P L U S
I S S U E #6
P L U S
C O N T E N T S
Editor’s Letter To my knowledge I don’t think I’ve ever dedicated a whole issue of Ceiga or Ceiga plus to one artist – six artists yes but not one single artist. So why finally create an issue for just one artist you ask? Ever since I decided to become a man with a million side projects and a full time job I haven’t really had much time to research and reach out to artists I’d like to feature, so it’s always nice when someone reaches out to me instead of the other way round – and that’s exactly what Matthew Trevelyan Johns did. Matthew isn’t the only artist who has contacted me directly via email oh no, I receive tonnes of emails on a regular basis from artists, animators and film creators looking for me to promote their work. But what makes Matthew so different is that as well as being a Masters degree holder in Computer Games Technology, he has also worked in senior art positions on many award winning games, including two BAFTA award nominated titles as well as the Guinness World Record holding PC smash hit, Star Citizen. His site contains between 120 and 150 showcase images, which is more than enough for a single issue (maybe even two), and his work is definitely of a quality worthy of the pages of this magazine. So sit back, relax, make yourself a cup of coffee (or tea), and enjoy the brilliant images you’re about to see.
E D I TO R
Richard Bray email@example.com
The gladiator is one of three ships that have been created at Foundry 42 so far as part of the implementation of a brand new art production pipeline. My goal for the Gladiator was to not only faithfully recreate the concept artwork provided, but also to create a brand new ship for the game, so detailed that it would set a new precedent for the quality of future ships produced for Star Citizen.
STAR CITIZEN Developer: CLOUD IMPERIUM GAMES Publisher: CLOUD IMPERIUM GAMES
Growing up in the countryside I have always been surrounded by nature and with the recent surge of film and gaming media featuring environments that portray the â€˜abandonedâ€™ theme, I wanted to work on a project that allowed me to not only to explore this same topic , but also to learn the CryEngine SDK and to put to practice many of the skills I have developed in my 6 years working in the games industry. I chose Severalls Psychiatric Hospital as the setting for my environment and decided to use just one photograph as my main source of inspiration. Iâ€™ve frequently been required to work from very little concept art in my professional career and I enjoy the challenge of using one main image and expanding upon it with my own imagination and sourced reference images.
SEVERALLS - HOSPITAL Severalls Psychiatric Hospital...long since forgotten
A BIT MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST Up until this point in the magazine you’ve only seen Matthew’s great work, well this is where you get to find out a little bit more about him. Here’s a short interview between him and I.
1) Could you tell us how you developed an interest in the 3D
the award winning Star Citizen, which is an incredible project and a lot
Industry and your education?
of fun to work on! My big break into the industry therefore came with my job at TT Games and I believe my 3D work was first noticed on the
My interest in the 3D industry is rooted in a passion for video games,
game art forum, Polycount by an artist (who's work I admired greatly
something that took hold at a very early age, where I would spend
at the time) called David Östman. I was brought in for an interview and
hours watching my elder brother play Alex Kidd in Miracle World on
can happily say that I accepted the position of Environment Artist and
the Sega Master System after school. As a child I had always loved
began my journey in the video game industry. So I suppose the moral
art too and would spend hours at home doodling and creating my
of the story is to try and get your work out there as much as possible,
own comics etc and so as video games evolved and opportunities to
because you never know who might be watching!
create my own content emerged, I was immediately hooked. I started in secondary school in my spare time, creating custom sprites and cars
3) What limitations have you had to work with (in terms of poly
for the original Grand Theft Auto game using MS Paint and by the time
count, lighting etc) when making Lego games?
I had reached College (17 years old) I was making multiplayer levels and releasing them to the online community for the very first Call of
The Lego Games were so much fun to work on and though many people
Duty on the PC. Ironically, it was at a time where we could only afford
might believe that video game limitations in general put annoying
dial-up internet and so I couldn't actually play the levels I created with
restrictions on an artist, at TT the restrictions were really just seen as
any more than one other person without terrible lag...but I enjoyed the
a challenge and it was so rewarding to see the creative ways in which
creation process so much that I just kept on making them. It around this
the artists were able to work within the limitations and still make lovely
time that I realised I could perhaps pursue a career as an artist in the
environments and visual effects. Personally I think the most challenging
video game industry and so I applied to Portsmouth University, where
restrictions were those that we faced when developing the more recent
I hoped to study a BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Technology. I was
LEGO Movie videogame. Mainly because the art direction of the project
fortunate enough to be accepted on to the course and subsequently
dictated that the entire world should appear as if it were created entirely
on to the Masters degree where I dedicated myself to learning all that I
from LEGO bricks, something that we'd never attempted before. It's
could about 3D content creation for the video games industry...
