Saturday, March 12, 2011

Robh Ruppel (update)

Robh Ruppel
Robh Ruppel is a well known art director, concept artist, character designer and matte painter for the film and gaming industries.

He was the Art Director for the animated feature films Meet the Robinsons and Brother Bear and did visual development work on films like Treasure Planet, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Tarzan, Mulan and The Emperor’s New Groove. He is currently an art director and visual development artist for Naughty Dog, a gaming development studio in California.

Since I wrote a post about his work back in 2006, Ruppel has revised and expanded his website, maintained his Broadview Graphics site and continued to add to his now extensive blog, The Broadview Blog.

The galleries on his website are only identified by number until you click into them. The first few are concept art, matte painting, animation and color keys. I enjoy his colorful, atmospheric work on the Meet the Robinsons in particular (images above, top two).

Gallery 8 consists of sketches, largely in a science fiction vein (image above, third down), and Gallery 10 is fantasy art (from somewhat earlier in his career, I think).

Long before the current spate of iPad location painters, Ruppel, along with a few other concept artists like Nicolas Bouvier (“Sparth“), was an early practitioner of digital plein air painting, taking a laptop and Wacom tablet on location to paint from life in applicaitons like Painter and Photoshop.

Now, of course, he’s taking advantage of the much more manageable digital location painting process afforded by the iPad, using apps like Inspire Pro, and iPhone, using Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile.

Gallery 9 on the website is his gallery of Digital Plein Aire (images above, bottom three).

I particularly enjoy his on location digital paintings of room interiors, such as his Vermeer-like painting of a doorway shown above, bottom.

There is a new collection of Ruppels’ work titled Aspect Ratio, available from Gallery Nucleus. It features some of his digital plein air paintings as well as his science fiction themed art. You can see a review/preview of the book on Parka Blogs. Ruppel’s professional work is also featured in The Art of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Parka Blogs’ review here).

There is a nicely illustrated interview with Ruppel on CGSociety. There is also an interview with Ruppel on his use of Google SketchUp in Game Design, which includes more shots of his concept design work.

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