While Minotaur is getting great reviews since its Early Release and have everyone is waiting for more, AK-ART has dip its fingers in a couple of other projects. One of them is another album cover as well as a poster version of the artwork, this time for an Australian glam rock band ‘Crosson’, which will be out soon. Ready for some kick-ass tunes?
Well, the day has finally come. After a long development (~3 years on ‘Minotaur’ alone so far), the Early Release of the game hit the Steam! At the moment, it contains Nod’s Route, the longest one of all characters (several more are currently in the making, they will be added gradually without any additional fees). Also, if you’re a music lover, don’t forget to grab the game + soundtrack combo. The score fits the adventure perfectly and professional voice acting (in English) adds greatly to the immersion. So, go ahead, face the threats of Royce building and see if you’ve got what it takes to get out of it in one piece and solve the mystery. Hope you’ll enjoy all the background and animation work from AK-ART as well as great characters and additional graphics from other artists.
‘Minotaur’ on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/680590/Minotaur/ (special promo -10% till September 12, so grab it while it’s hot!)
And finally… after many months of work (years, ehm.. ehm…), the trailer for the first major route of ‘Minotaur’ has dropped. So, without further ado, enjoy.
Kickass cyberpunk-themed RPG ‘Interface Zero’ is on Kickstarter right now, gearing up for 3rd edition. Some images by AK-ART are used to fuel the campaign, which is going very strong, reaching more and more stretch goals.
If you love cyberpunk and want to support the project (and get some awesome looking books), definitely tune in, there’s only few more days left.
UPDATE: Mission completed! Kickstarter for 'Interface Zero 3.0' reached over $60k, triple its original goal. Lots of cool stuff coming up.
Who doesn’t want to play pirates from time to time? Here are a couple of concept pieces AK-ART created in co-operation with creative agency ‘Golden’ from L.A. for a commercial of a new drug called ‘Emgality’. En garde!
As for the final commercial, you can check it out on producer’s website: https://www.emgality.com/videos
2019 has started with new challenges and new exciting projects. Moving studio from place to place is not an easy task but sometimes necessary. Although transition is still in progress, the work slowly resumes. And there is already a bit on the plate.
‘Minotaur’ is slowly approaching its finish line and should be available within the next few months. The game is still being polished to make it look as cool as possible and to increase the replay factor. There will be multiple endings possible, so it’s a given that you will spend some quality (albeit a bit scary) time in Nova D.C.
Apart from side projects, like new album and book covers, AK-ART has also started working on designs, background art and a whole bunch of things for ‘Dark Ministry’ - an adult-themed alien scum vs. cute anime girls no-holds-barred action with demo and cool trailer planned for this year. It doesn’t get better than that, does it?
Back to work now! Till next time.
Back in 2013, AK-ART helped Digital Frontier to art direct an impressive architectural visualization of renovated shopping center, Ala Moana located on Hawaii. You can check a couple of clips from the final presentation below. Seems like a good place to spend a day (and some cash).
Here are some cinematic frames and other designs from a recent workshop with ILM’s Jama Jurabaev, ‘Concept art for films’. Fun times exploring new tools (including designing in VR with Gravity Sketch and GPU rendering) and coming up with new ideas for old stories. Additional images can be found in Showcase section.
2018 has started and AK-ART is busy as always, slowly wrapping up 'Minotaur', which is currently on Steam. Don't forget to keep an eye on it as it will be released in the coming months, with lots of extra info and artworks coming up. Game characters are already getting excited.
Apart from 'Minotaur', a couple of other projects were recently completed, including concepts for an upcoming Chinese sci-fi movie, epic soundtrack album and book covers for a scifi novel as well as a number of promotional materials. AK-ART also continues to work on its own IPs, including 'Razordome', which is slowly but surely moving forward. Since client projects occupy most of the time, in-house projects are proceeding very slowly but always remain part of the schedule. Currently, initial animation tests are being created for 'Razordome' to establish the visual look of the short. More information as well as a short sneak peak into the animation tests will be available soon on 'RD' Facebook page
No updates for the recent months due to studio relocation and renovation while trying to keep up with all the current projects. Quite a feast. Fortunately, all's good now and AK-ART is back in full swing.
