3D animated music video and promotional press photo illustrations for the band, black midi (2019).
Anthrox Studio: Creative Director
Isam Prado: Technical Director and Animator
We were approached by Rough Trade Records to create a music video and a series of press shots for the UK band, black midi. The goal was to create a new kind of band photo. We created concepts for 3D avatars to be made for each band member, hand sculpting their likenesses in Zbrush, and combined seemingly random outfits with surreal landscapes and scenarios. The effect is a discomforting digital reality, and a press shot like no one has ever seen before.
For this project we teamed up with Emmy award-winning Animator Isam Prado, known for his work on the TV series Broad City. Combining our skills in 3D, concept art, video games, and animation we were able to achieve a totally unique look which aligned with the band’s aesthetic.
Illustration style development, art direction, and character art for global marketing campaign of Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018).
Building off of the work we did on the first Red Dead Redemption (2010), RDR2 evokes the classic spaghetti western films of the 1960’s and 70’s to communicate an at-times heartbreaking story of a gang of outlaws and the decline of the harsh American West. This graphic film poster look is achieved through combining analog ink drawings and digital painting techniques. The effect is gritty, raw, and bold.
RDR 2 was released in October of 2018 to critical acclaim and is the second highest grossing entertainment product launch in history, behind Rockstar’s own Grand Theft Auto V.
Illustration style development, art direction, and character art for global marketing campaign of Grand Theft Auto V (2013).
Our vision for the marketing art style for GTAV was built upon the legacy of all the GTA art that came before it. The art would be completely distinct, while raising the bar to a new level of iconic illustration that fans would come to identify with the game.
We also worked on the development side, creating the character concepts for Trevor and Franklin, two out of the three main protagonists of the story. These concepts helped to define the look and vibe of what are considered some of the most memorable story characters across all of Rockstar’s franchises.
GTA V would go on to become the single biggest selling entertainment product in history, eclipsing all other media including top-grossing films. (Wikipedia)
Character design and concept art for Dawn of the Paladin pre-development project (2018)
For Dawn of the Paladin, we partnered with Triton City Entertainment, a company who’s goal is to bring to life original sci-fi/fantasy and animation stories through concept art and then pursue major studios, producers and directors to turn those stories into major TV and feature film franchises.
Dawn of the Paladin is a story about a small group of peacekeepers called The Paladin, who protect a remote three planet colony in a distant galaxy. They have developed a new fighting style which utilizes skills mastered by accessing dormant areas of the brain. Conflict ensues when an alien race competes with them for domination of the colony with the emergence of forgotten weapon technology.
Illustration style development and character art for global marketing campaign of Grand Theft Auto IV.
For GTA IV the goal was to create a more mature art style, with more realism and an overall painterly look in subdued tones that reflected the sobering tale of Eastern European immigrant Niko Bellic’s broken American dream.
At the time of it’s release in 2008, GTA IV surpassed all projections for its sales, breaking three Guinness World Records for highest grossing video game, fastest-selling video game, and the highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours.
Illustration style development, art direction, and character art for global digital marketing campaign of Grand Theft Auto Online (2013).
GTA Online is the multiplayer component to the massively successful Grand Theft Auto V. In GTA Online the landscape of Los Santos, San Andreas (a fictional version of Los Angeles, CA) is the playground for gamers to create their own avatars and compete with other players across the globe to become king of the sandbox.
The art style is an extension of the art of GTA V. But without a story narrative to illustrate, we were tasked with creating compelling character art that represented aspects of each digital content update, including outfits, weapons, vehicles and scenarios that players would be inspired to explore and apply to their own customized player avatars.
Illustration style development and character art for global marketing campaign of Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City.
GTA: EFLC was the name given to the packaged add-on content to GTA IV, which consisted of two parts, GTA: The Lost and Damned and GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony.
While the art style for this iteration of the franchise was reflective of what we had done for GTA IV, the marketing art intended to capture the bright, colorful, and fun vibe that this additional content presented to the player.
Character art for global marketing campaign of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Our first ever project for Rockstar Games! We were already huge fans of the previous GTA titles, so to have the chance to meet and work along side the brilliant minds of the Rockstar Art Department on this title was an incredible honor. The illustration style used saturated tertiary colors and dramatic light and shadow to evoke the feeling of the American west coast during the 1990’s.
GTA: San Andreas was a ground breaking piece of video game entertainment achieving massive success upon it’s release and immediately securing a spot for itself in the canon of pop culture around the globe.
