A Month of Art

A Month of Art

Last Summer I spent a month making an artwork every single day, and this was the result. It wasn’t a planned project, hence why the start and end dates don’t quite lie on the beginning and end of the month, but I probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to start if I intended right from the start to put so much work into it so consistently. I was not working to a midnight deadline like some artists who’ve done daily renders (Beeple, for example). My rule was that I didn’t go to bed until I had finished the day’s artwork, even if it meant working until 4am. Which it sometimes did, and there were a few days when I just had to give up on my ambitious idea and settle for something I could actually finish and go to sleep. The total work time on the entire collection is probably around 100-140 hours, with some scenes taking as much as ten hours in a single day. I would try and explain the technical and artistic side of how they were created, but there are just so many of them that I’d be writing a small book to tell the story of each and every one!.

That being said, here’s a little general info.

Almost all of these scenes were rendered in EEVEE, specifically in Blender 2.83. I did no additional compositing work outside of Blender, and a decent portion had no 2d editing whatsoever. The artistic process was usually unpredictable but I powered through knowing that giving up one the project wasn’t an option because I needed to finish something, so I just kept messing around until I found something pretty. That was basically how most of the abstracts and a few of the scenes were made. Some of them were a bit more deliberate, and I would end up making something a lot like what I imagined when I sat down to create my scene. I never knew what to expect, but after completing one scene after another I got a bit more confident and started tackling full on artworks, which you see in the middle of the month. It was amazing but it was also crazy time consuming doing that much work over and over again, so I reeled myself in and ended the month with some simpler abstracts.

I am happy to answer any questions so please, look around and if there’s something you want to know more about just ask! I’m also planning on posting highlights of my favorites in the coming days, which will come with breakdowns of the technical and artistic process along with a view of the full image in 4k!

Also, the reason it say “Original Collection” is because I have some vague plan to enhance some of them at some point, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet so this is the gallery of original images created in a few hours a piece with no later editing. If I do ever get around to my second pass I will post it here.

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All these are really cool looking. These two caught my eye, so any info would be appreciated.
Riley Ryan Daily Renders Vol.1 Original Collection Showcase (2) Riley Ryan Daily Renders Vol.1 Original Collection Showcase (3)

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I love that you have a strong sense of style. You can obviously tell at first glance that all your work is thematically and colorfully consistent. Good work.

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Thank you!!

The first image is basically just 4 parts. There’s the abstract wire stuff, the sphere inside, the little ring around it, and the light rays in the background. The scene was rendered in cycles and I added bloom in the compositor.
The wires are just an icosphere with particles that procedurally link to each other using the Animation Nodes addon, which is a really cool addon that can do some crazy stuff. The sphere inside is just a high poly sphere with a cool material. The base of the material is a plastic like grey with full clearcoat(slightly rough) and a bit of blue tinted subsurface scattering. I then use a Fresnel input, controlled by an rgb curves node, to create the subtle blue rimlight effect on the top of the sphere. But I only want it on the top so I used a gradient texture to kill most of the value everywhere else, then multiplied it by a big number to brighten up the part I did want to glow. I just plugged that into the strength value of an emission node and added it to the base layer.
The material shared by the wires and the ring is a bit more complex but basically it’s a screen space gradient blending between two colors. I can send you screenshots and explain the nodes if you’re interested.
Then there’s the background light rays which is just a simple procedural shader I made with a noise texture. It’s a super useful asset and I put it in like half the scenes I make.

The second image I call 2 Monkeys and a Cube, because that’s what it is. I decided to try using a procedural dissolve effect based on a tutorial by Default Cube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcXIXeSa7FA . I changed up the shader a bit but the crazy displacement effect is exactly the same. Aside from that it was just a simple scene with basic lighting and some more fake light rays. Rendered in cycles.

Thank you! In the beginning I was making more weird stuff but as I got settled in I found my flow and got more focused. If anything I had to keep pulling myself away from just using pink and purple over and over again, it was such and easy color scheme that looks so nice in the abstract scenes.

