Sunday, May 30, 2010


I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I would be working on some zBrush head sculpts this summer, to fill out my portfolio, to have more samples of my work for my Midpoint Review, and to practice my modeling skills.  I learn a lot in each of my AAU classes, but ther information sinks in better when I apply what I've learned to my own work.

I'm going to enter one of those head sculpts in another deviantArt contest.  I'll share the link after I've finished an posted it.  I'm using skills I learned all the way back to Maya 1, and from classes including Organic Modeling, both beginning and advanced Texturing and Lighting, and anatomy from Anatomy for Artists and Ecorché.

But you, you're probably hear to read more about my badass, undead gunslinger, Bodacious Creed.  Check within the last few posts and feel free to download the latest version of the proposal, which has lost of great concept sketches by Joshua Stewart.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Here are some new sketches that Josh did of Scrumptious, the robot in my thesis.

Again, please check out Josh's site!  That's Joshua Stewart, one of the winners of last year's Illustrators of the Future contest.

We may be adding one more illustrator to the project!  I'll share more on that later.

If you're new to this blog, you may be thinking, "Those are some cool sketches!  But what is he talking about?"  You can go back and read more of the blog, and you can also check out the proposal.

I'm Jonathan Fesmire, a 3D Modeling MFA student at the Academy of Art University.  This blog is for my thesis, Bodacious Creed.  An art school thesis is unlike any other type!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Yesterday (or was it the day before?) I mentioned that I was going to be entering art contests that I find interesting.  Combining modeling, texturing, fur, and lighting, I created a picture for the Splice Create a Creature contest on deviantArt.  You can see it in my gallery here.

Next: I'll be working on head sculpts in zBrush to practice those skills.

All this ties right back into the thesis.  The more I practice, the better I'll get.

More specifically on Bodacious Creed as it comes in!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

End of Semester!

http:The Spring 2010 semester at Academy of Art University just ended!  Let me just take a moment to relax.

Not too long, though.  True, it appears I will receive an A for my Pre-production class, the class in which I developed this thesis, Bodacious Creed.  It was a lot of work, but so much fun, it didn't really feel like it.

I'll be signing up for my Midpoint Review in about a month, and doing the actual review in about two months.  Meanwhile, I have much to do.  Those things include:

1. Refining my thesis proposal.  A big part of this is working with illustrator Joshua Stewart, who is doing concept art for the project.  I'm also seeing if I can get another concept artist on board, someone who is a Masters student at AAU.  Joshua is fantastic, but I've been encouraged to also work with a school illustrator, if any come forward.

2. Creating models for my portfolio.  I really want to show what I am capable of come the time of my review.  I've been doing so much class work over the last few years that I haven't done enough personal, portfolio work.  I have some great ideas for this.

I may be entering various art contests too, when I see ones that would use my modeling, texturing, and lighting skills. Then, I could also use the pieces in my portfolio.

I plan to start working on the first Bodacious Creed vlog soon, too.  I'll let everyone know when that's up!

Here's a funny thing.  Yes, I realize that Bodacious Creed rhymes with Tenacious D, though I didn't realize this when I thought of the name.  You can bet that if BC becomes a movie, I'll want TD to write songs for it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Proposal Turned In Creed Proposal-Public.pdfI just turned in my proposal to my Pre-production class.  This is the final version of the proposal, for class, but not the final version.  I need to have that ready by the time of my Midpoint Review.

Here is a slightly trimmed down version of the proposal for the public.  It's an Adobe Acrobat file.  Along with the concept art done so far by Joshua Stewart, it includes the latest version of the back story and the proposed set of models.

It looks really nice, too!  Check it out!

Us Marshall Robert Creed - Alive

Here's Josh's first sketch of the living Bodacious Creed!  Story-wise, this is, of course, what Robert Creed looked like before he was murdered.

For those of you new to this blog, Josh is Joshua Stewart, a 2009 Illustrators of the Future award winner, and the illustrator doing concept art for my thesis.

