Friday, April 25, 2014

Max Steel artwork dump!

I recently got permission to show off much of the work I've done for Mattel's Max Steel brand that came out last year. Not familiar?
One of the hardest and longest projects I've worked on was a promotional poster I created for season 1. 

While we were provided with a sketch to work from, it still took many tries to get the 3D model pose looking just right. I created the transformation hexagons into a sphere in photoshop, and got a final render of the 3D model of Max from the talented animator Joel Fletcher.

Then I went to town painting in the turbo energy effects, adding glows, placing episode images into the hexagons, and painting over the Max Steel model to punch up the values and colors and make it look like he's exploding with energy. After about 2 months of iterations we came to this final image. On the last day, a few hours before the deadline, Mattel asked us to put the helmet on, and voila, done! It's fascinating to be part of a such a big project with so much research and design put into it. So much time and effort was put into deciding which images went into which hexagons. Is the pose too aggressive? too passive? Is it symmetrical but also dynamic? At the time, it was also a big question as to whether or not to show Max with his helmet on or off. Since then, for any project I work on, I always try to remember to render a version with the helmet on and with it off. It's become a guiding principle that when Steel is attached to the suit, he's in superhero mode with the helmet on, but when Steel is floating separately next to him, the helmet is off and he's not in facing danger.

I never know exactly what the end use of any of my projects will be. We created this poster at 27" x 40" and painted to hold up at that size for print. Ironically, I've only seen it used for Amazon and Netflix, and since they have set thumbnail sizes it always gets cropped to half it's size. Still, it's awesome.

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