Friday, September 14, 2018

Looking Back - Power of 10 from 2002

Today I have for you something that I did back in 2002. This is the last project I created for Dr. Michael W. Davidson before I moved back to Los Angeles and began my career as a makeup effects artist for the second time. I have never shared any of this work, though it was always available on the Molecular Expressions website as well as being stolen all over the internet. In 2002 Dr. Davidson like to put the fear of God in you about sharing your own work since he owned it all. To be frank, he passed away a couple of years ago, and the last copyright holder is Florida State University, where I work my day job, so I think I am good to share this stuff now. It is my work after all.

What is this work? Well, it is the Power of 10, a series of 40 images that begin in deep space and go all the way down to an atom. I was tasked to take some images that a previous artist had begun and remake them all larger with more detail and add several more steps. I had a bunch of source material of dubious origins, my usual ridiculously short deadline, and Dr. Davidson always at my shoulder... so I got to work. I was asked to make the images HUGE, but since it was 2002 that means I have 1000x1000 pixel images @ 72dpi. Better than nothing I guess, but I won't be printing them anytime soon. Actually, I had to make the images at five different sizes for various uses and the smallest size was around 300x300 pixels which just makes me laugh now. You can see the Power of 10 in its native home on the Molecular Expressions website.
The Power of 10 will forever live in a little widget on the Molecular Expressions website

Here are all my original images in a handy little gif. Not at 100%, but good enough. You might notice a couple differences from what is on the website now. It appears that someone had to go back in at some point in the last 16 years and change some things. For what it is I think it holds up fairly well. It gets the point across and is mostly consistent in images quality.

Animated gif. of Power of 10 images that I originally created for Dr. Michael W. Davidson in 2002

This work was never precious to me, but I tried to find joy in it where I could. Working for Dr. Davidson was very difficult and I was under a great deal of stress for the two years I worked for him. In fact, there were multiple times I have illness and medical issues caused by the stress that I worked under. That said, I tried to do the best job I could and make the best quality 3D models and graphics. I managed to learn a lot about 3D modeling (all of which is now lost to time and the advancement of technology I never kept up with) and graphic design. While the work was mostly just work for me, here are a couple of the images from the Power of 10 that I really enjoyed working on and I was really happy with...


The Mag Lab where I worked at the time and the natural point you approach Earth as you zoom through space

I had to work very hard to create some of these images. We had some access to archive images and areal photographs, but they were all in black and white and were often dated. I had to fact a lot, make a lot, and do a bit of work to make all 40 images. There were graphics made from scratch, manipulated photos, photo montages, in house microscopy photos, 3D renders, and a mixes of all of the above. In the last 16 years things have progressed a bit and you can now jump on Google and get really nice areal images of nearly anything you would want. This would have made my life a little easier... but I like the idea that I had to work to make things happen. I had a lot more control of all of the imagery. Here is a comparison of the image I made in 2002 using areal photographs that I have to combine and color and a quick screen capture from Google Maps. You can see how much the area of Innovation Park has changed. My day job is actually in one of the new buildings...

2002 / 2018 comparison of the image I had to make and an image from Google Maps

Maybe I will share with you some of the microscope graphics and module I made for Dr. Davidson to you in the future. It was an intense two years and I actually have a lot of work to show for those two years.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog. Work has me away next week, so I will be back on the blog soon! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Busy Streets - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

I have for you a new piece from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia! With all the monsters complete, it is now time to begin exploring the Grand Bazaar itself. The sixth stop finds on one of the many Busy Streets. For the millions of being that call the Grand Bazaar home there is a constant hustle and bustle to daily life. While there are many modes of transportation for those that can afford it many get around on the power of their feet, or equivalent. This can lead to some areas being very congested throughout the day. If you visit the Grand Bazaar be ready for a hike and you expect to encounter some Busy Streets...

Busy Streets
16 x 20 - Pencil, ink, and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2018 Christopher Burdett

Busy Streets - Drawing
16 x 20 - Pencil on paper
© 2018 Christopher Burdett

Due to the complexity of these larger full environment pieces I am now working on I have needed to do value studies to make sure I know where I am going and don't lose my way. Doing these value studies has been one of the best course of action on this project and have saved me a lot of headache. Here is the value study for Busy Streets...

Busy Streets - Value study
© 2018 Christopher Burdett

Here are all of the monsters appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Aberrant Stilter, Belled Kreep, Corrupted Knight, Dight-Kin, Eau-de-nil Elder, Ethra VanDalia, Footman, Gray Wanderer, Gullet, Humgruffin Mother, Irritated Girasol, Judicator, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer, Lammergeier Transport, Myopic Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Quincaillerie, Rapacious Guttersnipe, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Uncanny Scribe, Virulent Artificer, Woven Egg, Woven Shaper, Xandrell Tree, Yote Arms Dealer, and Zombic Spore.
As an added bonus I have for you some images of the line work and rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape...

Busy Streets - Process © 2018 Christopher Burdett

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Friday, August 31, 2018

Hoodie Time Art Theft - With Resolution!

