We are proud to introduce our latest design – the Moai iPad docking station. Inspired by the serene, eternal vigilance of the monolithic icons of Easter Island, we’ve upgraded and remixed them for a tongue-in-cheek poke at the persistent distraction of modern digital life.
My life-sized bronze sculpture of Amy Winehouse has just been unveiled on what would have been her 31st birthday. The memorial is located in the Stables Market in Camden, London – Amy’s home for many years.
The piece was commissioned by Mitch Winehouse and I hope is a fitting tribute from a father to his daughter. I have immense respect for Amy as an artist and wish she was still making music.
Our Megafaces Pavilion for the Sochi Olympics won the 2014 Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Innovation. Created by architecture studio Asif Kahn Ltd, engineered by iArt and with art direction and graphics tech by yours truly, the project was a monumental collaboration that tied together amazing creativity and a mountain of technology to create a compelling visual experience for visitors to the Olympic park.
Find the official Cannes submission video HERE.
Celebrating the Grand Prix in the green room
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).
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.
We are excited to have our Hercules XIII tablet stand and the lovely Venus of Cupertino iPad docking station as raffle prizes at the National Portrait Gallery Gala. As two of only 40 raffle prizes, they are in exclusive company along with a Philip Treacy hat, a Gucci handbag, and other amazing prizes.
All proceed support the National Portrait Gallery and its acquisition fund for acquiring exceptional works of historic significance.
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).
Our Hercules XIII tablet stand was named one of the top 10 pieces at London Design Festival 2013 by the Times. This is quite an honour considering that there are thousands of designers exhibiting at the festival in locations all over London. It seems Hercules’ baroque design sense is an appreciated counterbalance to the simple minimalism emerging in things like Apple’s iOS7.
Find more on Hercules at EATON.london
I recently contributed to this ambitious visual effects project. 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!
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.
click for larger
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.
The 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.
My Venus Lamps (and one Venus docking station) are headed to 94 Baker Street today in preparation for the launch of the Apple Apartments – 5 new luxury apartments in the Beatle’s Apple Corps building. Images from the apartments after the launch.
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).
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.