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Thread: Craig Mullins on Fallout 3 concept art

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Craig Mullins on Fallout 3 concept art

    After our recent post concerning Steve Meister's note on Craig Mullins' work, Craig Mullins himself stopped by to inform us further:
    Wow, I am amazed people are looking at these images so closely. At some point Bethesda may release better versions? These seem to be jpeg'd very heavily..

    I would have to go back and look through what Bethesda sent me on this job, but as I remember most of the source materials on Stripmall were provided by Bethesda. I was not familiar with the Fallout universe and had trouble "getting it" at first. The capitol was painted on top of a 3-d block model.

    This is commercial art, made to illustrate an idea. It is not fine art, nor is it an exposition on my abilities as delineator. Whether or not I could paint some of these objects from scratch is not relevant. What is relevant is it would take more time to do so, and that time could be spent toward the end goal of illustrating an idea or feeling.

    The most difficult aspect of repainting from a different angle is the complexity of these objects and scenes. There is a LOT of stuff in there. Constructing them in perspective is very time consuming. The majority of these images are constructed, however.

    I prefer not to use photos like this, but I solve the clients problem faster, easier, and cheaper this way. The current method of working in concept/digital mattes is 3-d/photo composites with varying amounts of paint. It has been trending this way for the past few years, and it is very obvious when this technique is used, for better or worse. There is no intent to deceive or misrepresent. If this lessens your respect for work done this way, I completely understand and partially agree. But if I don't use these powerful tools, I will be at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. I do ask clients if they would allow a more "painted" look and the answer is almost always no. Maybe if I was a better painter the answer would be different.

    Given the purpose of concept art there is little reason to reconstruct things that already exist, other than my (or a minority of others) preference, or an artistic machismo. This makes things more expensive for all involved. The time saved can be put into areas that do have to be constructed, which is the great majority most of the time.
    Note that Pete Hines has indeed promised to release higher quality versions:
    I have asked this before and I will again, please give us higher res version of these arts, please!

    We will definitely do that. I promise. Just not right now.
    In any case, this should clear up the last bits of doubt that we can't really analyse much about the game from the images. On one positive note: the fact that Bethesda provided most materials for the stripmall before the release of Oblivion means they had a fairly good grasp of 50s googie back then. Now only for some art deco...

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Mullins.

    Any chance you could tell us a little bit more about what Bethesda asked for/provided you with and how many pieces you did for them?

    Also, any chance you can clear up the big man-shaped thing on the ground in front of the four dudes on the latest art?

    Also, for our readers, more Mullins art (or given to me as such): link link link link link

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    I should set a custom title Still Mildly Glowing

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    i like the way this guy writes and thinks

    and that he informs as at all... thx

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    I mean, I guess it's nice looking art for what it is, but how about something like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother None
    Also, for our readers, more Mullins art (or given to me as such): link link link link link
    What are those from Kharn? The paintings look extremely familiar, but I can't seem to place them.

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Creation
    What are those from Kharn? The paintings look extremely familiar, but I can't seem to place them.
    They were linked from the BGS forum, but I think they're originally from Mullins' goodbrush.com website

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Wow...looking through his website, there are a ton of images that capture the grand 50's retro-atom art deco vision of the future style much better than the Beth concept art:

    Link 1
    Link 2 - You can see the pig from the Paradise Falls image in this one
    Link 3
    Just to name a few.

    edit:
    These really scream Fallout to me, at least:
    Linky A
    Linky B
    This one because of the artful design of the architecture

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    I should set a custom title Lived Through the Heat Death

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    I don't remember the first one, the others are indeed from his site.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Heh...the first one Kharn posted looks like it's from Akira.

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Creation
    Heh...the first one Kharn posted looks like it's from Akira.
    It does.

    Scrap that one.

    (someone else's links, like I said)

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Well it is on Craig Mullins site...it just looks more Akira than Fallout.

