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About Digital Art / Professional Not actually DonovanMale/United States Recent Activity
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First things first, happy new year everyone, and may 2016 be a better year than its predecessor. Seriously, hardly anything seemed to go well last year, I don't know about the rest of you, but I could really go for a better year this time around.

Now, onto that video game rambling I promised. The big holiday Steam sale is over, and I noticed something in the process of sitting through my three Discovery Queues per day - Valve did a great job of tricking me into going out of my way to view ads on its aggressive DRM adware. Gotta get those cards!

I kid though, sorta... That's not the main thing that stood out to me, and Steam's okay by me as long as I can play my games whether or not my internet connection is up at the time. Mostly, what I wanted to address was a really obvious trend in the games it was showing me. Now, maybe it's just set to sell me on genres I don't really touch, but I got the feeling from the queue that at least half of all PC games are either RTS or some kind of turn-based strategy. Quite possibly more. Are those genres really in such demand among PC gamers? I know that those genres have traditionally been well-represented on the PC, makes sense since mouse and keyboard is THE way to play them, but I dunno... I thought that the world of PC gaming had diversified more in the past few years, but the queue reminded me too much of what I regard as the bad old days of PC gaming - nothing but drab grey and brown RTS and FPS games. Except there wasn't all that much to see among FPS even, as far as I could tell. At least, not as far as the single player focused ones I prefer. Maybe the difference is simply that I payed more attention to what PC gaming overall has to offer than I had before, but my optimism regarding the platform dropped. I'd always hoped for more console-style games coming to what I would consider the superior platform, and I thought that was happening, but now I'm not so sure.

With that said though, the glut of RTS/strategy/sim games wasn't the only problem, the other type of game I saw way too much of was the overly retro looking indie games. You know, the ones that intentionally look like NES games. Or more likely, some weird combination of NES graphics and stuff a NES could never handle, like too many moving objects at once, or rotation and scaling. And, if you'll excuse a little divergence: PIXELS CAN'T ROTATE OR SCALE. If you're going to do old-fashioned "pixel" graphics, at least do them right. Keep them all the same size and nice and straight. Half-assed pixel art presentation is the worst. Anyway, there were a ton of Steam games that did the super retro thing, and I dunno, maybe I'm alone in this... But while I miss the old colorful style of games before realism became popular, I don't miss the old technical presentation at all. Good riddance to those old limitations I say, be it 8-bit style or first-gen 3D low poly style, graphical presentation is just something in the way of the art. And the more powerful the graphics, the less there is in the way of the art. I get that art takes time, believe me, I understand extreme budget limitations, but is it too much to ask for at least 16-bit style presentation of retro indie games? Or better yet, how about indie gaming quits with the whole retro and/or "artsy" presentation aspect entirely, and just does the best visuals they can with the time and budget and art skill available? High-end gaming is pretty much a lost aesthetic cause due to whatever forces them to go for ugliness and realism on just about every game with a decent budget, presumably marketing executives, but what good is the indie alternative if they just waste their creative freedom on being overly retro? Obviously Capcom and Squeenix have no intention of making new games with that old visual style I love, but it seems like the indie scene is totally failing there too. They're obviously going for nostalgia, but they're going for the wrong aspect and/or time period. If they (or the big-time devs) would just make games with the style of Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire, Darkstalkers or the like, but with newer/less-limited graphical presentation, they'd totally get my nostalgia money.

So anyway, yeah, Steam kinda left me depressed about PC gaming in the process of advertising to me. Hardly anything but RTS, MMOs, and unappealing art direction to be seen. It's depressing both as a consumer of games, because there wasn't much to get excited about playing, and as an artist who would like to be making games, because it paints a gloomy picture regarding demand for what I'd like to be doing. Nintendo is making Mario games with updated graphics but the classic colorful stylized aesthetic and that works for them, but why is that combination nearly non-existent elsewhere? And why can't I win the Lottery or something so i can afford to hire a coder and make some colorful non-retro single-player PC gaming myself.
  • Mood: Angsty
  • Listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6GNkf6DCnE
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Deus Ex Human Revolution Director's Cut
Pokemon Team Group Photo Commission by LordDonovan
Pokemon Team Group Photo Commission
It's been a long time since I've done any Pokemon fan art, but that finally changed. Why? Because :iconbluecuban: finally properly incentivized the matter. Which is to say he commissioned me. My interest in Pokemon never waned, but my need for money burns brighter than ever.