Oh, and if you are new to this blog, check previous posts for what it's all about!

Josh nailed the facial structure for Creed.  I'm very happy with this.  He's going to alter the hair style to better fit into the 1860s Old West, but he captured not only a look I'm happy with, he also got the character or a handsome, tough, and bright US Marshall out for justice.

Joshua Stewart's second Set of Sketches

Josh came up with some new concept sketches for Bodacious Creed!  These images include ideas for the characters Anna Lynn Boyd, Bodacious Creed, and Scrumptions, Anna's robot.  I emailed Josh back to let him know what I particularly liked, and what direction I want him to go in with the drawings.

More later!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Joshua Stewart's first Bodacious Creed Sketches

Joshua gave me the go ahead to post his concept art for my thesis.  So, here are the first rough sketches he did of the main character of my project, Bodacious Creed!  The second drawing from the left--the one that looks different from the others--is a concept drawing I did, which Joshua used, in addition to my descriptions I gave him, as a reference.

Joshua Stewart is a 2009 Illustrators of the Future winner.  I encourage you to check out his wonderful Web site.

It's fun working with a concept artist, and Joshua is amazing. These are the images he came up with for the main character of my thesis. As this is a 3D Modeling thesis, what's important is that I, of course, do the models. Collaborations on other aspects, such as getting a concept artist, are encouraged.

I'll share more of Joshua's concept art as he completes it. Meanwhile, check out his site!

Project Timeline Here

Here is the current timetable for Bodacious Creed.  I think I'm giving myself plenty of time in each area.  For instance, I've given myself a month or two to block each model.  I just blocked out an organic model for a contest, and that took only a few hours.  But, my thesis is going to be pretty complicated!

There's overlap with many areas of the project, which will allow me to be using a variety of skills over the same time period.  That seems like a smart way to keep in practice, and to move the project forward.

I also got some great rough sketches from Joshua Stuart who is doing concept art for me.  With Josh's Okay, I'll share those later.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Project Timeline

I've created a timeline for completing each phase of Bodacious Creed.  It includes over two months for the concept art, and then the year and a half I will have before graduation.  The stages include blocking of models, detailed modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering, and posing.

Once I get it revised a bit more, I'll post it.

Meanwhile, I should be getting some sketches from Josh by the end of the week.

My instructor, Vince DeQuattro, has contacted an illustration instructor at AAU whose students might be interested in working on this as concept artists as well.  It'd be pretty sweet to have a small team of concept artists working on this.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Proposal and New Artist!

I found an illustrator!

As I talked about in my last blog post, my instructor, Vince DeQuattro, encouraged me to find an illustrator to do the concept art for my thesis.

Per a suggestion by my friend, author Steve Savile, I looked to the recent winner list for the Illustrators of the Future contest, and found contest winner Joshua J. Stewart! I emailed him, and he wrote me back yesterday, letting me know he was interested in doing the concept art.

He's going to start by working on the main character himself, Bodacious Creed. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he draws. Meanwhile, check out his site and his blog!

Bodacious Creed: Updated Proposal

Jonathan Fesmire
Thesis Proposal
ANM 670 - OL2: MS: Preproduction: Modelers & VFX
Module 13
May 4, 2010

Bodacious Creed

Background and Setting:

In Arizona, 1860, US Marshal Robert Creed is a man of tough justice, often bending the law in the pursuit and capture of criminals. Still, citizens welcome him as much as outlaws fear him. His bravery, daring, and single minded focus earn him the nickname, Bodacious Creed.

Then, in the summer of 1860, he is shot dead. Dozens of outlaws claim bragging rights on his murder, but who really killed him, none can tell.

This Old West is mostly like our own, but technology has taken a different direction. In Europe and America, steam power has given way to a new source of energy. As it turns out, the luminiferous ether, a substance thought to allow light to move through space, is real, and all around us. Not only that, it can be converted to energy. New gadgets and technologies are emerging: faster trains, marvelous calculation machines, vocal telegraphs.

