocolate bars may not be everyone’s idea of good taste. However, the technical achievement is clearly impressive and full credit should be given to the visual effects team at Framestore for pulling it off with very tight deadlines!

I was involved in the very early stages of the project, helping spec out the requirements (which amounted to a host of very intimidating computer graphics challenges) and then sculpting the original likeness of Audrey. I passed this digital maquette of Audrey to the capable team at Framestore and then, because of scheduling commitments, had to wash my hands of the project. I waited with keen interest to see how they would handle the really hard challenges – facial rigging, shading, and animation. Knowing how difficult the tasks were in front of them, my expectations were tempered with a healthy dose of reality. But having just seen the piece, I am impressed. Does it successfully cross the uncanny valley? Pretty close, but I am sure there will be much debate on this. Regardless, I am sure it will be remembered, for good or bad, as one of the pioneering celebrity “reanimations” (along with Tupac and a few others) that kicked off the new trend in posthumous advertising leads.

Sep 062013
 

Zombies are everywhere this year – WWZ, Plants Versus Zombies (2), the Walking Dead, the Last of Us, and on and on. They are taking over the world and I am partly responsible for this zombie apocalypse as I developed some of the early concept art for World War Z.

Here are a couple of the zombie “studies” I did for the film. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but as someone commented on my Facebook page, there is touch of Giacometti in them. Yes, I try to bring art to zombies.

World War Z Zombie Concept Art

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Aug 212013
 

Valve_FacialAnatomy_tn

I am just back from a three-day Facial Anatomy workshop at the legendary Valve Corporation. It was great to be back in Seattle for a return visit. As many of you know, Valve is an incredible company with a very unique studio environment, so it is always fun to work with them for a few days.

Dota2_AegisOfChampions_tnThe Valve crew had just wrapped the 3rd Annual Dota2 International, a five-on-five tournament with a first prize of $1.4m (more than quite a few ‘traditional’ sporting championships), so there was a bit of a Dota theme running through the place. Donkey couriers greeted me in the lobby and then the impressive Aegis of Champions turned up later. If you are at all curious to see how videos games are rapidly becoming a spectator sport, watch one of the final games and check out the crowd on hand at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

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Jun 172013
 

I am just back from a great visit to Ubisoft’s Toronto studio where I ran a two-day facial anatomy masterclass for throngs of their artists (animators, riggers, concept artists, and character artists), followed by a day of intense portraiture and facial expression sculpting in ZBrush for only the character artists. Over the three days we covered a lot of juicy facial anatomy stuff, all of which will be covered in my upcoming online course. So if you are interested in a deep understanding of portraiture check back soon (or join the newsletter for announcements).

TIMELAPSE VIDEO

I get a lot of requests to post more ZBrush timelapse sculpting sessions on my website, so here you go, straight from the Toronto workshop. Continue reading »

May 292013
 

3d Artist cover, Scott EatonI am a little embarrassed by the attention but there is a seven page interview with me in Issue 54 of 3DArtist magazine.

I talk about art, design, visual effects and the importance of artistic fundamentals (drawing, anatomy) to the creative process. There is also a bit on ZBrush technique, 3d printing, and a peak inside one of my sketchbooks from War Horse.

3d artist interview, Scott Eaton

Apr 272013
 

I am just back from giving an intense but enjoyable week of anatomy masterclasses to a talented group of artists at Sony’s Santa Monica studio. These are the guys and girls who have the enviable job of crafting the God of War franchise, a series of amazing games steeped in Greek mythology, a theme after my own heart.

Over four days I covered a ton of anatomy for the character artists, concepts artists, animators and riggers at the studio. But by late in the third day everyone was reaching saturation so we had a little fun trying to update my infamous Gallery Abominate with some of their work from God of War Ascension. The most interesting discovery from the week though: cervical ribs occur in approximately .2% of the population, and one artist on the course had this ‘neck rib’, making him officially a statistical outlier. Exciting stuff ;) .

Apr 012013
 

anatomy for artist course

The Winter Anatomy for Artists course starts on January 24th. Since the online course started almost four years ago there have been a wide range of artists on the course including character artists from visual effects and video games, comic book artists, concept artists, oil painters, stone carvers, medical illustrators, medallion makers, figure sculptors, photographers, fashion designers and even a chainsaw sculptor.

No matter what your medium, if you are an artist looking to master the human figure this is the course for you.


COURSE INFORMATION & REGISTRATION

Mar 232013
 

zbrush sculpture of Prometheus

The Winter session of Digital Figure Sculpture starts on January 24th. This course covers the critical foundation necessary to build naturalistic figures in ZBrush, including all the tools and techniques that I use day-to-day in my own figure sculpting – both on my art projects and on feature film characters.

Over ten weeks artists get a chance to hone their skills by completing numerous weekly figure studies and one detailed full-figure study. The course reinforces the importance of anatomy as the critical foundation for building realistic figures and shows practical construction techniques for applying this knowledge to figure sculpture. The goal is for every artist on the course to increase the realism and naturalism of their figurative work in ZBrush.

For more information and registration see the Digital Figure Sculpture course page here.

Jan 182013
 
Venus of Cupertino at the London Design Festival

The Venus of Cupertino, my iPad docking station, is just back from a busy week at the London Design Festival. She received countless oogles, smiles, and appreciation over the four days. She was even chosen as the top design at the festival by a prominent online design & lifestyle magazine.