Would you say you suffered from trying to make everything yourself?

I studied Beeple for a while and he practically borrows models all the time. But it’s okay for him, because we all know he could model everything he uses :confused: lol.

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For the most part I wouldn’t say I suffered given the particular images I chose to make. A lot of these were about trying a super specific thing where making it myself was the whole point. That goes for all of the abstracts, and most of the more sophisticated scenes. For example, the robots I made at the end of the first week were modeling experiments to test the Bi-Gen addon from Curtis Holt, and on the last robot with the gold head I made the neck using a modeling technique from hard surface legend Vitally Bulgarov(might not have spelled that quite right). For some of the scenes like the alien world you see in the 3rd row on the left edge I wanted to see how much I could create from scratch in just one day, so using pre made assets once again would kind be against the point of the project. That being said, if I were to do this again and focus more on scene building I would be much better off using assets. For example, in the middle of the leftmost column you can see a rather odd looking scene. In the end I was scrambling to throw together whatever I could in an attempt to salvage an overly ambitious concept. Scenes like that would be much easier with more premade stuff to work with, although half my problem in that particular case was just not knowing what I wanted to do with my idea until it until it was too late. I hope this answered your question!

I love the colors of your artworks. I really would like to have some of them as wallpapers to keep me inspired and dreaming. Anyway, what are your most used addons for these scenes ?

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Thank you! I was really focusing on picking pretty colors for all of them. It was great practice. I’ll post some of them individually in 4k soon. Any in particular you’d be interested in?

As for addons, I didn’t use many but here’s what I remember off the top of my head.

Bi-Gen from Curtis holt was great for robots, and I also used it for the magical gold thing in the bottom left corner.

I used the ANT-Landscape Generator for the hills in the second scene in the 4th collumn.

I used the Ivy curve generator for the abstract one to the left of the aforementioned artwork.

And I used Animation Nodes for the plexus graphic left if center in the 4th row and the orb left of the bottom right corner.

I think that was all I used. It was mostly just vanilla Blender.

I cant choose a best one, all are magics. But my prefered are the first one ( pink diamond ), the first of the 4th line ( planet ), the 4th of the first line, and the last one ( bottom right corner ). But, what I would suggest, imho, is to make a bit more “story” in these images. The 5th of the first line is nice for telling little story, as good as the last one of the 3rd line. I think it is important part to go next level, but I’m not a pro, so I can be wrong.

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Interesting… I haven’t showed this gallery to many people and you are the third who has specifically picked out the white abstract render. I’m definitely posting the planet scene soon on its own and I think I’ll bundle together some of the abstract scenes as a few per post(if I can, I’m new to this forum and ik there are restrictions on new users), so I think I’ll get them all up in the next few days. I am definitely interested in doing more storytelling in my art overall. This particular selection is a bit light on storytelling because a lot of them are abstract and have no real meaning. As I was working I was also focused on following the sort of natural flow of the process and just grasping as anything that looked nice, which led me to create many unplanned and unexpected things. As a result I didn’t get to weave in a whole lot of deliberate storytelling. But it is something I want to focus on more in the future! And don’t worry, you don’t need to be a pro to have a valid opinion. I’m not a pro either, just a guy who had a lot of free time and wanted to make some pretty stuff!

I love them all, they are very consistent in style yet all are different and have something special. My first impression was that they could all be album cover artwork for some dreamy, synthwavey electronic music. I very much like the mood your choice of colors and lighting gives to the images.

Favourites: the blurry bokeh dots (row 2, col 3), the planet scene (r4, c1), and the ropey spiral (r5, c2).

Great work, thanks for sharing!

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Glad you like them! I was trying out lots of colors and really stylized lighting with all kinds of hacks and tricks to prioritize artistic control over realism. After I got through the first few I fell like I just had to stick with the same general aesthetic because I wanted a beautiful gallery like this where they all look like they belong together. And you’re right, a lot of these do like like album covers! It’s also interesting to hear which ones people like. The alien planet scene is popular!

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