Illustration style development, art direction, and character art for global marketing campaign of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Originally released on the handheld Nintendo DS platform
Illustration style development and character art for global marketing campaign of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
Revisiting Vice City, a fictional Miami set during the 1980’s which was also the location from previous Grand Theft namesake, GTA: Vice City. GTA: Vice City Stories was a slightly scaled down version originally released for the handheld Sony PSP.
Character design, concept art, and marketing illustration style development for Max Payne 3 (2013).
A gritty tale about a former cop whose family was murdered, and who now works as a body guard in São Paulo, Brazil. Max is a hard drinking, drug addled, anti-hero who must face his own demons in order to protect his boss, and himself from a Brazilian criminal organization dealing in kidnapping, extortion and murder.
Our first contribution to this project was creating the concept art that defined the look of the main player character in the game. Looking to diverge from the slick NYC cop look of the previous installments, Max Payne 3 was about a man running from his former life. We created a look for him with a grown out beard, and shaved head, which ended up feeding into the story arch of his character, when Max reaches a mental breaking point and alters his look before embarking on a mission of vengeance.
For this project in order to capture the cinematic quality of the game, we wanted to move into hyper realism, staging large scale photo shoots, employing actors, and involving stylists, props, and special effects coordinators.
Illustration style development, art direction, and character art for global marketing campaign of LA Noire (2011)
For LA Noire, a gritty noir tale about crime in 1940’s Los Angeles, we studied the classics of Film Noir from that era in order to develop illustrations for a marketing campaign that would capture the feel and vibe of that genre of cinema. Deep shadows, lights and darks, and dynamic compositions all played a role in creating compelling imagery for a world-wide campaign. The challenge was to bring this flavor to the art while maintaining a bright and colorful look appropriate for marketing a AAA video game to a modern generation of players.
Illustration style development and character art for global marketing campaign of Red Dead Redemption (2010)
The art style for RDR was intended to evoke the gouache painted spaghetti western movie posters of the 1960’s and 70’s. Having been life long fans of this genre of film, it was truly an exciting brief. Combining hand painted brush and ink, digital painting, and layering of textures to unify the look, we achieved a gritty, raw aesthetic suitable to depict the death of the Old West.
The iconic image of John Marston, the lead protagonist, looking down the double barrels of his shotgun, was selected to be the masthead for the game, adorning the box art and also serving as the singular image for the entire world wide advertising campaign for the launch this new franchise.
Illustration style development and character art for global marketing campaign of Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare (2010).
For this downloadable add-on content for Red Dead Redemption, an alternate reality was created in which the dead rise from their graves to walk among the living. If there’s one thing we love more than cowboys, it’s cowboy zombies.
We devised a spin on the original RDR art style, which was to take the top down, high-noon lighting of the original art, and reverse it to evoke a horror-show, bottom-up lighting scenario. There were lots of zombies in popular culture at the time, and we aimed to set our work apart from all the drab grays and browns by painting our living dead in shocking acidic almost psychedelic colors, inspired by the famous horror movie poster artist, Basil Gogos.
Illustration style development and character art for global marketing campaign of Bully (2006).
Bully, or Canis Canem Edit, as it was titled in the UK release, was a game about navigating the cut-throat social circles of Bullworth Academy, a boarding school in a sleepy New England suburb.
For this character art style, we looked at everything from cartoons to Normal Rockwell to create a fun, irreverent, graphic look that captures the nostalgia and humor of the game.
Illustration style development and character design for animated cartoon, watchable from within Grand Theft Auto V.
As a player in GTA V, there is much one can do in such a vast imaginative world. One of those things is sit on the couch in your virtual apartment and watch TV. Hours of video footage of TV shows, spoofs, and satire were created for this purpose. We had the pleasure to work with the very talented animation crew at Rockstar to develop wholly new and original animated cartoons for this purpose. Impotent Rage is a satirization of the effite liberal do-gooder, in the character of an extremely wealthy, yet extremely ineffectual superhero.
Watch the cartoon HERE
Illustration style development, character & background design, as well as logo design and full visual development for animated cartoon, The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain.
In this original animated short, watchable only from within Grand Theft Auto V (in the in-game movie theater), we collaborated with the extremely talented animation team at Rockstar Games to produce this cartoon set in 1960’s England about a lonely working-class British robot and his lost love.