Today I bring you another exciting story of art theft, well, okay... maybe not too exciting. It is just another run of the mill company stealing artist work and slapping it on products to make a quick buck before they are caught. In this case, as far as I can tell, they were caught rather quickly. This came to my attention yesterday, Thursday August 30th, when artist were posting about a theft site. Looks like I was but one of the lucky artist getting ripped off by Hoodie Time. Yes, I know the link it broken and that is the good news. An personal piece from 2010 was getting slapped on shirts, hoodies, tank tops, etc and since I have never posted anything online that is even remotely print quality I am sure that the product would have been A-MAZE-ZING. Let's have a look at the shirt...

I love how they mark it as a designed hoodie.
Stealing art is does not make you a designer.

The funniest thing, and I wish I had gotten a screen shot of it, was that there was a link at the bottom of each page allowing you to report art thief. There was an email address to send your complaints to. They requested you send the link to the offending product and then links that prove the art is yours. They had a statement along the lines of, "Artist lie about owning the art they submit to us". This is a paraphrase at best, but it is what the intent of the statement. Oh look! The stolen art clothes are even on sale...

So tempting... My stolen art is on sale. Maybe I should order a couple.
(The answer is always NO, by the way.)

Looking at these samples I can not imagine that these would print the way they are depicted. and if they did would not look 'right'. Is the image repeated on the back? Who knows... and we will never know because the entire site is down. I sent in a request to have my stolen work taken down, but by mid afternoon the entire site was offline. A happy ending is always good. A happier ending is that they made no money before their site was taken down. Oh look, a confusing hoodie... are the arms fused to the body?

Just what every kid wants... a Great Old One hoodie...

Since the site is down and it all seems to be taken care of, I will leave you with the original art that was stolen by Hoodie Time. Not sure if this means this is a good piece of work or that it is incredibly mediocre and therefor able to be sold to the masses. Either way, I have always like this piece...

Great Old One
12.8 x 12.5 - Digital
© 2010 Christopher Burdett

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here next week! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Scribbling Intensifies - Grand Bazaar WIP

My days continue to bu full and I am my environmental pieces for The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia continue to take shape. The one I am currently working on feels like it is going quickly at the same time that it feels like it is taking the same amount of time that the rest do. It is full  of stuff like all the others so there is no way of getting around all the time that it takes to render all of that stuff. The difference here is while there is a lot of black, a lot of the image is getting a lot of white back over the black as well as just by itself. You will see when it all done I guess. Here are some heavily cropped process images that you may have seen on social media and a few images I have not shown anywhere...

Process images © 2018 Christopher Burdett

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here next week. Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Handmade Morkoth Miniature by Timmy Gansereit

Last week it was brought to my attention by a friend that someone had made a really cool handmade miniature based off my Morkoth illustration from Volo's Guide to Monsters. It was posted in a Facebook group and after a little hunting I was able to track it down. I LOVE miniatures and whenever I get to design them or something I have designed gets turned into a miniature I am SUPER excited. To start things off, here is a look at my illustration of the Morkoth...

11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The Morkoth, like the Kraken, is one of those monsters you never expect to see as a miniature and you would be wrong. Timmy Gansereit has given me permission to share the photos he posted on Facebook of his Morkoth miniature and I think it is just fantastic. Timmy did a great job and I think it is extremely faithful to the illustration. I just wish I could see it first hand. This is the kind of things that gets me excited about working in the gaming industry, people making their own stuff based on the worlds that you help create. Enough of my talking, here is Timmy Gansereit's Morkoth miniature...

Morkoth Miniature by Timmy Gansereit
Images used with permission of Timmy Gansereit

That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Friday, August 17, 2018

Trash Golem Scout - The Charmin Extender Monster From 2007

I have something weird for you today all the way from 2007. Way back in 2007 a friend, Eric Shepard, was running a blog and doing lots of neat stuff with it and occasionally I was involved. Not sure how it all came together, but it started with Charmin (the toilet paper people) were giving away spring loaded extenders if you contacted them. The extenders were a tie-in to new toilet paper, or something, that Charmin wanted to get them into people's hands. Eric thought it would be fun if a bunch of artists and creative people all got some and made art with them. Sounded fun and I got a extender. People came up with some interesting uses for them but I really remember the kinetic objects that were made and the videos of them bouncing around. I immediately made a monster. I used the extenders to make the body and I used stuff around the house to make the rest. If I remember correctly, nothing was actually ever done with any of the stuff people made for this. Life happened, Eric got busy, or moved, or whatever and nothing was ever posted. I figured that it was about time that these were shared with the world... because obviously the world was waiting with baited breathe for a foot tall sculpture that I made in 2007 out of junk. Anyway... I still have this little guy in my office today, 11+ years later. While you are looking at the Trash Golem Scout notice the background, it is our yard from early 2007 (more on this below)...

Trash Golem Scout
Mixed media
© 2007 Christopher Burdett

I hope you noticed the yard in the image above. I know it might be a little hard to get a feel for things, but you should at least get a glimpse at what things were like. Jump ahead 11+ years and the following images should show you the progression of time and all the hard work Dear Wife has put into the yard. We have never taken the progress photos that we should have, but occasionally there will be a happy accident where the yard shows up in images and you can see just how much it has changed. Not sure how many people will find this interesting, but I think it is really really neat.

Dear Wife's jungle that she made with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

That's all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: