A lot of intense design work went into the making of Sunset Overdrive for Xbox, making it that much more satisfying to recreate these digital weapons in the real world. Not only did Figure Plant have to match the look of the game, each piece had to be functional! With names like TNTeddy, Hack N Slay, Pyro Geyser, and the Roman Candle Gun you can imagine the kind of fun challenges we were up against. Here’s a few shots from the studio.
When you regularly convert vehicles and build custom mechanical objects, you end up with an assortment of interesting spare parts, making Figure Plant the perfect place to put these weapons together!
This was a great project even before there was fire and hilarious destruction, which is to say that the shoot was awesomely entertaining. You can see the completed weapons and blow shit up with them in Walter’s Workshop! Here’s a behind the scenes video from our partner’s in crime over at Kamp Grizzly:
Here’s a look at the game:
“Innocent Until Proven Guilty” mixed media shadow-box 18″ x 12″ x 6.” Created for the invitational exhibition “Gun Control” at 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios in Detroit, MI.
Here’s a photo of the final piece before the glass and frame went on. I’ll show you some of the steps along the way.
An early sketch before I’d decided on the line-up and redrew the character in the ski mask.
After adding color to the characters, cutting them out, and inking all of their edges, I added some paper armature to the backs to keep them rigid. This also gave me more material to tie into for the paper ‘posts’ attaching them to the background.
I pulled out an old trick for the numbers. I wanted them clean and well spaced, and done by hand. The matte board was too thick for a light box, so I printed out the numbers and made a carbon-transfer with pencil; shading in the reverse of the print and drawing the contours on to the board.
I made a digital version (from the hand-drawn characters) and there are prints for sale!
Thanks for checking out my work, and check out what they’re up to at 555!
Here’s an enlargement for George Rivera at Additive Workshop. The artist’s maquette was scanned and digital artists touched up the resulting digital file, and carved in foam on by a flat-bed CAD and a seven-axis robotic arm. Sculptors assembled the foam blocks and hand carved the surface before brushing on a layer of oil clay. Every square inch of the clay surface was gone over by hand; adding texture and sharpening details. The piece was then molded, and cast in bronze.
I’ve been told it can take about 5 years to get professional roots in a new city. After 5 years of working on 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios (currently the 5th google search result for “555”), I moved to Portland from Detroit. I’ve been in Portland for nearly 5 years and landed my 5th gig as a production artist just 5 months ago.
Incidentally, The Hebrew contraction הַנֶּ֨שֶׁר adds up to 555. הַנֶּ֨שֶׁר is translated as “an eagle.” One of the larger projects that have come through the shop was a series of Eagles which were milled from a 3D scan of the artist’s maquette, which were then painted with clay, and detailed on their way to bronze monuments.
You might take a minute to check out the work we do at Additive Workshop, there’s a video touching on different processes we regularly handle.
5 3/4 inches square, 1 3/4 inches deep
acrylic on wood box frame
My time as a printer at VGKids probably came into play on this piece. I built up the green mother-board background pattern through layers of ink and acrylic washes before stenciling the labyrinth of reflective silver figures. I knew the result would depend on several interlocking process, and documented the different stages of development. Loosely based on the pages of the kama sutra, these robots find a variety of ways to express their physical affections.
10 inch square, 1.75″ deep
acrylic, ink, and spray paint on reclaimed hand-made wood box frame with a protective gloss varnish.
The box-framed surface and underpainting had probably sat in the studio for about a year before finding it’s way back to the easel; as the annual “robot-love” exhibit at good: a gallery was around the corner. I began skething robots as blocky iconic couples, as a skyline, as lovers, composing different positions in illustrator and organizing them into the square.
When I got to a composition I liked, I printed out two copies the size of the physical surface. One print was cut for the silver of the robot bodies and registered to the painting.
Using a light coat of contact adhesive on the back of the stencil, I laid down silver spraypaint.
On the second print I drew out the line work in a way that made the robots positions readable, trapped the silver border, and kept the stencil intact.
Starting with a primed panel I penciled a grid interrupted with arcs. I brushed in ink as the hierarchy of line and curve developed. An ink wash established values before washes of color layered over the top. Keeping the color thin and the contrast high gave the piece the look of glowing stained glass.
acrylic and ink on panel, cradled box frame
37.5 x 48″