Plus, the idea was to draw his original Red and Blue team in a group photo context, and that's an idea right up my alley. For though I still like the idea of Pokemon and the aesthetics, I haven't seriously played the games in years, since they never seem to make the gameplay changes I want. They add stuff, but it's always on top of the same basic game design decisions I never liked from the get-go and got sick of fairly fast. So not having played the games in a long time, I don't really have the connection to the newer Pokemon that I do to those of Red and Blue or Gold and Silver, those were the games my team came from. I totally get that nostalgic focus on the oldschool Pokedex, and who among us didn't imagine being the trainer out on their own journey with their team of favorites? Which leads me to the central character, bluecuban also wanted a custom trainer designed to his specifications, and that's him. Not the flashiest looking trainer ever, but the goal was to go with that original trainer vibe, and those original designs weren't all that flashy.

Speaking of art direction, in the process of drawing this, I realized how little facial expression variety some Pokemon have. bluecuban wanted the illustration to show the personality his various Pokemon were supposed to have, which was cool, it gave me something interesting to work with. But have you ever tried to find official art of a golem or raticate with any expression other than their stock angry look? It doesn't exist. They're usually drawn in almost identical poses too. With Haunter it was really easy to make him emote and you get lots of options with the floating hands, wartortle's got an expressive face and moderate range of motion with those stubby limbs, but man was it hard to do something interesting with golem or raticate without them looking weird. And unfortunately, they still kinda did. The idea was to draw everything official style and on-model, and I'm all about accurate fan art, but I also don't want to just draw the same stock pictures again, that's not earning my pay. So ultimately, I'm conflicted by that golem and raticate, on one hand I'm not totally happy with how they looked, but on the other I wonder how right they really could be while trying to look boisterous, confident, and happy. Butterfree's pretty much a stock redraw, but that one doesn't bother me as much because there seriously isn't really anything else to do that makes sense for the group photo context with its minimal pose and expression options. I sketched up other poses that looked fine, they just didn't fit for hovering still for a photo.

As always, the whole thing was done start to finish in Photoshop.

If you like what you see here or anywhere else in my gallery, please feel free to contact me and talk some business.
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Craps Table Model by LordDonovan
Craps Table Model
If you thought I'd never post anything with "craps" in the title, you were wrong. So have your giggles now because it probably won't happen again.

So with that said, this is a craps table I made for a job a while back that, as far as I know, never ultimately got used for anything. But it looked nice regardless, so here it is. The thing I'm most proud of, and want to emphasize the most, is that absolutely all the lighting and shading is painted in to the textures, the renders have no lighting used, just fully self-illuminated textures. (And a little contrast tweak on the main render.) None of the lighting or shading in the texture was baked in or automatically calculated in any way, it's 100% hand-made. The only part of the texture not completely made myself is the lines and writing on the table top itself. Other than that, it was all completely done the old-fashioned way, to the extent anything in CG can be old-fashioned. And of course, I did all the modelling too.

On a side note, creating a full scene where all textures and lighting are painted in by hand is something I've wanted to do since basically the first time I ever touched 3D visuals, but I've never quite gotten around to. So bland subject matter aside, making this table was kind of cool simply for being able to try out an idea that was always on the backburner.

The model and textures were made in 3DS Max and Photoshop, as usual.

Download for a ridiculously huge version if you want maximum detail.
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For the first time in years, I have finally caught up with all my old and outstanding Notifications. Hooray!

Guess I should do some art now...
First things first, happy new year everyone, and may 2016 be a better year than its predecessor. Seriously, hardly anything seemed to go well last year, I don't know about the rest of you, but I could really go for a better year this time around.

Now, onto that video game rambling I promised. The big holiday Steam sale is over, and I noticed something in the process of sitting through my three Discovery Queues per day - Valve did a great job of tricking me into going out of my way to view ads on its aggressive DRM adware. Gotta get those cards!

