Godzilla: King Of Monsters – Movie Review

June 23rd, 2019

movie reviewI really liked what Gareth Edwards did with the 2014 Godzilla movie. Keeping the point of view more focussed on humans. Visually and storywise. With a somewhat interesting story and a character that was at least a little bit relatable. For me it worked. For a lot of other folks, it didn’t. They wanted giant monsters fighting. No human drama that stands in the way. The follow up film “Kong” was solid. Even though it didn’t exactly know what it wanted to be in the end. Godzilla 2 now seems to have heard the critics of 2014 and delivers on the monster fights. And it delivers hard. It seems to want to be the exact opposite of the 2014 film. But is it for the benefit of the film?

We find ourselves in a world that tries to deal with the fact that there are giant creatures roaming the Earth. The world tries to find solutions and, of course, often enough opts for the wrong ones. Monarch, the organization that’s monitoring the “Titans”, is on the verge of losing its independent status and become part of the military. The military of course is trying to find ways to weaponize these Titans. Dr. Emma (Vera Farmiga) and Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) lost a child when the 2014 events happened in San Francisco. Both decided to find a way to understand how the Titans communicate. They used their science work as a kind of therapy to overcome the loss of their child. Meanwhile Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), their daughter, has to watch how the marriage of her parents falls apart. Emma continues to work on that communication device and Mark decides to go his own ways. And that sets up the human drama in this film.

Emma and Mark follow different goals with the project and Madison tries to deal with that situation. Things start to go crazy when another creature is about to be born in one of the Monarch facilities. A perfect chance for Emma to test the machine! As soon as the creature is alive, Emma and Madison are kidnapped by some Eco-fundamentalists. Mark is contacted by Monarch and tries to save them. He is very hesitant since Monarch clearly is pro Titans, while he is still traumatized and wants to see these monsters dead. The story does deliver an arc for Emma and Mark but it feels very thin. Beside them we see how mankind is trying to deal with the Titans situation. Which is something I would have liked to see more of.

Throughout the film we see characters from the 2014 movie and it’s good to see them back. They build a neat bridge. Instead of showing a straightforward journey, this film decides to jump all over the place and ultimately there hardly was any character that I was able to relate to. The film also goes out of its way to hammer down some environmental messages down our throat. It’s very obvious and could have been done in a more subtle and clever way. But no, we have to show monsters fight at least every 5 minutes. It’s overkill. Quite literally. The film is 132 minutes long and it feels like at least 100 minutes were monsters fighting. Now don’t get me wrong. The fight scenes were quite awesome. The vfx and sound design are amazing. The sound on Dolby Atmos is a feast! At some point though, you grow a little numb to all the spectacle. I’m more the fan of building up to a spectacular fight instead of having one every 10 minutes.

Where the 2014 movie tries to be a little subdued and tries to deliver a relatable perspective (visually and storywise) – we go full hammertime in this film. Even though I felt never bored while watching it, I instantly knew that when I would try to think about this film, it would instantly fall apart. And not because of the GIANT MONSTERS fact. They’re not the issues the film has. The Titans are great, do awesome stuff and look fantastic. It’s cool to see these new interpretations of these classic monsters. I really don’t know how they want to top what they did here. With all the destruction happening in this film, the next target can only be the moon or space in general. The level of destuction and devastion in this film is insane! Shake your head levels of insane. But those are the element this film lives from. So they better do it right! And they did. Like I said, the vfx are superb. And the sound design brings it all together.

Ultimately it feels like it goes a little too far with almost everything it tries to do. It succeeds in moving the story forward though. A lot of mythology stuff is added. It makes this universe feel more rich and interesting. Still, the movie makes its universe feel incredibly small and huge at the same time. The monster fights are epic and obviously beautiful and big. But the human storyline is as small as it can be. Yes, our characters are all over the world but emotionally it feels flat and unrelatable. The acting by all involved works and everyone does a good enough job with the material. As dumb as the story may be. I always like to see Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe or Vera Farmiga. Obviously, no matter how hard they tried, their work stands in the shadow of the giant monsters, that clearly steal the show. Now it will be interesting what Godzilla VS Kong brings.