Now that the Venus of Cupertino is almost all grown up, most future posts and updates on the Venus project will be found at: VENUS.io There you can follow all the gossip, blogs, & tweets. And of course you can order her there as well!

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Dec 202012
 

I have recently returned from a great week of lecture and workshop at Ubisoft Montreal (legendary for their work on the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Prince of Persia series). The topic for the week was Portraiture and Facial Anatomy and we covered a huge amount of secret knowledge for constructing faces. If you are interested in going in-depth on ALL the important aspects of portraiture and facial anatomy for artists, then check out the workshop I run in London, OR stay tuned for the online course coming this Spring! Sign-up to the the newsletter to stay informed.

May 012012
 

Metal logo in Valve reception

I’ve just finished a fantastic, four-day intensive anatomy course for the artists at Valve in Seattle, WA. For those not in the know, Valve is the collective talent behind the Half-Life and Portal series as well as many other landmark games. A truly unique company with amazing artists.

-> VALVE

Apr 122012
 

ZBrush digital sculpture of aging man for Spaceman project

Here is a work-in-progress image from a collaboration with two old colleagues from my days at the MIT Media Lab. They are conceptual designers working on a project to visualize the effects of zero-gravity on human form. The exhibition will have many aspects but my contribution will be two life-sized 3d-printed heads showing the difference in form between a man raised on earth versus a man raised in space. The image above shows the man raised on earth. The next step is to reverse the effects of gravity and UV exposure, and then get these off to the 3d printer. More images coming soon…

Apr 122012
 

one of Scott's cyclops designs from Wrath of the Titans click for larger

OK, it may or may not be a quality movie but there are decent visual effects in there. The CGChannel website has an article talking about the visual effects behind Wrath of the Titans. I designed and sculpted the three Cyclops in the film and then nurtured them, like giant one-eyed children, through much of the post-production process. My design process is always firmly grounded in the plausibility of the anatomy I am creating and the cycloptic eyes proved an interesting challenge (with mixed success). Below are a couple images of the concept sculptures I create while working up the body types and personalities of the three Cyclops – the aged father and the two brothers.

ZBrush sculpture of the old Cyclops in Wrath of the Titans

studies in ZBrush for the Cyclops in Wrath of the Titans
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© Copyright 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Mar 222012
 

anatomy for artists app - iphone, ipad, OSX

I have been busy over the past months revising and updating Jean-Antoine Houdon’s classic L’Ecorché sculpture for the soon to be released iOS App of the same name. The app is a collaboration between myself and legendary character sculptor Michael Defeo. I will post more on the app, including some behind-the-scenes ‘making of’ videos, soon.

Until then, please check out the app’s Kickstarter project for more information.

Mar 192012
 

male figure sculpture from Zbrush

The next session of the Digital Figure Sculpture Course is getting ready to start on so I thought I would post this image from the culminating exercise and also talk a little bit more about the philosophy and goals of the course.

Simply, the goal of the course is to teach students how to create more naturalistic figure sculptures. Too often artists struggle to breathe life into their figures and are left scratching their heads as to what went wrong. There are many stages where things can go off track but most often it is inexperience with anatomy, planes, volumes, and proportions. Everyone wants to jump straight in and put muscles onto their sculptures but in their zealousness they forget the critical construction and proportions that hold things together. The course guides artists through the entire process.
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Dec 192011
 



I am just back from a fantastic week of anatomy workshops with the character team at Rocksteady Studios, the creators of the wildly successful Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Batman: Arkham City games. Over five days we covered a lot of territory, going deep into human anatomy and portraiture, including some inside secrets on facial anatomy. While I was there, the Joker took home the “Character of the Year” award at the VGAs! Congratulations to the team at Rocksteady. I think there are a lot of people looking forward to what you do next (no pressure)!

Nov 072011
 

As many of you already know, the second session of my online Digital Figure Sculpture course is underway. A group of artists are hard at work learning new techniques in ZBrush and studying hard to make great progress as figure sculptors. To give everybody a taste of the types of projects they are working on week-to-week, I have started a blog where I will post updates as the course progresses. If you have an interest in ZBrush and figure sculpture, check it out.

Digital Figure Sculpture Course: Weekly Blog

Week 7 Exercise - Refining the full figure sculpture in ZBrush

Weekly Fragments:

During the first half of the course, students complete weekly studies that focus on areas of the body in isolation. These are a few of the ZBrush exercises that students are shown how to complete.

Zbrush Figure Sculpture Course weeks 2-5

Oct 212011
 

ILM - August visit teaching Anatomy for Artists course

I am just back from a return trip to Lucasfilm, this time to their Singapore studio where I ran courses for their artists at ILM and Lucasfilm Feature Animation (the Rango guys). Over the week I ran two intensive anatomy courses for 30 of their artists (morning and afternoon sessions). The group was divided almost down the middle between modelers and riggers, though there was a stray animator and concept artist thrown in the mix well. The crew was great – obviously a very talented group of artists – and we were able to go in-depth into all the critical anatomy that applies to their work on feature film characters and creatures.

This trip reminded me a lot of the last time I visited Lucasfilm in San Francisco. Pretty much if you don’t like Star Wars, this is not the place to visit. It is everywhere and Yoda greats you at the entrance to both places (he has evolved in style a bit over the years). Luckily, I grew up with Star Wars and was a big fan (though, like most, lukewarm about the three prequels). The outstanding highlight of both visits is still the personal tour of Skywalker Ranch!

A picture of Scott at skywalker Ranch from an earlier lecture tour at Lucasfilm, San Francisco
At Skywalker Ranch