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In this bi-weekly I will be discussing how starting to do 3d visualisation exercises really helped my understanding of both design and how to draw and render in 2d.

Why 3d?

There are many reasons to learn 3d. For one it's very useful in production, and more effort can go into the design and proportions rather than drawing (while in 2d sketching you might find an awesome design in front view but realise it's a disaster when viewed from the side or above). I'm really bad at 3d, and every day i wish I knew more 3d so that I could do work related things even better and faster. But this discussion won't be about the usefulness of 3d as in the usefulness of 3d drawings, but rather how it's useful in order to improve your 2d work.

If you look through my gallery, you will mostly find lineart with simple colour or marker rendering. True rendering and painting is something i didn't start to experiment with until the last year or so. When I started drawing 3 years ago, I knew that I wanted to work with design, and so I geared all my efforts on learning design thinking rather than fancy rendering.However, as I started to learn about it in school, I realised that learning new skills like rendering started to improve my design thinking even more. Again, I wasn't interested in the fancy stuff, but the ideas of patterning and shape design that's so important in rendering was something I started to carry over and use even as I was just scribbling line sketches of designs in my sketchbook.
Last summer, I started to dabble with zbrush, and just as experiments with paint had made me learn thing about design and drawing, so did learning 3d teach me a lot about rendering and design. I started sculpting crabs from reference, and this is what I learned:

1. I started to think about just how shapes and forms flow into each other. It's so much easier to study in 3d, the relationships in proportion makes so much more sense when you can see how the shell of a crab is structured. You can even sometimes start to see lines of action, with small volume changes beginning in he shell building u towards the location of a leg. Or how the legs and claws are twisted and shape differently depending on from where you look at it to support different kind of movements and forces in different directions. Instead of drawing a large quantity of creatures in an evening, I spent several evenings just studying one single species. I can recommend you to try it out!

2. I learned how the same shapes are affected as you change the lighting, which helped me start to understand rendering. It helps to start understand when the light and shadow patterns should look for a form to be described correctly in value. I guess looking at real objects in real life work equally well, but when I did this as a study for the crab anatomy I felt like I started to get this 'for free'.

My Second Sculpt by Rubisko
Study of a Ghost Crab. Crabs are pretty awesome. Never figured out how to render them out presentably though, but maybe in the future~

3d and Me

So if I find 3d so useful, why don't I use it more?
I would like to, but I never really learned the programs well enough to be able to transition fully into a 3d workflow. Back when i did my crabs, I had more free time, as I only had my day job as a carpenter then. Shortly after I started to also do some freelance in the evenings, and this year I have been doing as much work as I can while being in my chaotic state of finding a new home (I have an apartment that I will gain access to in September, but until then I have to couch surf pretty much). So I'm hoping to start learning 3d software again starting in September!
However, while I didn't learn 3d softwares well enough yet, I didn't give up on 3d. I just moved into traditional sculpting and modelling. I got myself some plastic clay, the kind that never dries or hardens, and I sculpted away! I use it to do form studies of stuff these days, which is why sketchbook studies have decreased a bit in quantity. I also made fantasy designs in clay, of my walrus people!
Sage by Rubisko
This guy above was based directly on the photo of the sculpt below to the left. The right sculpt is super cool/cute but I haven't got time to finish that one yet.
Untitled by RubiskoUntitled by Rubisko

The latest real life 3d craze started just this friday. I'm visiting my dad, and was out walking in his neighbourhood when I saw 3d puzzles for sale in a window.
I popped in and bought myself a medium sized puzzle of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Wow, o fun to assemble, and it's to scale and proportion too! Can't wait until I get my apartment, because I'm going to buy and assemble buildings from around the world and keep in my bookshelves!


That's all I have to say about that, for now. Does anyone else have some fun 3d stuff they'd like to share? I mean, I thought 3d puzzles are really great, but there might be bigger and better stuff out there that I haven't discovered yet.

Thanks for reading, have a great couple of weeks!
ArcaneConstructV by Rubisko
ArcaneConstructV
For questions regarding freelance, feel free to send me an email to jensbeng@gmail.com
_______________________________________________________________________
I have been drawing these character/creature concepts for fun lately. I call them Arcane Constructs, and they are relics from a magically advanced culture long gone. This is no. 5, but the first one I upload to this gallery
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Hi! Sorry for the long hiatus but I'm back again. Although I'll try to keep my entries shorter and sweeter, and maybe a bit less philosophical.