A 6.3/10 for me.

Godzilla 2: King of Monsters on IMDb

Comcept 35 – The Chase IV

May 30th, 2019



CC35 – The Chase 4

This one is the result of playing around with “The Stingray” – a GAEA generated terrain asset I made available on Artstation & Gumroad. I found this really cool angle that displayed the rich terrain detail so well. The next logical step (at least for me) – add some ships! At first I just had them pretty sterile in the scene. Flying over the landscape. Then I decided to add a little more action and make it a chase scene. Tried a couple new things and had my fun with it. The ships were done fairly quickly by kitbashing around a little bit. I really enjoy how they turned out.

6000×2739 – Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – Gaea

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

It Must Be Stars

April 18th, 2019



It Must Be Stars

“We just entered the outside perimeter of the city. I heard amazing things but it’s not really visible yet. Just a glimmer on the horizon. We’ve set course and got official permission to enter the inner perimeter. Slowly one big, blurry light became two, then three, four and soon thousands. “It must be stars” I thought, as we moved in closer and the city grew in front of my eyes, with all its life and lights.”

This one originally was a commission request but it ended up nowhere since I knew it would be quite a task if I wanted to maintain my usual quality – and my level of detail and quality was one of the main reasons the client contacted me. In the end there wasn’t enough budget. So I decided not to throw my initial concept work away and gave it a go as a personal piece. I think it kind of ended up like something the client would have been quite happy with. Although I did go a slightly different route when the commission fell apart.

For the look I wanted something ‘ancient/old scifi’ looking. A palace and a city that look oldish and majestic but still have some kind of base in technology. Much like Naboo in Phantom Menace I guess. Of course I drew some inspiration from the briefing material I got from the client. Although their idea was underwater and the scene I created isn’t. Even though the color scheme might suggest it is. It’s more a place or location you would find in the Marvel universe I guess. That’s at least how I approached it.

I certainly would love to explore that city and get blown away by the sheer scale of the palace above the city.

7000×3196 – Vue – C4D – Photoshop – Lightroom – World Machine – Geoglyph

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

The Stingray – Terrain Asset Resource

March 12th, 2019

The Stingray 8k Mountain Heightfield Package

This is the third heightfield resource/asset I created. For $11,99 the contents of this package are intended for personal and commercial projects. Beside the main terrain (8192×8192, 16bit) itself, this package contains a collection of masks (16bit) and colormaps (8bit) that allow you to go into very fine detail when giving the terrain character by adding textures and materials. It’s best used with landscape centered tools like Vue or Terragen but can also be used with any other sophisticated 3d package that’s out there. I also included a Vue scene file with an example setup of the terrain. Vue might ask you to reload the materials when you load the scene. Please check the included readme.txt for more info about the contents. Have fun with it! :)

Find it here:

The Stingray on Gumroad.com

The Stingray on Artstation

Regards
signed

Comcept 31 – Battle For New Cydonia

February 25th, 2019



Comcept 31 – Battle For New Cydonia

This one actually belongs to my Com-cept series but I decided to go with a more proper title. I started this a long time ago and kept it on my drive after I was done with the main parts. It was a technical training piece. A try to create something like a battle scene. Time goes by and I focused on other projects and ideas. Then Aurora decided to go with the color theme of Orange for their next release. I got back to the piece and decided to polish it up as much as I could. Even though I’m not crazy happy with it, I do enjoy the scene and the things I wanted to learn with it… I did learn. =)

As usual the scene was created in Vue with quite some kitbashing for the ships. I did multiple renders and combined them in Photoshop. There I added the FX and overpainted/fixed stuff I was not too happy with. It’s always fun to add extra detail that makes the scene feel more alive. Last but not least some basic colour tuning in Photoshop and Lightroom. Originally I had a more poppy colour grading but decided against in favour of a more realistic approach.

