BEHIND THE SCENES

Shown  below is the very first Chess Pieces concept from 1998, called The Forgotten War.  It's used in the above artwork and The Sacrifice for the Queen uses the same wireframe file. Often in creating this imagery, many versions are developed and sometimes the same files are used to explore different concepts.

One of the many advantages of creating in this medium is the ability to explore a concept from any angle. I can change the sky to invoke different moods; manipulate the atmosphere; change clouds; move camera angles, scale, and textures; and adjust the tone and composition as needed. The power to move mountains... change the seasons. And with each change it can have a profound effect on the outcome of the art, much like a game of chess itself. Until finally- Checkmate and I have the finished version.

   
Valley Of The Chess Pieces: With the advent of more sophisticated software, the ability to generate entire forests (rather than placing many render-intensive trees) gives a whole new level of scale that I have been waiting for. This render initially began as an experiment in forest generation that never conceptually developed to be part of the series. This image was the result almost right out of the creative gates.
Endgame: I wanted to incorporate certain chess concepts and terms into the series for quite some time. With more sophisticated rendering software available and improved computer hardware, I can explore my ongoing series with more depth and complexity.
EnPassant:  I want to make sure that the chess pieces used reflect the actual term itself. So I do some research to find what chess terminology would make for an interesting concept and also explore the history of the term if possible. With this image I wanted to incorporate a feel of bad weather. It has always been problematic trying to get consistent snow covering correctly on all elements. The fallen pawn in the picture is made up of several layers of texture mapping. Three layers alone are dedicated to the snow covering of the Pawn. Some minor color correcting and snowfall were created afterwards in Photoshop.
Sea Horses: This idea was conceived early on, but has proven quite a challenge to realize. With each new software or hardware upgrade, this concept is one of the first to be revisited. The complexity comes from the unique requirements of an underwater environment. To give a sense of depth, and maintain the scale with volumetrics and lighting is also a factor. As you can see by the wireframe, it is a lot more complicated behind the scenes.
The Sentinels: As I developed this series, I found reluctance in focusing too much on the rook piece without the support of other chess pieces in the picture. This is simply because, on itís own, it just appears to resemble something like a typical wizardís tower. The final image was a direct re-render from the original wireframe with updated software and only some minor modifications. Lighting effects and alpha mask layers were employed and the final compositing was in Photoshop.