Virtual Tuning Mania

15 August, 2009

One of the many trends that came along with the Fast & Furious movies and the Need For Speed Underground series of games is the “art” of tuning and modifying your car to look as stupid and ridiculous as possible!!!

By that I mean the addition of ‘shark fin’ like spoilers, ‘dragon’ like body-kits full of air vents and grille and the necessary addition of hundreds of stickers of performance (therefore expensive) part brands that your car will never have. A must ‘mod’ is the neon lights under the car! Look dad, my little Seat has been captured by UFOs! Look how it glows!

So it’s bloody typical: you can have a Honda Civic that values up to 3,000€ at the most and still have another 6,000€ worth of tuner stupidity mounted on it!! The car looks like it can rocket up to 60mph in less than 3 seconds whereas reality brings that figure up to something more than 8 seconds. And you tweak it, tune it, buy this spark plug and that exhaust pipe, tweak it some more and tune it some more till one day the poor bastard falls apart.

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Definition of the term “Vexel”

10 February, 2008

A lot of new people in illustration often ask what is “Vexel Art”.

The short answer for it is that it’s mixed discipline artwork; you can combine vector based artwork (paths, shapes, vector lines and polylines) with normal raster artwork (brushes etc). Whenever you combine these two elements, the derivative is called Vexel Art. Most of the time my artwork is vexel art, since I can get the best out the two (vector art and raster art) when combined. And as you can easily understand, vexel artwork can be achieved only with a computer :), it can include some traditional media elements in it, but the end result will be done on your digital friend 🙂

Usually vexel ‘products’ are clean-cut illustrations, since you have all the line control of vectors and the color gradient freedom from raster! Comics in colour are usually vexel artwork, as well as the majority of conceptual automotive or industrial design renderings.

An interesting and more in-depth description of Vexel art can be found here, written by the superb vexel (automotive) artist dangerruss.

Photoshop: Converting Raster Images to Custom Shapes

5 February, 2008

One of the most useful tricks of our trade is the ability to convert within Photoshop a raster image to a custom monochromatic shape.
What’s the use of that? First of all, as you can understand, whenever you bring up the size of your shape, it never looses it’s “quality”, in other words it doesn’t pixelate like raster images do as you pump up their size.

The downside of that is that the shapes produced are monochromatic only; you cannot turn a full color image to a full color vector shape by doing the following procedure. Nevertheless it is a very useful technique that produces stylized monochrome graphics, mostly useful in applications where large scale printing is needed afterwards, eg. monochrome logos: you will be able to scale up to any size your logo without loosing on the image’s quality. Read the rest of this entry »

HotRod at last!

22 December, 2007

It’s been a very long time that I wanted to do an illustration of a badass American HotRod! I love these sexy monstrous looking vehicles! So apart from collecting thousands of Hotrod photos from the web I have not been too active on the actual design front.

A few days ago, I was browsing some hotrod pictures on webshots, when I surfed in a gallery of wallpapers featuring hotwheels toy models with a Christmas themed background! I thought that this is a wonderful idea for a Christmas-card! So the “Hotrod illustration” initiative woke up in me and I begun developing the idea of the Hotrod more seriously, as this would be the item that will be featured in the foreground of the card.

allconcepts_web.jpgThe actual development process proved to be a lot of fun as I wanted to create a rather futuristic Hotrod instead of a classic one, but with a serious doze of retro involved. After all hot rod craziness begun in the 50’s along with Rock’n’Roll, I definitely didn’t want to leave these elements out of the creation.

A few thumbnail 2-minute sketches helped me to establish a radical form for my vehicle, I didn’t want to go too far on the wild side with the design; I was looking for something fresh, futuristic yet maintaining that 50’s Rockabilly tradition. Read the rest of this entry »

’73 Firebird TransAm

11 December, 2007

This is my latest piece of artwork, the 1973 Pontiac Firebird TransAm!

It was done completely in Photoshop in about 26 hours, the original size of one of those Firebirds is 0,8m in width! (@300dpi). As you can imagine my pc stumbled a bit on the painting process, but I really want to do a poster printout of this one!

Also below is a piece I’ve made for Vicky, a friend of mine, in which I’ve used the yellow version of the Firebird.