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    Super Moderator Venerable Relic of the Wastes

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    These other ones are brilliant and much more fitting.
    Fiat iustitia ruat coelum, et pereat mundus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratty
    The rest of us can enjoy being lovable retards.

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    Nice that the artist came over here.

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Creation

    edit:
    These really scream Fallout to me, at least:
    Linky A
    Linky B
    This one because of the artful design of the architecture
    These are pretty freaking cool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyDreamDesigner
    These other ones are brilliant and much more fitting.
    Yeah, it's sad Bethesda apparently didn't quite get things explained well enough for him to capture the right feeling.

    I mean, it's not really that hard- Take Old Art Deco architecture, Googie and 1950's signage with a touch of WWII propaganda poster mixed in on top of the art deco, and 50's gadgetry (vacuum tubes, tapes, spinning counters, etc) for the technology. Bust all that stuff up, make it look like it's been through an apocalypse, and then stick mad max style shanties, mutants, and other assorted Post Apocalyptic stuff over top of that.

    That's the FO universe's timeline, and the art style should reflect that.

    Hopefully Bethesda's getting it right as we speak. (*sigh* I know...)

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    I should set a custom title So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Creation
    They are a lot closer to what I would expect from Fallout concept art - they capture the dark and opressive atmosphere of pre-war metropolis.

    It makes me wonder what game they are for...
    Too much to do, not enough time to do it...

    Fallout1: Fatal Damage Mod

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorrow
    It makes me wonder what game they are for...
    According to his website, they're just Miscellaneous Projects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Creation
    Wow...looking through his website, there are a ton of images that capture the grand 50's retro-atom art deco vision of the future style much better than the Beth concept art:

    Link 1
    Link 2 - You can see the pig from the Paradise Falls image in this one
    Link 3
    Just to name a few.
    I'm not so sure. File 1 is much more medieval with strong mannerist characteristics, despite the presence of modern buildings. File 8 is largely classical if you disregard the arrow building (which isn't art-deco to begin with) and extra decals thrown in. File 29 is largely classical and mannerist, though the big tower in the distance is a rather perfect specimen by virtue of its mixture of notably art-deco vertical elements and curves.

    I guess I'm probably being nitpicky though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sai | GLYPH
    I'm not so sure. File 1 is much more medieval with strong mannerist characteristics, despite the presence of modern buildings. File 8 is largely classical if you disregard the arrow building (which isn't art-deco to begin with) and extra decals thrown in. File 29 is largely classical and mannerist, though the big tower in the distance is a rather perfect specimen by virtue of its mixture of notably art-deco vertical elements and curves.

    I guess I'm probably being nitpicky though.
    What about this one. Or ignoring the gunman, this one.

    These aren't Fallout pictures, obviously, but it's amusing how close they come to being so.

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    /me waves at mr Artist.

    you shouldn't doubt your own painting skills. from what we can see you're pretty awesome.

    too bad indeed that not all FO art has that trademark Fallout feel.
    Quote Originally Posted by G.K. Chesterton (on the agressiveness of Fallout fans?)
    "Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of touching a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it."

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    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother None
    What about this one. Or ignoring the gunman, this one.

    These aren't Fallout pictures, obviously, but it's amusing how close they come to being so.
    File 43 has it down more or less perfect.
    File 83 is alittle more confusing to me though, since large raw concrete slabs weren't really an art-deco motif. But then the intricate stepping style tapering around the egdes is art-deco. The buildings in the background look more industrial than anything so they'd work in most any city-scape. On the right it looks more modernist, but the complex of towers on the left has some hints of art-deco again. From the amount or consistency of detail used in this one I'd quicker judge it by mood than detail... and it definitely has the Fallout mood.

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    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Creation
    These really scream Fallout to me, at least:
    Linky A
    I think this is closest...how the hell did Beth manage to fool this guy into making the crappy ones from the teaser site is really astounding...

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