Monday, March 24, 2014

Art Thoughts

I recently was asked to contribute some tips to the magazine "3D Artist" on sci-fi environments and I thought it might be interesting to post them here just to share some of my thinking when I make my pieces.

"3D Artist" Sci-Fi Tips
Here are the 5 tips I contributeed to the article.

Leave Them Wanting More 

 In a lot of my work I try to create areas that imply the environment is bigger than what is seen. This could be just showing the bottom of a staircase or a slightly open door with light streaming through. This was a low-poly piece I was asked to do with a very strong contrast in lighting. I wanted to convey a sense of some comfort in the foreground with the bright warm light and create a sense of unease in the background with the red key light and cool ambient light. The sense of unease is heightened by the fact that the source for the red light is out of sight. Not knowing what is around the corner, but yet knowing something is probably there, builds tension in the scene.

 Reading Your Shapes 

When putting a scene together it helps every now and then to zoom out or squint at what you’re working on to make sure the shapes are readable. Typically it’s best to give the viewer areas of visual rest and not have detail cluttering every part of the scene. When you zoom out you should be able to see the shapes fairly clearly. This concept applies to textures and well as geometry. This is an example of modular tile pieces where I tried to create a good variation of sizes and level of detail in my shapes and create a good balance between the colors and the shapes they create. 

Warm Colors Advance - Cool Colors Recede & Faking It

Also, in regards to lighting, warm colors advance and cool colors recede. In this image of an operating room, the blue light on the operating table would be the first thing the eye goes to because it’s the brightest, but immediately the eye is drawn towards the door where the warm light is. So, if you want to draw the eye towards something you might be better off using a warm light. An interesting note is that this principle is used a lot in interior design. If they want a room the feel larger they paint it with a cool color like blue or green. A room can feel more intimate and smaller by painting it a warm color like red or orange.

When lighting a scene, don’t be afraid to put lights in areas without a visible light source. Many would think that this is cheating, but in reality it works well in being able to enhance the composition by leading the eye to specific parts of the scene. Again, returning to the operating room scene, I lightmapped it externally and put inside Unity3d. If you look closely, the lighting doesn’t quite match up to the light sources, but for the sake of composition and where we wanted to lead the player this works well.

Find the Meaning  

When making environments, one way to enhance them is to craft a story around it. This is an image I made about a homeless man who lived outside an exclusive community. The only one who was friendly to him was a shopkeeper who gave him some food and allowed him to sleep in front of his store. Even though there are no people in this scene the objects tell the story. The environment itself is the character.

Issue 62 of "3D Artist"

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Here's a new image I made for a book one of my former professors wrote on homelessness called "American Refugees". I will post a link to once it is released.

Hope everyone is having a good Spring!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

There's No Success Like Failure

A couple of years ago I linked to a commencement speech by J.K. Rowling given at Harvard University on the importance of failure and imagination. I recently dug up an article that also references this speech and has some words of wisdom of its own. Even though it talks about failure from the view of a designer in the video game industry, it's applicable to all of life's goals. The article is here.

With this post I would like to include something Michelangelo once said, 'the greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark'. I think we are more capable than we realize in what we can achieve. Often when faced with the fear of failure there is a tendency to play it safe because of the pain that might be associated with it, but instead we shouldn't see failure as something to fear, but rather something that is essential and as a friend that shows the way to success.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

"New World" - Autumn Image

Happy Autumn everyone! Here's a new piece I've been working on throughout the summer entitled 'New World'. The story behind the image is that there is this tree that has postcards instead of leaves. There are messages on each one that is intended for someone in the world concerning their destiny. These people have lost a sense of who they are and are directionless, but nature has decided to give guidance in a more direct way with this tree of postcards. I imagined that perhaps there was someone living nearby that tended to this tree and whose job was to deliver the postcards using the cart next to the fence. The idea for the postcard tree came from my good friend Mich.

Hope you enjoy! Comments and other thoughts are welcome.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Unlocking Truth

Happy Spring everyone! Here is my latest image I created for an art show I had in San Diego:

The truth within yourself is unlocked not by simply taking or doing something from some self-serving agenda, but the truth of who you are is revealed when you give yourself to others. When that truth within yourself is known, truth within those you give to will also be realized.

I also wrote a poem for this one:


It can come in a whisper or a mighty ocean's roar
It can come like a thief in the night, or in a package left at your door
It has a way of sneaking up on you unexpected
And will let you know immediately if anything has been neglected
It's not always pleasant, it's not always kind
It can be when it wants to, just depends on how much you're willing to try
To peer inside the looking glass and get real about what you see
It never comes with an easy answer, but there is a guarantee
That if you reach deep down and take a chance this thing will set you free
But there has to be a willingness to unearth
This mystery, this enigma, to understand life's total worth
This word-twister, this mind-bender, is often called Truth
And many today search for it in some kind of fountain of youth
Or call for it long-distance hoping to find it from some roadside phone booth
But the more you try to pin it down the more it gets lost
And no matter how far you seek it there's always another line to be crossed
It lacks a single name
Like a lion that can't be tamed
It refuses to be defined
And can't be bought with your and nickels and dimes
Never confined to a single lone space
And often comes in blinding moments of grace
It's not something that can be owned
But can be experienced, just depends what kind of seeds that are sown
Look for it in reflections
In the eyes of another
And you'll come across glimpses of perfection
And in yourself too, it will be uncovered
But this must be dispensed so that it can stay alive
You can't keep it to yourself, otherwise it spoils and rots, and gets twisted into a lie
That something that gets uncovered is what the world really needs
And sometimes it goes by what we call Truth with a capital T
Often you will hear it speak through the actions of the meek
The reality is the Truth within you is what people really seek

-Jason Godbey

As always your comments are welcome!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Image - Deliverance

Hello all,

I posted a new image on my website, Deliverance:

Other versions:

Hope you enjoy! Comments and critique are always welcome.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer image and San Diego Art show in July

Hello to anyone and everyone that comes across this post,

A new image, "Rischio", with alternate variations is now up on my website. I'm currently working on another image that will follow the theme of this image and an essay for both will soon follow.

I will also be part of another art show in San Diego on July 14th at Bar Basic. It starts at 7pm and goes until midnight. Come down and check it out if you're in the area!


As always, feedback and constructive critique on my artwork is always welcome. :)