The Budget

The idea of design budget was something that was never explicitly taught to me and my classmates in design school, but it's something that is essential once you actually start doing real work. 'Budget' is the idea of design limitations throughout a production chain that you need to consider as a designer. I think this is something that's absolutely self evident to designers who create 'real' products, but not as obvious when you are designing for things that will only exist inside of computers. Understanding the budget of your design is the skill that I personally believe make you professional. If you're a real skilled artist but can't grasp this idea then you will need someone just above you in the chain who does, and in most freelance and lower budget projects I have been involved in so far there are no such person.

Budget isn't just the amount of money your client is willing to spend on your part in the production, but rather the budget and resources the client is willing to spend on the complete process even after your part is done. It deals with design constraints that could be set by the production resources rather than the world setting itself. For example, if you manage to do a very cool and detailed design, perfectly consistent and awesome in the setting of the world you design for, it can still be a 'bad' design for a number of reasons. It could be that the production overall is limited in terms of the amount of time that can be spent on 3d modelling, or the resources available for animation can't handle your multi limbed creature design. It's all about maximising the bang for the buck, and to use one of the mantras Feng repeated to us pretty much every week in school 'Our job i to solve problems, not create them'

The subject i a bit hard to pinpoint, so let me just give a few examples of what I think are awesome designs given the 'budget'.

The demon in 'Paranormal Activity' might be the best designed horror creature in movies. The design is genius. And yes, I'm aware it is completely invisible ;]

The prisoners in 'Prison Architect'. If you haven't seen this go check it out. The prisoners are basically created by combining three different basic 2d shapes for the torso with three basic head shapes. I believe they are procedurally generated by the game, and while it's not the most crucial aspect of the game experience this simple yet extremely effective approach seems to add so much fun to the game (I've never played it though, but this part of the visual design really stood out to me in what I've seen of it)

Bastion's orthogonal assets. Really, orthogonals are really unsexy and as artists we don't like them. However, when they are embraced in order to bring a gameworld to life without spending a lot on 3d modelling they obviously can be made to work insanely well.

I'm sure they are way more of them that I just can't bring to mind right now. Please share in the comments if you have your own examples of a design budget well spent. I hope you enjoyed this bi-weekly even though it's very short. I hope to get back into the game of writing them again in the weeks to come!

Bye, have a great time!
Hello! This is not part of my usual bi-weekly (although they really haven't been that frequent for the last month I guess) but is more of a personal update.

I've Been on Vacation! For a week... I really needed a break from work and drawing in general so I went to stay for a few days at my friend syncUP, followed by a couple of days at my Dad's, taking the opportunity to escape from his apartment to go see other good friends I have been missing over the summer :) I had lot's of fun, but it was also quite different from my usual rut this summer in which I'm holed up in an apartment working at my laptop 24/7. I've made myself a promise to spend time outside every day now for the rest of the summer, to try to keep this energy level high =]

I'm going back to school! Prior to studying design and working freelance with art and design, I was an engineering student. I discovered that the university I used to attend now have a program that trains design and product development engineers, and I applied. I was accepted three days ago, and have now scheduled a meeting with my study councillor in a month's time from now. Quite possibly I will get to transfer at least 3 semesters worth of passed courses from my previous stay at the University into my new program, in the best case scenario I will be able to study courses from the first three years simultaneously and have a bachelor's degree in technology in 1,5 years. Possibly a masters degree in 3! (if I chose to take it that far). In the worst case scenario, I have to study at reduced speed and fill out the rest with freelance work, so the worst case scenario is far from bad even to begin with =D

The reason why I chose to do this is that in Sweden we have free tuition, I never really realised what an incredible opportunity that is until I went abroad to study. It will also give me a fixated point in my life again, which is nice as well. Studying is incredibly fun, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I have been busy! Sorry for all the lack of updates, both new drawings and journal content. I'm finding it harder and harder to balance out work with planning for the future and studies and personal projects. I' am considering ideas that would allow me to get more time into my personal work, specially my world building projects. More about that in a later journal.

