Bringing Afterlife to Life

by Staff on November 20, 2013


Afterlife Preliminary Art

Afterlife is a sci fi/western hearkening back to the days when serials like Buck Rogers or the Phantom ruled. It is a journey set in a post-apocalyptic future where life has become little more than a struggle for survival.

To bring life to the words, John Blaszczyk is now providing some stunning illustrations. You should definitely check out his webpage to see some of his other work. The style and mood of his pieces really fit the story and made him the logical choice to help bring a visual component to this story.  He has an interest in the post-apocalyptic science fiction genre, which works perfectly, since that’s the genre Afterlife fits into.

To tide over the people who have been keeping up with the bi-weekly adventures of Bobby and Abigail, here is a sneak peek at the art for Chapter 4 which will be coming on November 27.

John Blaszczyk art for Afterlife Chapter 4

John takes us through the stages of development of the illustration for chapter 4:

I had two main ideas for an image after reading through Chapter 4. I went with one where I felt I could try out some new techniques I haven’t had an excuse to use previously.

A: Here’s my initial idea. Not pictured in these shots is the 3d sandbike model I made in Google Sketchup during some downtime a week prior. I wanted to stay as close to the story as possible, but I felt I needed to add some more to the environment instead of just having sand dunes. So I started making a slummy little village.

B/C: You can see here where I started outlining and shading everything in grey. The outline of the bike is actually a screenshot I exported from Google Sketchup and traced directly into Photoshop.

D: This is where I’m happy with the background and find a decent helicopter reference to use. I start shading the bike and figure out roughly where the rider is going to fit into all of this.

E/F: Here’s where the real fun begins! In these I add some different layers to play with the color a bit. I also start painting directly over the lineart. Once I get the colors mostly done, I play around with some motion blur filters to add that sense of speed. I want the bike to be clear, and I feel like this gives the sense that the viewer/camera is focused on the bike and rider while the town zips by. I also start playing with some explosive effects, which don’t change much throughout. I keep all of these effects in a separate folder so I can turn them off to work on the bike and background as necessary.

G: Here’s where I finally paint in the rider. Once him and his gun are finished up, the piece is 95% finished. After that point, final details are added in (his cross and ponytail which I almost forgot about) and then some various adjustments and tweaks are made to make the image pop a little bit.

The final piece isn’t shown here. Check out Chapter 4 of Afterlife next week to see it!

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