I kid though, sorta... That's not the main thing that stood out to me, and Steam's okay by me as long as I can play my games whether or not my internet connection is up at the time. Mostly, what I wanted to address was a really obvious trend in the games it was showing me. Now, maybe it's just set to sell me on genres I don't really touch, but I got the feeling from the queue that at least half of all PC games are either RTS or some kind of turn-based strategy. Quite possibly more. Are those genres really in such demand among PC gamers? I know that those genres have traditionally been well-represented on the PC, makes sense since mouse and keyboard is THE way to play them, but I dunno... I thought that the world of PC gaming had diversified more in the past few years, but the queue reminded me too much of what I regard as the bad old days of PC gaming - nothing but drab grey and brown RTS and FPS games. Except there wasn't all that much to see among FPS even, as far as I could tell. At least, not as far as the single player focused ones I prefer. Maybe the difference is simply that I payed more attention to what PC gaming overall has to offer than I had before, but my optimism regarding the platform dropped. I'd always hoped for more console-style games coming to what I would consider the superior platform, and I thought that was happening, but now I'm not so sure.

With that said though, the glut of RTS/strategy/sim games wasn't the only problem, the other type of game I saw way too much of was the overly retro looking indie games. You know, the ones that intentionally look like NES games. Or more likely, some weird combination of NES graphics and stuff a NES could never handle, like too many moving objects at once, or rotation and scaling. And, if you'll excuse a little divergence: PIXELS CAN'T ROTATE OR SCALE. If you're going to do old-fashioned "pixel" graphics, at least do them right. Keep them all the same size and nice and straight. Half-assed pixel art presentation is the worst. Anyway, there were a ton of Steam games that did the super retro thing, and I dunno, maybe I'm alone in this... But while I miss the old colorful style of games before realism became popular, I don't miss the old technical presentation at all. Good riddance to those old limitations I say, be it 8-bit style or first-gen 3D low poly style, graphical presentation is just something in the way of the art. And the more powerful the graphics, the less there is in the way of the art. I get that art takes time, believe me, I understand extreme budget limitations, but is it too much to ask for at least 16-bit style presentation of retro indie games? Or better yet, how about indie gaming quits with the whole retro and/or "artsy" presentation aspect entirely, and just does the best visuals they can with the time and budget and art skill available? High-end gaming is pretty much a lost aesthetic cause due to whatever forces them to go for ugliness and realism on just about every game with a decent budget, presumably marketing executives, but what good is the indie alternative if they just waste their creative freedom on being overly retro? Obviously Capcom and Squeenix have no intention of making new games with that old visual style I love, but it seems like the indie scene is totally failing there too. They're obviously going for nostalgia, but they're going for the wrong aspect and/or time period. If they (or the big-time devs) would just make games with the style of Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire, Darkstalkers or the like, but with newer/less-limited graphical presentation, they'd totally get my nostalgia money.

So anyway, yeah, Steam kinda left me depressed about PC gaming in the process of advertising to me. Hardly anything but RTS, MMOs, and unappealing art direction to be seen. It's depressing both as a consumer of games, because there wasn't much to get excited about playing, and as an artist who would like to be making games, because it paints a gloomy picture regarding demand for what I'd like to be doing. Nintendo is making Mario games with updated graphics but the classic colorful stylized aesthetic and that works for them, but why is that combination nearly non-existent elsewhere? And why can't I win the Lottery or something so i can afford to hire a coder and make some colorful non-retro single-player PC gaming myself.
  • Mood: Angsty
  • Listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6GNkf6DCnE
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Deus Ex Human Revolution Director's Cut

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LordDonovan's Profile Picture
LordDonovan
Not actually Donovan
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
Single commissions, contract work, full-time employment, whatever- If you think I'm the man for job, let's talk.

volcott at gmail dot com
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:icon12luna12:
12LUNA12 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, thanks for the llama!
Reply
:iconprobroart95:
Probroart95 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Here is a watch!!! :D
Reply
:iconlorddonovan:
LordDonovan Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Here is appreciation!
Reply
:iconprobroart95:
Probroart95 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! :D 
Reply
:iconfoxy2427:
Foxy2427 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016
Thank you for the llama :) 
Reply
:iconmapsnstuff:
MapsNStuff Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2016
Thanks for the llama C=
Reply
:iconsenpainarwhal:
SenpaiNarwhal Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the llama!! ^^ 
Reply
:iconminawolf10:
MinaWolf10 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for the llama! :) Your digital art is awesome! You've got skills! :D
Reply
:iconlorddonovan:
LordDonovan Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome for the llama and thank you for the encouragement!
Reply
:iconminawolf10:
MinaWolf10 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Np!! ^-^
Reply
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