really a testament to the skill level of the programming and technical art departments at TT who were able to come up with extremely clever,
2) What gaming companies you have worked in and how did you
optimisation methods that could take a complex LEGO model, made
manage to get your foot in the door?
of literally thousands of 3D LEGO blocks and millions of polygons and strip it right down to get it ready to be added to the game. We also
A large portion of my career had been spent working at TT Games, the
had special texturing techniques, where we were essentially mapping
people behind the award winning, LEGO video games. It's a fantastic
textures of complicated LEGO brick arrangements that were baked from
place to work and I was lucky enough work as an artist (and later a
high poly models, on to flat polygons, transforming relatively simple
senior and lead artist) for five years, before moving on to become a
environment structures, into towering blocks of intricate LEGO bricks -
senior environment and vehicle artist at Foundry 42. Foundry 42 are
these are the challenges that really push an artist to be creative, which
part of Cloud Imperium games and are responsible for development of
is exactly why the games are such great fun to develop.
more importantly, get the most enjoyment from working within this 4) Could you list the titles you’ve worked on, any awards they
industry. So my best advice, find your passion, work at it and enjoy it!
might have won and tell us a little about which project have you enjoyed working on the most and why?
6) Do you work on your own personal projects?
Certainly, the titles I have worked on include:
Definitely, in my opinion it's really important to keep pushing yourself outside of the work environment as well as in, the games industry
- Star Citizen, which is the current holder of the Guinness World Record
moves so quickly and there is constantly new and exciting tools for
for the most money raised for a Crowdfunded project ever!
us to play with and so taking the time to stay up to date is hugely
- The Lego movie Video game, which was nominated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for the 2014 award of ‘Best family game’. - Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, which was nominated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for the 2012 award of ‘Best family game’ - Lego Rock Band, which was nominated by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for the award of ‘Family game of the year’ - Lego City: Undercover
important. It can be quite common that a new program or method of work is developed, but your current project simply doesn't require it's integration, when that's a two or three year project, that's a long time to go without learning the tools outside of your studio. So I'm always working on personal projects, sometimes these projects remain forever unfinished, sat in a folder on my computer at home and sometimes I push them through to a finished state and display them on my portfolio, but regardless of whether you finish or not I think it's really just about pushing yourself to learn. 7) What plans do you have for the future - in terms of work?
- Lego Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey - Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest As for which of the projects I’ve enjoyed the most, well, it’s funny but this is such a hard thing to consider, there are projects that push you so much, that are so challenging, such hard work and require huge sacrifices to truly realise the final product and to some people outside of the industry that might sound like something that’s hard to enjoy. But it’s also those projects that you look back on and are the most proud of what you and everyone involved managed to achieve! So I think in their own way, every project I’ve ever worked on has been a fantastic experience and something that I can take away and personally be proud of, but if I were to choose, I think it would be a close call between LEGO City: Undercover, for the great challenge it posed to myself and everyone at TT coupled with the reward of creating a truly fun game and Star Citizen, because it’s a hugely ambitious project, I’ve learned so much, and met some truly great talents through working on it.