6000×2739 – Vue – Photoshop – C4D – Lightroom

Part of Project Aurora: Orange

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Aurora – Exhibit III – Orange

February 21st, 2019

Project Aurora - Exhibit III

The Luminarium & The Cosmosys Collective invite you to a trip to boost your imagination and inspiration! Members of the two artgroups sat down and decided to do a crossover artgroup… which by now should be seen as a fully formed standalone group. Represented is art created with all kinds of techniques in all kinds of fields. Again a ‘healthy variety’… how I would call it. I’m included with two pieces! One a little more interesting than the other. =D The exhibit has the extension ORANGE. So the artworks have a main overall colour theme going on. Still, overall the the exhibit can be considered freestyle. We’ve got some great results and so I want to thank everyone involved and especially the people who did the organisational stuff in the background!

Go check it out and share it!

Project Aurora Project Aurora Website
The Exhibit on Behance

Regards
signed

In Serenity

February 13th, 2019



In Serenity

The inspiration for this one came from a piece I did in 2014. Sanctuary. A try in doing a scifi/cityscape night scene properly. I thought it would be cool to have a companion piece to it but with a daylight scenario. Something that kind of follows the same composition and setup. Not only being different in the light department but in the environment too. So this one is more based in a nature, mountain area and not in a city. So if you would put prints of them on a wall, on th left Sanctuary and on the right In Serenity, you would have a neat combination of scenes that compliment each other in many ways.

The creative process started with taking apart the 3d elements I created for the scene in 2014. I kept the curvy wall and decided to add a cool looking mural relief kind of element in the middle of it. For the material I wanted it to have a futuristic feel of a material we might not have invented yet. Something reflective and transparent but still very much hard surface looking. Maybe a futuristic kind of concrete. The other elements fell into place while working on the scene. Plants by Xfrog helped to round out the wall with some green. Thanks to Aron Kamolz for allowing me to use his falling ivy like plants on the ceiling elements. The lady was created in DAZ Studio. Background terrains done in World Machine/GeoGlyph2. With all the 3d elements in Vue and a good lighting setup, I rendered several passes of the scene and combined it in Photoshop. Then followed some overpainting, adding additional textures and fixing some issues. Lightroom, last but not least, helped me finalize the colour of the scene.

7000×3196 – Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – World Machine – XFrog

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

XPrize: Trip

January 16th, 2019



XPrize: Trip

A little while ago I had the pleasure to create some work for “Seat 14c” – a scifi shortstory event, held by the XPrize folks. This particular image belongs to a short story by Justina Robinson. It’s about a young lady, unexplainable events and a futuristic airport.

5000×2813 – Vue – DAZStudio – C4D – Photoshop – Lightroom

Find the event and the stories here: Seat14c

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Happy New Year 2019

December 31st, 2018

Best Nine 2018

With Christmas 2018 behind us, some cool presents and a good time with loved ones… it’s 2019 knocking on our doors. For me it was a crazy year with lots of things going on. I have learned a lot and will certainly continue to do so! So without further ado I hope you have had a great 2018 and a successful, healthy and happy upcoming 2019 in front of us! And don’t forget that November is Blade Runner month! And we should all be thankful for our world not yet looking like the world depicted in the film! =)

Find me here:
Artstation
Deviantart
CGSociety
Behance
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Regards
signed

Journeys Of An Unknown Huntress

December 18th, 2018



Journeys Of An Unknown Huntress

Here we have something special. My first attempt working with objects (by Megascans) coming with PBR optimized high resolution textures. Very soon into the creative process I learned that, for maximum quality, I would need a new machine. So a lot of time went into optimizing the scene for the final render. Still, rendering the final took a long time to get done. So I made this project one of my benchmark projects. I pushed myself and my hardware to the limits. I cannot say how many hours went into this project but I’m fairly happy with the result.

Technically I think I haven’t used a combination of this many tools for a single project yet. I also wanted to use a perspective and camera settings that convey a nice sense of scale and depth. Bringing it all into the scene and make it sit right was a task. Along the way I picked up some bugs in Vue that got fixed rather quickly after I reported them. I have also split up the scene into foreground and background again – to keep the rendering process as efficient as possible. Because I knew that I would end up rendering some elements a couple of times to fix stuff that bugged me. Photoshop combined all the renders and added a lot of fixes, overpaints and colour adjustments.

7500×4998 – Vue – Photoshop – C4D – DAZ Studio – The Plant Factory – Lightroom – World Machine

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed