Oni Goroshi

Original size 8.5x11 2011 Alex Ledante

This piece is a tribute to the fine tradition of anime films about the students who routinely save the world from the dark forces which plague Tokyo. The title translates loosely into English as "Demon Slayer" but why a Japanese schoolgirl is inevitably selected for this task is beyond me. In an attempt to reconcile the standard, I've provided her with a wakasashi (the short sword) as opposed to the expected katana

Modeling all the various toro (shrines) was a treat. I also enjoyed rendering the slayer herself, of course. Since this image was intended to be a print, the ambiance of the scene was forced to sunset as opposed to the deep evening palette that I originally intended but that became impossible for reasons too boring to mention

That having been said, this solution brings rich warms to the work which really break the paradigm. Generally, the rule is to have a cool background and a warm foreground to push it foreword (once again, lots of physics that would most likely bore you to tears) but I actually put the cool values in front and kept the warm tones in the background

Yet another attempt to play with atmospheric perspective, you tell me if I got away with it. For my next piece, another Japanese schoolgirl with a sword; please look forward to it...

High School Showdown

Original size 8.5x11 2011 Alex Ledante

This one is meant to simulate a screenshot from some generic Japanese console title, where the following piece is more of a concept sketch. Yes, I could've just imported the original model over from Bryce into Hexagon and made this piece match the other one, but I had an opportunity to upgrade the background and I took it

Prelude to a Boss Fight

Original size 8.5x11 2011 Alex Ledante

So you're playing a video game and right after hitting the save point you turn the corner and there is a stairway- Suddenly the aspect ratio swaps to letterbox format, the music track gets ominous all of the sudden and your subwoffer starts working overtime. No doubt about it, you're walking into a boss fight...

Even if you know exactly how much health you have, you still check the bar and pray to Buddha that a katana is the right weapon to use in this hallway. Sure, there is no way to swing but chops and stabs are still on the table; plus you can parry attacks into either wall. Adrenaline is pumping and it is time see if you have what it takes to win and hopefully get a new weapon or powerup out of the deal

Once again, I'm doing my "before the verb" bit. Actually, there is no reason why this needs to be a video game... It could just as easily be a book cover or a movie poster. Talk about low hanging fruit, how easy is it to model a staircase? Nothing but cubes- I spent more time tagging the walls than I did building the set!

That having been said, this stairway is much more successful than my previous attempt. Composition was also a no brainer, but check out the katana: That's a fairly accurate hineri maki ito. No mean feat convincing Bryce to make that into a seamlessly tiling texture, let me tell you

Otherwise this was a pretty straightforward effort and that is probably my favorite thing about this work. Plain and simple, gets the job done. Nothing fancy here, which is nice. Basically the visual equivalent of drinking a shot. Seriously though, when was the last time you saw a piece as balanced as this one? The negative space is chaotic with information and while the figure is in repose, she doesn't read as static even though she is obviously standing still. All the action is only implied yet there is something dynamic happening without resorting to motion blurs, depth of field shading or any other tricks. Proper use of lighting resolves everything