Some inventors have even been dabbling in replacement body parts. Though many have been successful on animals, none have worked on people.

Well, on the living, at least. You see, other inventors have learned to make ether batteries that can raise the dead. If that weren't amazing enough, the newly raised dead retain their living intellect, at least, if their brain was relatively intact at death and not too much time has gone by. Plus, some well crafted replacement body parts work just fine on a the raised dead.

In late 1860, three prostitutes are murdered in the town of Verne, Arizona. With fear rising in the town and the sheriff pulling up no leads, the madam of the brothel in Verne is determined to stop the killer. Turns out, she has the means, because she's one of those secret inventors who can revive the dead. She's brought back two of her working girls, but they can't tell her much; they never saw the killer's face.
So, she digs up the one lawman she's sure will stop the killer: Bodacious Creed.

The Project:

Of course, this a 3D Modeling thesis, and so the back story is here to give it coherence, and focus, as I work on it. It also makes it less likely for the models to seem stereotypically steampunk, western, or horror, while still being a mix of those three genres.

While I understand that a lot of models aren't necessary, I want to model the madam as well as Robert Creed.

1) Organic Models
  • US Marshal Robert Creed, aka Bodacious Creed, the undead gunslinger. He will have chunks of his face missing and a few replacement body parts that the madam designed. At best, it would be impractical to cast an actor in this role and still achieve the extreme look.
  • The madam. I want to also show that I can model a realistic human with character.
  • A coyote outfitted with a few mechanical parts. This is the gunslinger's pet.
2) Hard Surface Models

  • A gun that fits within the genre, based on guns of the actual Old West, but modified. This will really go with the model of Creed, but will use hard surface techniques.
  • A seven foot tall Steampunk robot that the Madam uses as protection. It's not terribly intelligent, but it follows simple orders.
3) Setting, all with appropriate technology for the milieu

  • The saloon/bordello owned by the Madam.
In addition to the models, I would like to showcase my texture work. I took the initial Texturing and Lighting course last semester and am in Advanced Texturing and Lighting now. I want to get excellent at texturing, to compliment my modeling skills, so I would like to show them off a bit. I think the best way to do that would be to texture the gunslinger himself. This would allow me to do a variety of textures, from rotten skin to clothing, to some metal.
I appreciate that Vince DeQuattro kept challenging me to improve on my initial western steampunk idea, as it has led to this. I hope this is compelling, and that it will show future employers what I'm capable of creating.
I'm also excited about the basic story, as I think it would make great fiction, in any number of formats. It's something I may expand on after my thesis is complete.

Per Vince's suggestion, I have found a professional illustrator to do the concept art. Joshua Stewart, one of the 2009 Illustrators of the Future winners, has enthusiastically signed on to do the concept drawings.

Bodacious Creed  © 2010 Jonathan Fesmire

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Seeking Concept Artist!

While my concept art for Bodacious Creed is serviceable, and is starting to show what I want to model, I've been encouraged by my instructor to find a professional concept artist.

You can check out my flier here:

Bodacious Creed Flier

Ideally, I'd like to find a graduate student in the illustration department at Academy of Art University. I can't pay... I am, after all, a student on a budget. If I had some extra money to burn, I would offer to pay, but again, I just don't have it.

Still, I think this is a great opportunity for some great illustrator to get extra exposure, create some great art for their portfolio, and to make a friend and professional contact for life. It will also be great experience in doing concept art for 3D Models, something that illustrators do for movies and games.

On a related note, I came up with another idea: Start a YouTube vlog to compliment and supplement this blog. I'll show progress on the thesis there, including illustrations, work flow, and models. Vince DeQuattro (my instructor and head of my department at AAU) thought this would be a great idea, so of course that has encouraged me to do it. I haven't started it yet, but will probably start that this summer.

Illustrators: You can contact me by commenting here or by leaving me a note on deviantArt, by going to the flier link above. I don't like giving out my email online, as I've gotten too much spam in the past. BUT, I do want to hear from you!