I've been passionate about 3D art for the bulk of my career. 3D has been, to me, the closest I could ever come to bringing my dreams into reality. The use of sculptural form combined with color, fantastic anatomy and personality has made 3D one of the great artistic loves of my life.
I met my first Deathclaw in middle school, playing Fallout on a friend's machine, and I fell instantly in love with these "Dragons of the Waste." It was an honor to tackle them for Fallout 3 - sourcing from both the originals and the concept art of Adam Adamowicz - but I'm proudest of my Fallout 4 redesign.
To improve upon them, I gave the newer ones thicker, more armored skin; shorter, strong-looking claws and hands; a bull-like redesign to the horns (to suggest the ability to ram); and a thicker tail - heavy enough to act as a counter-weight.
The Skyrim Giant
I designed the Giant to look like my father, Jim Lobe (you can google him if you like, he's a journalist). With his weathered features and weary demeanor, the Skyrim Giant was meant to convey a profound feeling of age, of a long life lived in the sun. I wanted players to feel like children again, small, in awe of the largeness of our parents as they moved around the house. To create this, I referenced the art of Adam Adamowicz, farmers from around the world (to get that creased-skin look) and African tribal scarring (blended with a Celtic influence).
The model, fully-clothed, weighs in at around 12k polys.
The Mirelurk King
Though it appears human in shape, the Mirelurk King evolved in non-sapien ways; namely, its upper and lower fins have developed joints and claws capable of flexion. The story I told myself while building this Lovecraftian monstrosity was that his kind had evolved in ways that allowed them to dominate and perhaps control their less intelligent Mirelurk peers.
To reinforce this idea, I doubled down on the “Kingly” imagery by sculpting a hard-shelled crown a la Dunkleosteus and long, sweeping red “gill robes,” like the old western kings. I built him anticipating that he’d walk upright, proudly, with this chest out - like the Fallout 3 variety. Alas, the animator chose a more froggish route.
The Dragonbone Armor (with mask)
The original concept was designed by Adam Adamowicz and then modeled/textured by myself. I loved the art, but I was a little turned off by the high-fantasy idea of dressing oneself in bone (which, let's face it, would never work and would fit horribly - the Dragon bones would be, for the most part, too large and impractical to wear), so I hewed them down and capped them in black metal. I *loved* the black metal + white bone treatment from the concept art, so I stuck to that!
I've included the classic Dragon Priest Mask here, and a blade called The Sword of Hoo.
This amphibious beast was created as the test case for my Pluralsight course on Character Design, entitled "An Immortal Design: Character Design Theory and Development."
I poured my heart into this course! In it, I cover the range of methods you'll need to create original, iconic characters. This course is designed to be timeless - technical pipelines come and go, after all - and should be of great use to both beginners and veterans alike! My hope is to not just make you a better Character Artist... but a better and more informed artist.
You can find the course here: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/character-design-theory-development
Undead are always fun to make, and the Draugr were exceptional. They weren't sagging, rotting, shambling undead - they were warriors of legend, sworn to the undying task of guarding the resting places of their people. In realizing the Draugr, I wanted to convey a sense of ferocity, and a feeling like if you tapped the skin with your knuckle, it would sound like knocking wood. And the suit of armor that he's wearing - straight-angled and hammered - helped me establish a metalwork style that I then propagated over to all the other armor sets I did, like the Dragonbone and Dragonscale armors. I just love that hand-made look...