Monday, June 24, 2013

High Voltage 20 Year Mural

I recently created this image that was used to celebrate High Voltage Software's 20 Year anniversary. This image features many of the licenses they worked on and created through the years and was digitally printed as a wall-decal that now is a permanent fixture in their conference room.

One Shot Pen Drawings

Probably my favorite way to work for fun is to have no idea what I am going to draw, get an ink pen and just start going and see where I end up. No erasing, no over thinking, just streaming out whatever quickly, and then looking at what came out. Here are a couple I did recently...

Secret Saturdays

I grew up fascinated with mythical creatures and the unknown. All those commercials for Time Life books about spooky unknown things, and growing up in what I hear is one of the most sighted UFO regions in America had an effect on me... and made working on Secret Saturdays a treat.
I was given descriptions of actual Cryptozoological creatures and had to do quick concepts in the show's style, which were approved by the show's creator and handed off to modelers to model and animate.

If any of these creatures peak your interest you can actually google their names and learn more about them.


Here are some examples of some low-poly modeling I did for Go Diego Go! Safari Rescue, and Ben 10 Protector of Earth. There were many similarly shaped humans and animals in Go Diego Go! so in order to save time I created a base body shape for humans and quadrupeds that I could quickly modify to create a new character or animal type in a day.

Here are a couple props from Ben 10, I chose these to show because both are so cheap in their poly use.

Astro Boy the Video Game

When I was the Lead Artist for Astro Boy the video game I got to wear a lot of hats creatively and had to come up with a lot of ideas very quickly.  For example, below is the "napkin doodle" as I call it, of Astro Boy's fight moves. I wanted to give Astro Boy an attack combo that used his whole body and had a spinning sort of motion to it.
 This was given to the animators along with me acting out the moves step by step in their office- complete with sound effects- to convey what I was looking for. Sometimes on a video game project there isn't a whole lot of time, maybe just a couple of hours, to nail down an idea and "napkin doodles" and play-fighting with your friends is just another fun part of the process.

Here are a couple of the original character designs I sketched up for the game. Both of these were started as game-design functional needs, meaning that the game designers and I wanted a character that say; dropped down from above, was immovable and blocked a path...and maybe had a variation that could do long-ranged, targeted attacks too. I had to quickly design something for them to pass to the game designers, modelers, and animators to start working on. The result were these little guys. I still wish I could have little TOMY style wind up toys of these guys.

In the early stages of creating a game sometimes you need to show the client what the game will look like fully finished before it exists. These images we call "game in a frame." Here is the game in a frame I created to show the client what the side-scrolling flying level of Astro Boy would look like.
 I am especially proud of that level because we  very creatively solved the background issue. The idea for the level was to have Astro Boy fly through these massive and complicated environments, dodging and fighting through bad guys and obstacles, but we couldn't afford to actually load and render that kind of a background on the platforms we were working with so I came up with the idea: Lets play a pre-rendered video in the background and have the characters just superimposed over it! It was tempting to model these backgrounds at a high resolution, higher detail than the consoles would normally be able to render real-time, since these backgrounds were going to be just videos playing in the background, but in order to keep the illusion that these were actually in-game assets, and not burden the player with realizing the background was a videowe modeled and rendered them as close to in-game assets as possible. The result was great.

Even though I have a title of Artist, most of the time I have my hands, and mind in many aspects of the process. On Astro Boy we were creating a side-scrolling platformer, and I got to do some napkin-doodles and quick sketches of level design ideas for the designers. This image is one of them, and it was so fun to design side-scrolling levels this way. It made me feel like a kid again looking at level maps in magazines like Nintendo Power trying to figure out say, the racer level in Battle Toads.

Here are some random other things I did while Leading on Astro Boy. On the top of this image you will see a User Interface flow chart created to show designers and programmers how to set up the architecture and flow for the UI. I have had a lot of experience in the UI area, so this sort of thing comes naturally to me at this point.

On the bottom half of this image are some quick character texture swaps to create varied looking characters, and of course a crate and a barrel for the modelers to work from. Astro Boy had a unique aesthetic and blending the film's look while adding some of the charm of the original Japanese mangas and animations was fun.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Matte Paintings

And here are some good 'ol matte paintings. These were fun to do for background cards on Avengers Initiative.

Hulk Promo Paint Up

Hulk Promo Paint-ups

Not only do living human models need some Photoshop love to look their best in close-ups and on magazine covers, video game models need it too. I have worked on both human and video game model paint-overs and touch ups. The Hulk paint over for Avengers Initiative was a fun one.

First I make some renders of the in-game model (Left) and then paint over it to add more photo-real elements to give it that final touch of life for extreme close ups and marketing uses such as ads and cover images (Right).

Here is a close up of the final painted face.

And here is the full body paint over.

Hulk Concepts for Avengers Initiative

Here are some of the costume concepts I did for the Hulk in the Avengers Initiative game.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Here is some character iteration I did a while back for what was going to be a game based on the Heroes television show. She was to be the main character, a new hero that was exclusive to the game.

UI work

I have been digging through some of my old video game work lately and thought I would post some of it up.

Here is some of my old UI work.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

LIfe Drawing At SORA

I have been doing some life drawing at the School of Representational Art here in Chicago. Here's some of the results.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Show Class Mag: Issue 5 is DONE.... and FOR SALE...

Show Class Mag: Issue 5 is DONE.... and FOR SALE...: Packed with GOOD stuff...... INNER View with Diamond Dave Polgreen, Interview with Irish Rich, SPECIAL79 project, tons of rad bikes, how-to ...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Benjamin Savage on Canadian Kid's Show "In Real Life"

On November 22nd on I was on Canadian television kid's show In Real Life.

Drawing for the show was quite a challenge as I had to draw on the spot based on a string of descriptions run off, on the spot, by the young contestants on the show, while both the kids and I were simultaneously timed! I have never drawn like that before and it was a challenge and a fun one at that.

Growing up I had read that Sergio Aragones was this incredibly fast drawer, and since I loved his art in Mad Magazine, and Groo comics I always aspired to be the fastest artist I could be. Being with the kids in the game-show-like atmosphere and having to draw so rapidly to the real-time-stream of consciousness descriptions while being recorded for TV was exhilarating and reminded me of my childhood love of Aragones' art and how as a kid I imagined he created.

I am proud to say that; although the drawings on the show are not anywhere near my usual quality, (definitely not the kind of drawings I would want to showcase on television) that I stepped up the the challenge having been asked to do this like, the night before.

The kids, and everyone working on the show were great people! Thanks for a fun time!

And if anyone can find me a viewable video of the episode, let me know! All I can find online is the episode 8 trailer on this page.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tournament of Legends

Here's a promotional image I did for High Voltage Software's latest release Tournament of Legends. The Logo was done by Bob Nelson, the characters were modeled by Roland Herran and Cliff Westfall. I concepted the Medusa, and Skeleton characters on the far left and right sides as well.