I think my future plans in general terms are really just to keep pushing myself, to keep learning and to keep loving every minute! In terms of actual tangible things, my aim for the near future is to try and put the work that I've been doing in my spare time out in to the world a little more, as a way of helping to not only share my techniques and projects with more like-minded people, but also to help push myself and maybe even inspire others a little. The online community is one that I've learned so much from throughout my career and it would be really great if I were able to put some of my own material out there to help other people. I've just created a youtube channel and facebook art page and am currently hard at work trying to create some nice content/tutorials that I can put up there for people to see. The links for which are below: https://www.facebook.com/matthewtrevelyanjohns.art https://www.youtube.com/c/MatthewTrevelyanJohns
5) What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the gaming industry? I think the best piece of advice that I could give to someone considering a job in the games industry, particularly from my point of view as an artist, is to simply ask yourself 'Is this my passion?' I think that those truly great games are built by only the most passionate of people, by those people that live and breath the content that they are creating, that go home and think about it in the evenings, that practice in their spare time and that genuinely enjoy the process of game development. In my opinion, it is those people that are going to be the most successful and
During early stages of production I worked alongside another art lead to determine potential art styles for the game, we created numerous example scenes/demos each with distinct art styles which were submitted for overall approval from our Art Director and from Jon Burton, the founder of TT Games. For this project TT Fusion adopted the game engine and development tools used at a neighbouring Travellerâ€™s Tales studio, in favour of our own in-house tools which were primarily used for development of handheld games. In order to help train our artists, I documented all aspects of the transition to the new tools, including information on a variety of topics, from installation, to more advanced game asset creation and implementation techniques.
LEGO CITY: UNDERCOVER Developer: TT GAMES Publisher: NINTENDO
During early stages of development I helped to trouble shoot appropriate methods of development for recreating the incredibly detailed 3D environments that the Lego Movie film production company were creating whilst ensuring they ran efficiently in real time. This was a big effort between all of the senior artists on the team, working alongside our incredibly talented technical artist, discussing our requirements as well as providing test cases and feedback for the multitude of scripts that made creating our Lego environments possible.
LEGO MOVIE GAME Developer: TT GAMES Publisher: WARNER BROS, INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT
I have always been a fan of sculpture, particularly when dynamic anatomy is the subject matter. Iâ€™m also a huge fan of the traditional sculptor, Richard MacDonald and wanted to do something similar in content to some of his works, which seem to prominently feature gymnasts and dancers. I spent a lot of evenings and weekends with this one, studying video footage and a great many reference photos to try and capture this figure in such a dynamic pose, but Iâ€™m very proud of the final outcome, I hope you like it too!
SINGLE PROJECTS Personal project
DAVINCI RESOLVE 12 Public Beta Available
Professional non-linear editing with Hollywoods most powerful color corrector! With version 12, we’ve truly made Resolve more powerful than ever before with the introduction of a full professional nonlinear video editing system in addition to enhanced colour correction and finishing capabilities, allowing users to edit, grade, and finish projects all in a single tool. We’ve revealed several new features not announced at NAB for the first time today too, including a new Smooth Cut transition that uses proprietary DaVinci optical flow algorithms to create a seamless transition between different parts of an interview, so you don’t have to cover jump cuts with b-roll. We’ve also added in native support for both Intel Iris and Iris Pro GPUs, which will dramatically improve performance on a wider range of systems, including laptops, so editors and colourists have a much smoother time working remotely or on-set.
Other new features include: - Enhancements to core editing tools such as all trim modes, multi-slip, slide, and ripple and role. Editors can now select multiple points for dynamic trimming and asymmetric trimming of clips, even if they’re on the same track. - A new multi-camera editing feature that lets editors cut programs from multiple sources in real time. This includes the ability to automatically synchronise different clips and camera angles together based on timecode, any given in/out points, or sound - Timelines can now be nested, edited together, and expanded or collapsed in place to greatly simplify the editing of large, multi-scene projects
- New transition curves to let editors create and edit custom curves for transition parameters - New on-screen controls to see and adjust motion paths directly in the timeline viewer for more intuitive animation of titles, graphics, video layers, and more - Big updates to core grading and colour correction tools for colourists, including an easier to use curves interface, automatic colour analysis and matching between two or more clips, an incredibly accurate 3D perspective tracker, and a new 3D keyer with improved matte finesse options - Custom smart filters for a faster colour grading set-up across projects - New tools to ripple grades across multiple clips and flatten pre and post-group grades into a clip’s individual grade
- An entirely new high performance audio engine that offers higher sampling rates and greatly improved realtime audio playback performance The DaVinci Resolve product line has also been rebranded with this release. The free DaVinci Resolve Lite will now be renamed to DaVinci Resolve as there is nothing ‘lite’ about the free version. Meanwhile, the paid version of DaVinci Resolve will be renamed to DaVinci Resolve Studio. A full breakdown of what each of these different versions include can be found here: www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/compare Download Spanish, French, German, and Italian translations as well as the English press release at http://bit.ly/1IBoqcb
Download the Public Beta at