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Thread: How was this picture made? (concept art analysis)

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    How was this picture made? (concept art analysis)

    So Bungie realeased some concept art for their upcoming game "Destiny". One image in particular blew me away, and here is a crop:

    Name:  destiny.jpg
Views: 3256
Size:  168.4 KB

    What I want to know is how the structure was created. Looking closely it does not have clearly repeated sections you would expect.

    Was this all modelled in max or something like zbrush? Was there some kind of procedural script used to generate/arange bits and pieces?
    I really want to know!
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    Don't know for sure...but the base structural element (which I think has been flipped, rotated and repeated round and about as necessary) could easily have been modeled in 3ds Max with a plugin called "Greeble" which is written and updated by the guy who originally wrote Max, Tom Hudson (so search under Tom Hudson Greeble if you want to find it). Might also be Groboto but I don't think so. Another possibility is a fractal program called "Mandelbrot" (edit: derp...I meant "Mandelbulb). My money would be on Greeble though just because it is much more widely used and easier to control.

    Post again if you find out for sure.
    Last edited by JeffX99; March 25th, 2013 at 08:27 PM.
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    Yup. It's collage.

    You can get a similar effect with paint; look up James Berkey. It's just that a lot of concept artists these days prefer to cut and paste from photos rather than create textures by hand.
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    I never even considered a fractal generating program but I think you're on the the right track. Bravo!

    After doing some research there is a program called Mandelbulber which is probably the one you're thinking of, based on the name Mandlebrot, the mathematician who discovers fractals.
    http://code.google.com/p/mandelbulber/


    Here's some examples: http://krzysztofmarczak.deviantart.com/gallery/

    Another program called Incendia: http://www.incendia.net/download/index.html

    OOOHH!
    http://www.mandelbulber.com/gallery/...hi-d3g36fr.jpg

    another cool pic
    http://www.fractal-recursions.com/files/02070502.jpg


    I have not yet tried either of the aforementioned programs but I will let you know what I find.
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    Yeah - oops, my bad - I meant Mandelbulb. I've played with it and it is very, very funky to me. Incendia seems like it can put out some sweet stuff if you know what you're up to with it. But I still think it likely it was done in Max with the Greeble plugin. Either way it's a cool image.
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    So I've been experimenting with mandlebulb, it really is an amazing thing but the process is essentially trial and error rather than true creativity. If only one could have more control it could be a part of a production pipeline.
    Antialiasing would be nice too, as would the ability to export depth maps.
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    Looking at the geometry in the concept art piece, I dont think it was made this way. Its too had to contain a form to make a useful model. The distribution is also different. Still mathematical, but not fractal. There are some maya scripts than can arrange geometry according to an algorithm, and there's the max greeble, but I haven't tried it yet. My understanding is than it adds geo on top of a model like the surface of the death star for example.

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=max+g...M8bJyAHa5IHACg
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    Couldn't it just be...well... painted? I must admit I don't get this "what was used to make it?" mindset. Or even worse version of it: "What software was used?"

    Here's how the structure in the image was created: It was created using artist's ability. The structure is not as complex as you may seem to think. Look at it closely. The artist managed to fool you into thinking it was infinitely complex, hence needed a "magical" tool to produce it. A competent illustrator could do this using only a pencil.

    If I give you the exact toolset that was used, accompanied by written instruction on how precisely the tools were utilized, chances are you wouldn't be able to replicate the quality if you lack the artistic facility. On the other hand, if your ability is strong, you'll tend to combine whatever tools you have at your disposal to reach the goal; painting, photo manipulation, 2d or 3d plugins. Why does it matter?

    On the tech side, it's very unlikely you can get a structure like this straight out of a fractal generator. Fractals are hard to control. But you can surely collage pieces of it into a final structure. Which again boils down to pure artist's ability, regardless of the toolset.
    Last edited by LaCan; March 28th, 2013 at 10:55 AM.
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    If you see something cool, I feel like it's natural to want to know more about how it was created. If it was made with a pencil, and you didn't expect that, you learn that you should broaden your expectations about what to expect from pencil. If it was made through some crazy alternative process, you get to learn about that. There's nothing wrong with asking questions, and then knowing as a result of them. If you're not sure what the answer is to something, I think inquiring is better than making assumptions.
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    There is zero correlation between tools used and quality. Hence, if you're fascinated by quality ("something cool" as you put it) and wish to replicate it, you're asking wrong questions inquiring about tools.
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    >There is zero correlation between tools used and quality.
    I think this is only applicable to the end result of the piece. A complex structure drawn by pencil rendering can look as good as one created through 3D rendering, but one method of drawing might be vastly more efficient than the other.

    >Hence, if you're fascinated by quality ("something cool" as you put it) and wish to replicate it, you're asking wrong questions inquiring about tools.
    You're fascinated by the quality, but the end quality of the piece is not the topic of inquiry here, the method is. If your objective is to find out how something is made, then researching how it was made is undeniably the preferable course of action. I don't *think any rational people expect to gain artistic superpowers just by knowing how something was made.
    Last edited by snacks ex machina; March 28th, 2013 at 12:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaCan View Post
    Couldn't it just be...well... painted? I must admit I don't get this "what was used to make it?" mindset. Or even worse version of it: "What software was used?"

    Here's how the structure in the image was created: It was created using artist's ability. The structure is not as complex as you may seem to think. Look at it closely. The artist managed to fool you into thinking it was infinitely complex, hence needed a "magical" tool to produce it. A competent illustrator could do this using only a pencil.

    If I give you the exact toolset that was used, accompanied by written instruction on how precisely the tools were utilized, chances are you wouldn't be able to replicate the quality if you lack the artistic facility. On the other hand, if your ability is strong, you'll tend to combine whatever tools you have at your disposal to reach the goal; painting, photo manipulation, 2d or 3d plugins. Why does it matter?
    Sorry dude but you are so, so wrong. First of all it was not just painted. Why don't you try to reproduce this image using only digital paint or a pencil and see how it goes for you. Tools do matter because they affect the aesthetic and unburden the artist with having to spend twice as much time on a piece, which in a production environment like a game studio is very important. I've looked at A LOT of concept art and painted my fair share, this was not done 2d. If you looked closely you would notice the lighting on the forms has sub-pixel detail.
    Furthermore, I cant think of a single concept artist in the industry who just uses basic brushes and no other tools.
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    By the way, just to be clear, this thread was not created to look at one particular piece but to start a dialogue about 3d techniques that can be incorporated into 2d painting. Hopefully it will inspire other artists to try new things and post the results.
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