I'm officially on vacation the whole day out (even though I'm home again) and I plan to spend the day doing exactly what I feel like doing! Hopefully I will feel like writing another Bi-Weekly entry later on (or finish one more likely, I have a few rough's since like a month ago) but we'll have to see! Anyway, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Edit: Another incredible story is I've registered a twitter account, about half a decade behind the wagon but anyway. I haven't really made anything with it, but I plan to. So feel free to subscribe/follow/prenumerate or whatever nice name twitter has on their "Become my Groupie"-button. Thanks =]

Edit 2: And then I realised I actually never linked to my Twitter. #It's ok, I'm on vacation. <-see, already starting to get so pro at this twitter biz
And here it is twitter.com/CaconymDraws

Bye!
Jens
Bi-Weekly Journal 04
Motivation

Hi! First of, Sorry that the biweekly is lagging behind a week. I still have plenty of subjects to pick from, but too little time to sit down and write a coherent text out of it, so I will be trying to aim for shorter writings from now on. Because most of the time it's better to do something small and get it done than it is to do something big that never gets close to done. And this doesn't just apply to bi-weekly journals of course, but to a lot of things. The ability to break things down into manageable chunks is important in order to get the most amount of focus on to a single task, wether it's a design, a drawing or a journal entry. So here's just a couple of small thoughts that I have had, and even told others, in the last few weeks.

Sketchbook - Colour and Light(Lion) by Rubisko
Even one quick sketch is better than nothing if you have limited time. They will build up over time

Balance

To get back to the rpg analogy from my very first entry, there needs to be a good balance in what you do. It's important to cultivate your own inspiration and motivation, and drawing/working all the time will most likely just make you forget why you found it fun in the first place. When I was in design school, we were encouraged to not have any free time. Everything became a matter of either doing work, or wasting time you could use to work. I think this was not the intention really on the part of the school, but when you have a body of students that are extremely motivated and hard working and the teachers tell them to sleep less and work more... the students will actually take the teachers word for it, even if it was meant to be more like a small kick in the butt. More work hours a day really doesn't help your learning much if more work hours also means that you start to impact your effectivity.

The art of Dedicated Breaks

The danger with the idea that you can't work all the time is procrastination, when you start to justify just being lazy with 'it's important to take breaks'. I think the key thing in order to identify wether you're procrastinating is to check if you are taking a dedicated break or not. A dedicated break pretty much is this: 'Ok, I have been working all day, so now for two hours before I go to sleep I'm just going to play this game', and when you play you enjoy it fully. If you feel any anxiety or guilt while taking your break you are, in my own experience, either procrastinating or on your way to become a workaholic. In either case I think the solution is to learn to take dedicated breaks. The best thing with dedicated breaks is that they go hand in hand with dedicated work!

How to make use of little time

One question I have seen a lot of lately, and which I myself had to deal with last year (and once again now) is what is the best way to improve if you only have 1-2 hrs free time to draw every day. The answer I think is to plan ahead and make sure that you always have something that is ready to be worked on. The main challenge is to overcome the second-guessing and overthinking that comes with the concept of "if I only have one hour I better use it the best possible way I can' which probably will lead to you never really even getting started. While it's true that effective use of the time would be best, it's probably better to just make sure to use it first. Things like writing simple schedules and creating study sheets and collecting reference really can take you a long way towards effective use of that time. When you get to a point where the only thing you need to do in order to get going is to pick up a pen and begin you have essentially broken down that first barrier.

Sorry again for the delay and the rather short entry. I need shorther topics/questions to discuss in the next few coming entries because of time constraints, so feel free to suggest in the comments. Take care!
In this bi-weekly I will be discussing how starting to do 3d visualisation exercises really helped my understanding of both design and how to draw and render in 2d.

Why 3d?

There are many reasons to learn 3d. For one it's very useful in production, and more effort can go into the design and proportions rather than drawing (while in 2d sketching you might find an awesome design in front view but realise it's a disaster when viewed from the side or above). I'm really bad at 3d, and every day i wish I knew more 3d so that I could do work related things even better and faster. But this discussion won't be about the usefulness of 3d as in the usefulness of 3d drawings, but rather how it's useful in order to improve your 2d work.

