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.
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.
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 :)
An initial demo (v0.1) for 'Minotaur', made in large part from graphics provided by AK-ART, is available from the main U7 website (http://www.uof7.com/minotaur). More locations and goodies will be added to the follow up versions in the weeks to come. At the moment, demo is available for PC platforms only but OSX is coming soon.
AK-ART is hitting some exhibitions. Several sci-fi themed artworks were recently featured at Museum of Science Fiction in Washington, DC an an event called 'Escape Velocity'. (http://www.museumofsciencefiction.org). Along with various other selected artists, every visitor could browse through the artworks and display them on several interactive touchscreens throughout the 3-day event.
The first installment in the 'The Universe of Seven' will be a mixture of adventure game and visual novel - 'Minotaur'. Rich graphics, great characters and mysterious plot guarantee hours of exciting game-play and a great introduction to the U7 lore. The first dose of information, game screenshots (with the exception of anime-like characters, all done by AK-ART) and teaser trailer are already up on the U7 website, so check them out at: http://www.uof7.com/minotaur
Along the game, as an additional source of U7 knowledge and fun, the first chapter of 'Red Crown' has been published as well. Thus time, AK-ART provided illustrations in a different style, resembling style known from Japanese manga comics. So, take a deep breath and dive into a shady world of conspiracies set in the most technologically advanced city in Kyos. The chapter can be found here: http://www.uof7.com/red-crown
Also, make sure to follow the game development, either through the official website or through Indie DB (http://www.indiedb.com/games/u7minotaur) where news and articles are published on regular basis.
As a concept designer, your toolbox has to grow since you never know what project you may need to tackle. Recently, I decided to add Houdini to the collection, especially since it will play an important role as a VFX engine in one of AK-ART's IPs, SimRa. From concept art standpoint, it's also invaluable in VFX design, since it's procedural pipeline gives you fast and intricate results that would be very time consuming with regular 3D modeling.
After several weeks of an intensive course at CGSociety, I just scratched the surface, since there is sooo much more to this powerful app. But you have to make the first step, right? A small "demo reel" made out of short animations will be posted soon and in the meantime, here are some caps.
Being fairly obvious, AK-ART has a new website. More stuff is gradually coming your way, so stay tuned. This News section will be in a way a direct continuation of the old blog (still available at Blogger.com), extended additionally with short case studies (of completed projects), short articles and mini-tutorials/art tips.
Major change is the "Jobs" section, which currently doesn't offer much but it will change as AK-ART keeps expanding. More and more projects are waiting in line, so it's just a matter of time when additional "operatives" will be necessary.