In October, AK-ART was present at a conference 'Future of creating' held in Wroclaw, Poland to touch base with the latest technologies and software. It was a good opportunity to hone 3D skills at in-depth workshops with Autodesk specialists, check the newest 3D printings and CAD tools. It was interesting to see AK-ART's logo during introductory presentation as one of the official users of PCC's software (Autodesk Golden Partner and the conference organizer as well as providers of the latest software and hardware for my studio). Who knows, maybe during the next edition, I'll drop by as one of the presenters to share some workflow tips.
Submission complete! Here are several cinematic keyframes created for the ArtStation's challenge "Beyond Human". Since I typically work in some sort of context, below is a simple story I came up with to ground the artworks a bit.
In III millennium, ‘Arkadia’ is the nickname of a newly discovered planet where humans can move; leaving polluted and overpopulated Earth behind. It is advertised worldwide as a new paradise, perfect for a fresh start. All of this thanks to a giant corporation, Warp-Gen, that created a space warping technology, called Warp Bridge, allowing ships to travel to Arkadia from near-Earth orbit. The catch is, the time of journey is scale-dependent: it takes several years for large-scale transportation vessels, like those that would be used to transport selected Earth population, to get there. Small ships, with few people on board, can arrive there in a matter of days. These are currently used to quickly send engineers, terraformers and parts to Arkadia, so they can build the colony, which will be ready to welcome the first colonists. They are also used to transport winners of the ‘Arkadia Contest’ – a global lottery allowing lucky few to go there already.
The main character, in order to avoid trouble with the law on Earth, steals ID of one of the winners and manages to leave Earth. Upon arrival though, he learns the truth – in reality, Arkadia is a hostile planet with nearly unbreathable air full of mysterious and fatal radiation. Warp-Gen couldn’t detect it while building their Warp Bridge and what appeared to be a perfect planet turned out to be a deadly trap. The company, however, upon spending almost all of the investors’ money, couldn’t afford to build another Warp Bridge. Having at least several years before the first colonists will arrive, Warp-Gen decided to fake the news about the discovery and take the matter into their own hands.
The lucky contest winners are, in fact, Guinea pigs, forced into special mechanized suits during a gruesome process called ‘fusion’ where their bodies are permanently embedded into an air-tight pressurized gear along with a local specimen, pumped into the suit along with breathing fluid, acting as a natural air purifier, prolonging the survival on the surface. Needless to say, the whole experience is less than pleasant. Collectors (as the prisoners are referred to by Warp-Gen) are then set ‘free’ onto the surface of the planet to gather biological samples, radiation data and in general, to test the limits of human survival outside the fortified Warp-Gen outpost. The ultimate goal is to find the true source of deadly radiation, so it can be analyzed and, if possible, neutralized.
To check out the complete entry (including initial sketches and some thumbnails), head directly to ArtStation page here: https://www.artstation.com/contests/beyond-human/challenges/21/submissions/18959?sorting=latest
A couple of news:
1) ‘Minotaur’, mixture of adventure game and visual novel, with AK-ART behind majority of its graphics, has been successfully founded on Kickstarter, reaching over 120% of the campaign goal! Now on to finishing the game and polishing over 150 animated backgrounds for the game itself and the cutscenes. Quite a task. The game is expected to arrive at the end of this year, in several languages and be the first installment in U7 game universe.
2) As promised some time ago, apart from the work on the game, two new tutorials will appear within the next couple of months on Gumroad, both currently being in production:
CG illustration with Shade3D - vol. 2 – the second part of a handy Shade3D overview, this time focusing more on environments – how to create custom terrains, atmosphere, clouds, rain, procedural forest, etc., all entirely in Shade. Final result will be polished, as before, in Photoshop.