If you look through my gallery, you will mostly find lineart with simple colour or marker rendering. True rendering and painting is something i didn't start to experiment with until the last year or so. When I started drawing 3 years ago, I knew that I wanted to work with design, and so I geared all my efforts on learning design thinking rather than fancy rendering.However, as I started to learn about it in school, I realised that learning new skills like rendering started to improve my design thinking even more. Again, I wasn't interested in the fancy stuff, but the ideas of patterning and shape design that's so important in rendering was something I started to carry over and use even as I was just scribbling line sketches of designs in my sketchbook.
Last summer, I started to dabble with zbrush, and just as experiments with paint had made me learn thing about design and drawing, so did learning 3d teach me a lot about rendering and design. I started sculpting crabs from reference, and this is what I learned:

1. I started to think about just how shapes and forms flow into each other. It's so much easier to study in 3d, the relationships in proportion makes so much more sense when you can see how the shell of a crab is structured. You can even sometimes start to see lines of action, with small volume changes beginning in he shell building u towards the location of a leg. Or how the legs and claws are twisted and shape differently depending on from where you look at it to support different kind of movements and forces in different directions. Instead of drawing a large quantity of creatures in an evening, I spent several evenings just studying one single species. I can recommend you to try it out!

2. I learned how the same shapes are affected as you change the lighting, which helped me start to understand rendering. It helps to start understand when the light and shadow patterns should look for a form to be described correctly in value. I guess looking at real objects in real life work equally well, but when I did this as a study for the crab anatomy I felt like I started to get this 'for free'.

My Second Sculpt by Rubisko
Study of a Ghost Crab. Crabs are pretty awesome. Never figured out how to render them out presentably though, but maybe in the future~

3d and Me

So if I find 3d so useful, why don't I use it more?
I would like to, but I never really learned the programs well enough to be able to transition fully into a 3d workflow. Back when i did my crabs, I had more free time, as I only had my day job as a carpenter then. Shortly after I started to also do some freelance in the evenings, and this year I have been doing as much work as I can while being in my chaotic state of finding a new home (I have an apartment that I will gain access to in September, but until then I have to couch surf pretty much). So I'm hoping to start learning 3d software again starting in September!
However, while I didn't learn 3d softwares well enough yet, I didn't give up on 3d. I just moved into traditional sculpting and modelling. I got myself some plastic clay, the kind that never dries or hardens, and I sculpted away! I use it to do form studies of stuff these days, which is why sketchbook studies have decreased a bit in quantity. I also made fantasy designs in clay, of my walrus people!
Sage by Rubisko
This guy above was based directly on the photo of the sculpt below to the left. The right sculpt is super cool/cute but I haven't got time to finish that one yet.
Untitled by RubiskoUntitled by Rubisko

The latest real life 3d craze started just this friday. I'm visiting my dad, and was out walking in his neighbourhood when I saw 3d puzzles for sale in a window.
I popped in and bought myself a medium sized puzzle of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Wow, o fun to assemble, and it's to scale and proportion too! Can't wait until I get my apartment, because I'm going to buy and assemble buildings from around the world and keep in my bookshelves!


That's all I have to say about that, for now. Does anyone else have some fun 3d stuff they'd like to share? I mean, I thought 3d puzzles are really great, but there might be bigger and better stuff out there that I haven't discovered yet.

Thanks for reading, have a great couple of weeks!

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Rubisko
Jens Bengtsson
Artist
Sweden
Concept Artist, born and currently living in Sweden, graduated from FZD School of Design February 2014.

With a previous background in engineering, I enjoy mechanical design problems, but organic things also have a special place in my heart since I grew up on a farm.

I'm available for freelance, either send a note or a mail to jensbeng@gmail.com
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:iconpyro-bandit:
pyro-bandit Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student Writer
I love the blend of art you do with all the animals, architecture, and futuristic tech. I seriously can't wait to see more!!!
Reply
:iconrubisko:
Rubisko Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Thank you very much! It'll come more eventually, I have lots of stuff to take care of right now! But as soon as I get more time on my hands I will continue with my 'cute' project
Reply
:icongoredguar:
GoredGuar Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woah, your art and concepts are fantastic! Loved looking through your gallery and I'm excited to see more :D
Reply
:iconrubisko:
Rubisko Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconk-wuet:
K-wuet Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015
Your character/creatures designs are just fabulous. They really intrigue me and make me curious about the world they're evolving in. Great job!
Reply
:iconrubisko:
Rubisko Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015
Thank you!
Reply
:iconk-wuet:
K-wuet Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015
you're welcome!
Reply
:iconpearofdiscord:
PearOfDiscord Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015
Your character designs are quite frankly genius.  Added to my devWatch!
Reply
:iconrubisko:
Rubisko Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015
Wow, thank you!
Reply
:iconpearofdiscord:
PearOfDiscord Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015
Very welcome.
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