Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Schoolism Live Toronto update

Good news for those of you considering or planning to go to the Schoolism workshop in Toronto. They just added a surprise guest: the amazing Claire Wendling. If you live in the area, don't miss this one! And yes, they did misspell my name on this. It's the curse of being a Nielson.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Willow Ufgood

I was inspired by Matthew Armstrong's cartoon versions of Willow characters. Working on this got me all nostalgic and wishing that Disney would do some sort of remake now that they own the property.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pre-Infinity Spaceships

Before we did Disney Infinity, at Avalanche, we were working on a sequel to the Toy Story 3 Toybox that was based in space with the main characters all working for Star Command. During this time I drew a lot of spaceships---not something I'm particularly good at---but I had a lot of fun anyway.
We were trying to come up with a design that felt like a more massive, starship version of Buzz's spaceship box from the  movies.

I don't remember what I was thinking here.
I had the idea of making the "town" or hub be the spaceship itself---the bottom one here and the rounded ship in the picture below were attempts to pitch this idea. That concept didn't gain any traction. 

I think this was the one they went with. But it has been a while so I can't remember.
A few designs for the bridge of the starship: definitely going for a Star Trek vibe.

Some Zurg ships. I think the whole concept of using a larger ship level was abandoned before I finished doing the interior layout.
This was a revision/caricature of an earlier design by Lee Phung that was used in Toy Story 3.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Disney Infinity Hulk

Hulk designs I did back when we were first coming up with the style for Infinity. I think Disney had recently purchased Marvel and we were excited about the possibility of doing some of these characters.
We did this set of designs when we were pitching to Marvel the idea of extending Marvel characters into Infinity. I think we recognized even early on that the Marvel characters needed to have a bit more anatomical detail than the current Infinity lineup, but we didn't have any idea how to do that and keep true to the Infinity style.
We knew that there should be edges because that's a hallmark of the Infinity style. But which direction should those edges go, and how many sharp edges should there be? 
These paint-overs of represent the extreme end of our exploration for anatomical detail. I think we backed off just a tiny bit for the final models, as you can see in the final toy photos below. Most of the design work for Hulk came from Jon Diesta and Irene Matar, and I mostly supplied alternate solutions for how to handle details and edges, like in these paint-overs. I believe Bryan Allen did all the final sculpt work on the toy, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong guys).

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Infinity Cars Re-post

Another batch of art I deleted a while back, here again to stay.

Sketch/design of the side view done by Jon Diesta



Sketch by Jon Diesta


Sketch by Jon Diesta

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Re-post of Infinity Incredibles Omnidroids

I had to delete these a while ago but I've been cleared to post them again.


I didn't design all the versions in this line-up, I think Jason Kim did the ranged guys but I honestly don't remember who did the revisions on the others.





The left design here is Jason Kim's and so I was trying to figure out the front view.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Infinity Mickey

Redesigning a beloved icon is always a bit terrifying. Redesigning Mickey Mouse was a step above that. I struggled a lot with this one, but luckily we had one Mr. Jason Kim, who seemed to really understand what Mickey was all about, and who pushed his design to the point where I just had to figure out forms and edges. He really deserves most of the credit on this but my guess is that he won't brag about it so I can do it for him.
We went with a different pose in the end, and Jason made some further adjustments to the design along the way, as you can see with the final figure design (this is a marketing image, but pretty close to the figure):

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Presenting at Video Games Symposium

If you're in the area this Friday (Feb 13), I'm doing a couple things at the Video Games Studies Symposium held at BYU.

First of all, I'm doing a presentation called "The Mad Science of Visual and Gameplay Design" from 12:30-1:30pm in F201 of the Harris Fine Arts Center. I'll be talking about things I've learned over the years as an artist and gameplay designer at Disney and elsewhere, and how to find a fusion between the two disciplines. I'm going to show some cool stuff that nobody has ever seen before and if there's time, I might even go through some design process thoughts.

Then from 7-8:30pm in the same room, I'm going to be the moderator of a discussion between some industry-leading (not exaggerating) professionals---including Jeff Bunker, the art director of Disney Infinity and the Tak and the Power of Juju series; and Adam Ford and Geremy Mustard, creators of Infinity Blade I-III. Don't miss this one.

More information here!
http://videogames.byu.edu

I think you can follow event updates here also:
https://www.facebook.com/events/359349160915208/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

Friday, February 06, 2015

Early Infinity 2

With our earliest work on the Infinity 2.0 stuff, we were trying to keep the Marvel characters more in the style of the rest of the Infinity characters. Of course, Marvel would have none of that, but I personally still prefer some things about these versions of the characters. Jon Diesta deserves most of the credit with his strong sketch of Iron Man, but I did get to help resolve the forms and details a bit under his art direction. That guy has a pretty amazing sense of design.
Here is where the final character ended up, for comparison.


Thursday, February 05, 2015

Infinity Anna

I hear it's okay for me to post Disney Infinity stuff again, so there will at least be something for me to post while I'm buried in other projects.
Here are a couple takes on Frozen's Anna. This was based on some earlier concept art, then we revised her look as we got more information. The far right are my first sketches, then the middle came next, and the one on the left last, with some help getting the pose right from Jason Kim.
Images copyright by Disney.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Workshop in Toronto!

This code allows my followers to get a discounted All-Access Pass to the March workshop in Toronto. The pass is normally $200 and this allows you to get one for $150. The group of speakers for this is pretty amazing, so I think the all-access is definitely the way to go!

Promocode: NIELSON

Link to purchase: http://www.schoolism.com/workshop-toronto/


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Soprano

A singer I saw performing today at BYU. I bought Kyle Webster's brush megapack and I've been trying it out. There are a lot of brushes for inking, so if you're into line quality, it's a great brush pack. Not as many great brushes for painting, but there are a few that I really like.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Helping Hands" Cover

Done for The Friend magazine. The blues printed out a bit darker than this (the rest of the colors were fine), so you can see what I originally intended.
The letter thing in the lower right doesn't make a lot of sense without the graphic elements in place, but this way you get to see what I was seeing while I worked.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Black and white, no lines

I started up an instagram: you can follow me here. I'll keep posting better quality versions here on my blog, and if I ever find free time again, I'll get back to posting art tips and tutorials (also here).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vancouver workshop!

I've been so busy with projects recently that I keep forgetting to post this. I'll be teaching a workshop along with some legendary artists, in Vancouver in January. I'll be melding some of the stuff from my Schoolism classes together and adding some new things I've been learning into a workshop on how light can be used to tell story. Of course my demo will be painting, but the ideas will apply to any discipline that fuses value, color, and composition. I can promise that the other artists will make it worth coming, and I'll do my best to add something useful to the mix. My guess is that tickets will sell fast, so don't wait too long to sign up if you plan on coming.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Posted by request

Andrea Femerstrand (who you really should be following because she's amazing) asked what was different between my final version of this and where I ended up at the end of the class demonstration.
After end of lecture
The finished version
I think the earlier version more clearly communicates the feeling I wanted with the lighting, but that required the lighting to feel a little bland and static (perfect as a narrative beat but not as great for a stand-alone image). So I punched some of the contrast and added some soft rim lighting. I tried to look at the image from a distance and up close since once the image is posted I couldn't control the scale people see it at. I also changed some of the colors because I didn't like the color relationships in the original image. Anyway, I hope that is helpful to see.