Concept art pipeline with Clarisse – in this tutorial, we’ll take a look how to develop a bit more advanced concepts, using mainly combination of Clarisse 3.5 and Maya. Clarisse is a powerful lookdev, compositing and rendering software and we’ll see how it can be used to create a high-end concept art.
Sometimes ambitious personal projects take years to develop. This is certainly true when it comes to 'Seam', an in-house endeavor of a small production/VFX studio Master Key Films. AK-ART provided concept sketches for this project back in 2010, when it was in the initial planning stage and just recently, the studio revealed an actual trailer for the film. It certainly looks interesting, so check it out below:
‘Minotaur’ is live on Kickstarter!
After long preparations, the project is officially kicking in. Have a look at all the new information, eye-popping art (prepared by AK-ART and a very talented character artist), behind-the-scenes clips (including time-lapse video where I create one of the game backdrops) and the newest version of the demo. And, of course, don’t forget to back the project up to grab some awesome rewards. See you all in Nova!
Several artworks from the game have been added to Projects page, so don't forget to check them out!
Time flies! German institute Fraunhofer IOSB (Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation) has presented a game AK-ART provided concepts 5 years ago, back in 2012. It's a mixture of strategy game in space and some serious science (data gathering, analysis of satellite imagery, etc.). Here is a short presentation of the game with some of the concepts visible on display at the Learntec 2017 expo booth (trade fair and convention for vocational education, learning and IT).
2017 has started for good, so what's on the plate? Several things are lining up at AK-ART in the coming months that you may want to look forward to. What exactly?
- new artworks: that's pretty obvious being an art studio but it's about images developed in-house both, to become newest additions to ever-growing Licensing Catalogue and to test various new techniques. Teaser image attached below, more will be popping up in Showcase section throughout February/March. Get ready for some eyecandy!
- new pipelines: AK-ART has upgraded its software arsenal with several new high-end 3D applications, to meet new challenges, which will result in more craziness and complexity when it comes to cinematic keyframes and impressive environments. Time to push the boundaries! A sample concepts will be coming your way soon via AK-ART's Behance, so stay alert.
- new tutorials: apart from a couple of tutorials available already on Gumroad, more is scheduled. We just scratched the surface, so hopefully you're ready for more.
- new VR section: since Virtual Reality is becoming more and more popular and it's necessary to meet growing market demands, AK-ART will soon have an additional sub-page devoted to VR and 360 design, with various examples and available options. Time to get that headset!
- "Minotaur": the ambitious visual novel/adventure game is well into the development process, with AK-ART doing bulk of the art content. Very soon more artworks and info will be released via the official website as the game is scheduled for release in Q4 of 2017.
New teaser, introducing some of the main characters of the game, is up. You can check it up below. All the surroundings (some still in WIP stage) by AK-ART, naturally :)
Hope you enjoyed recent Gumroad tutorial and picked up a few new tricks. You probably remember a couple of strange scripts used to generate some of the complex geometry. If you were wondering what were they exactly, well... wonder no more.
'Efficient workflow with Shade3D' goes over tons of scripts (almost 30!), their installation and usage as well as a bunch of tips and tricks to make your work with Shade faster and more efficient. Get it here: https://gum.co/qYwP
AK-ART hits Gumroad! Following a free basics of Shade3D, the first project-based tutorial is up for the takers on Gumroad. In this Vol. 1, I go over modeling, shading, rendering and finishing an image in Photoshop. Head here to check it out.
Apart from concept art, AK-ART provides matte paintings. Here is one example, a spot promoting UCSD (University of California, San Diego), which you can check out at: https://vimeo.com/183698905
For the clip, AK-ART prepared a matte painting of the main building - a "reversed" version of the actual structure, visible at 0:21-0:25. Done for Golden Studio, LA.