Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SONIC BOOM: Rise Of Lyric

SONIC BOOM: Rise of Lyric, the anticipated Nintendo Wii U game, is now released! I had fun working on this game between 2011-2013 redesigning the world of Sonic the Hedgehog together with Sylvain DeboissyNicolas P VillarrealEytan ZanaCraig Harris, and Yuhki Demers. Here are some concepts I did for the game. More to come.
Check out

Monday, November 10, 2014

Big Hero 6 EXPO HALL

Big Hero 6 grabbed the no. 1 spot with $56.2M opening weekend! A big congratulations to our Walt Disney Animation Studios crew!!!
Here's the EXPO HALL design I did for the film. I will give a complete discussion and show the process from concept to final on the Expo Hall and the Tech Campus I did in the film at my coming lecture/workshop, "Visual Development Survival Kit: Designing Big Hero 6's Expo Hall and Tech Campus" at the CTN animation eXpo in a couple of weeks:

Friday, November 07, 2014

BIG HERO 6 Opens Today!!!

A concept art I did for a Hiro-Tadashi moment based from an early storyboard idea! Enjoy the movie!

This is the screen grab of the 3D model I used as guide for the artwork.

All images ©Disney. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

From My Archives: Visual Development Sketches for Lilo and Stitch

 Lilo's house.

Thumbnails showing spacecraft carrying Stitch enter earth.


Friday, July 25, 2014

One Systematic Approach

In my years of working in the industry, I learned to work in different ways what ever is more efficient for the given time period. Here's one systematic approach that I use which I find very useful when given a very limited amount of time - the LASSO approach. But before I get into the step by step, I always preach to student to identify first what are the Needs and Wants. For this exercise, the needs would be: 1. restaurant/bar for inhabitants of an extremely dry location of molten rock where no plants grow except thorn thistles. 2. Bugs, rodents, squirrels and shelled creatures only for animals. 

Now that the "needs" have been identified, I did a quick sketch using pencil on brown paper.

I applied values using mainly the lasso tool with just stock soft and hard brushes in PS. 
The idea I have is to use only the limited resources for materials and food. Just the right amount of architectural details for table and chairs tell the audience that inhabitants are bit civilized. Stripes on the wall give some history and story to the location. Inhabitants could have used available materials like sulfur as paint. This idea makes the environment more inviting.

I "colorized" the values in PS. Composition seemed crammed so I extended the layout to give more "breathing" space. Important to keep the original values  uncompromised. 

I started painting and blending in some spots and highlights. I also detailed the extended area on the right. Readability of shapes and silhouette of every detail and making them work in the context of the overall composition is very important! Never loose control of your shapes, values and color.

If the area is so enclosed, smoke coming from cooking and candles will stay inside and create a very nice, thick atmosphere to play round with. I enjoy adding that lower layer of smoke to give an opportunity to play with a glow that is off the ground reflected from the bright candle on the table. Fun.

To get an in-depth study of this design approach and visual development essentials in actual production, check out my 8-wk Environment Sketching for Production online class at CG Masters Academy.

©Armand Serrano 2014.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Environment Sketching For Production: Summer Term 2014

Below are samples of my students work from last spring term. Enroll now!

Enroll now for my ENVIRONMENT SKETCHING FOR PRODUCTION Online class at CGMA scheduled for July 29-Sept. 25. Few spots are still available.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Film Production Design and Concept Art Masterclass in Kuala Lumpur

I'll be conducting the first two days of One Academy's "FILM PRODUCTION DESIGN AND CONCEPT ART" masterclass workshop here in Kuala Lumpur. Then the last two days will be picked up by extremely talented WETA designer Eduardo Peña. This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Virtual Plein Air 1

Juno Beach, Normandy, France

 Belogradchik, Bulgaria

Colorado River, Nevada
Above are painted using lasso tool. Below were
painted using mainly brush tools.

SECC Arena, Gasgow, Scotland

Arnhem Bridge, Netherlands

Machu Pichu, Peru

All images ©Armand Serrano.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Environment Sketching For Production: Spring Term 2014

Spring Term is coming up soon... only a few seats available so enroll now!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Adobo Design Awards and Design Series

I'll be participating as jury at the 2014 Adobo Design Awards in Manila. In line with the event, I'll be part of the Adobo Design Series to do a presentation on Visual Development on Animated Feature Films. Calling all artists in the Philippines and Southeast Asia tot come and the check these events out!!!

 ©Adobo Magazine.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Concept Art Should Have A Concept Not Just Art!

Started as a 30-minute spitpaint titled Royal Cat, this is 5 hrs later. I grew up watching romantic epic films from the past and as a kid, I'm a sucker for period uniforms and armors. The Queen mother stretches her arm straight and in formal pose signifies royal bearing and position. The daughter, the new queen, cannot be in contact with outsiders. The geometric silhouettes on the royalties signifies regimented, rigid, and very formal lifestyle. The profile of the Sphinx echoes the profiles of both queen and mother. This shows their family dynasty. The papyrus message is directly in front of the sphinx as if coming out of it's mouth. This shows that this message is honest as if coming also from the mouth of their ancestors. On the other hand, the Roman emissary and general behind him are in less formal poses and uniform showing less respect to the authority in front of them. Right hand on the gladius shows readiness and bit of distrust. General behind leans slightly to his left getting a glance of the new queen. Warm light behind the women for their warm hospitality. Cool light behind the Romans for their hidden intention. Visual Aesthetics for effective Concept Art is part of my lecture when I do Visual Development workshops. Fun exercise.

Original 30-minute spitpaint.

All images ©2014 Armand Serrano.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter 2013-14 Workshops, Lectures, and Demos Photos.

Glendale, California
January 2014

Los Angeles, California
January 2014

Manila, Philippines
November 2013

Burbank, California
November, 2013
The Three Amigos (l-r): Paul Lasaine-host, Armand Serrano, Marcos Mateu and Marcelo Vignali.

San Francisco, California
November 2013

Nicolas Villareal and Armand Serrano

Armand Serrano, Bing Serrano and Nicolas Villareal

Sarasota, Florida
November 2013

Armand Serrano, Ron Zeitler and Jon Di Venti

All images ©Armand Serrano.