Swamp Hag by Giovanni Nakpil

Decided to go back to this old model of mine which was very much inspired by Meg Mucklebones from "Legend". I've always loved the idea of a swamp hag who preys on poor souls who decide to wander by the swamp where she dwells. 

I kept this one very loose for now. I may go back to it eventually with the hopes of printing it out, in which case I would love to really detail the hag out with some finer pore and wrinkle work.

Wind Rider by Giovanni Nakpil

This piece was inspired mainly by Miyazake's "Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind". I wanted to create a character with the same attitude and qualities of Nausicaa but instead of riding her awesome wind glider, the character rides a fierce dragon. 

The render was done in Modo, so I had to decimate the entire scene from millions to a million, thus losing much hand placed detail of the scales and surface wrinkles (mostly on the wings). In any case, you can see the non-decimated Zbrush turntable here:

Copyright Giovanni Nakpil

Anatomy Study: Boris by Giovanni Nakpil

In thinking of what to do for my next anatomy study, I decided to do a character that had an interesting face. I've always loved Nicolai Fechin's drawing of Boris Karloff, so I decided to use that as a jumping point for this next character. I had a ton of fun fleshing this one out. From carving out his facial forms to trying to come up with lanky proportions for his body, I was in Zbrush heaven.  

For more images, please visit my Facebook art page where I've placed more views of this work here

2015 Anatomy Study 1 (Female) by Giovanni Nakpil

I wanted to get back into doing more anatomy studies. First thing I wanted to do is this female model since for me, the female form has always been the hardest to pull off. Because of this, I've been trying new ways to build up form in Zbrush that includes a lot of smoothing and layering-in brush strokes. I'm fairly happy with the results so far. 

Please check here often since I plan to update with more. Next one I do will be male.

Subhuman by Giovanni Nakpil

Here's a creature I've been working on and off after work hours. I was having some fun trying to come up with my own take on one of my favorite creature features as a kid called "C.H.U.D." 

For more images and progress on this critter, I've placed more in my Facebook page here.


Exciting Times by Giovanni Nakpil

I'm proud to announce that I recently made a very exciting transition in my career. I'm now a part of an amazing team at Oculus. I will still be based in Seattle, working with a group of extremely talented artists.

There will be exciting times ahead. I can't wait to learn new skills and help define what the road to virtual reality will look like.

Jan 25, 2014 Photography Update by Giovanni Nakpil

I've been in a huge photography kick. My Canon 5D Mark 2 was stolen last year (not going to go into details). Anyway, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise since the camera I replaced it with has inspired me to really get more into photography.


Stylized by Giovanni Nakpil

I've always been interested in exploring a more stylized approach to my work. I had such a blast working on these characters that I think I'll be doing more, but trying to go further in the simplification of forms (ala Gorillaz). 

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Learning Hair by Giovanni Nakpil

In my quest to learn more about hair, I decided to take a crack at modeling Yolandi Visser from the group "Die Antwoord". This model was a great subject for the sole purpose of trying to figure out her facial structure and learning how to render hair. The splines are currently done by hand, which I would not suggest to do. I would eventually want to learn programs such as Yeti to make my life a hell of a lot easier for future bearded and pompadoured characters I've yet to do.

I'd also like to thank those who took the time to help me out with my hair and skin shader questions. I can't wait for the next model I'll be doing with the knowledge I've acquired on this one.


Mech State of Mind by Giovanni Nakpil

Playing around with this one, trying to come up with a better silhouette. The previous version felt too bulky. I can't wait to retopologize this thing and build it in Maya so I can texture and render it. Also, it's been a while since I've built a robot in 3D of my own design. This will be a good diversion from organics, that's for sure.


Form Practice by Giovanni Nakpil

Tonight was all about practicing how to model clean forms.  I've been trying to come up with new ways to get cleaner, sharper forms that feel like they interact with each other. I used this handsome thing to practice on tonight.

I'm planning to teach a class in the near future, so it should be fun to teach my technique to those interested. Keep an eye out on my blog for updates on future class announcements :)


His Favourite Tool by Giovanni Nakpil

Had some time tonight to refine this demon model I've been keeping in the backburner. Worked on some form clean-up on the body and face. I also added a kitchen knife beside him. It's his tool of choice to flay the skin of the damned (direct rip-off from Wayne Barlowe's "Inferno" hehe).


A Nice Day in Seattle by Giovanni Nakpil

Today was one of the first days of the year where it was actually warm enough to wear shirt and shorts. The weather was brilliant. If today was an indication of how summer is here in Seattle, then bring it on!

My wife and I spent almost the entire day roaming and getting to know the area taking pictures. Here are some of my favorites below. I've also updated my 'photography' gallery with more pictures so please do visit and check them out if you can.


Street Urchin by Giovanni Nakpil

I've always had an idea in my head about a group of very young kids getting into all sorts of danger in the slums of some futuristic world (ala "Tekkonkinkreet"). I think I was subconsciously riffing off young Christian Bale from "Empire of the Sun" with this one. I wanted to create a very young boy who looks and feels old due to having to grow up pretty quickly in order to survive the slums. I'll definitely take this one all the way to face shapes and perhaps even animation.


New Year, New Look by Giovanni Nakpil

I decided to go ahead and revamp the look of my website and blog using the awesome new capabilities of Squarespace 6. This is still a work in progress, so expect the look to continue to change.

In terms of new content, please check out new images added under the 'Digital Work' and 'Sculptures' section of the gallery as I've added a lot of current works. I've also created a new 'Film' link that contain works I've done while in the film industry. I can't wait to add 'Game Work' sometime in the future. :)

Hope y'all like the new look!

Year End Thoughts by Giovanni Nakpil

New Years Eve is always a time for me to ruminate on the year that was. This time, it forced me not to just look back at 2012, but at my entire career thus far. I've come to the conclusion that I have been one hell of a fortunate guy to have worked at the places I've worked at and meet the people whom I've met. What a journey it has been. After finishing school, I took jobs which didn't seem to have any relevance to what I would eventually want to do, but looking back they helped build the armour to weather many of the challenges I've faced. These jobs led me to a much clearer path towards my goals.

To have achieved my childhood dream is something not many are able to proudly say. This moment was when I got that call from ILM offering me the hard surface modeling position for the next Star Wars movie. From there, it was one surreal moment after another of going through that proverbial checklist in life, crossing out things from my childhood that transformed me into the artist I am today. Build the Tripod for the next sci-fi Spielberg movie? Check! Work on a Star Wars movie? Check! Build Shockwave, your favorite Transformers robot as a child? CHECK! The checkmarks kept coming. There was not a single day of working there that I did not forget the fact that I was among the film giants that I've held with such reverence as a kid. I absorbed their knowledge like a sponge. It would've been such a foolish waste if I hadn't.


Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

2012 was the year that "The Avengers" took the box office by storm. I, along with many talented folks at ILM, worked our butts off on a particular green character with some anger management issues. If there was ever any character to work on, it would be The Incredible Hulk. He was the character I've loved since I was a kid. As a small child, my relatives would often make me do the Hulk impersonation (modeled after Lou Ferrigno from the famed TV show). So being asked to supervise the creature work on this film and build the green guy himself was perhapsthe ultimate cherry on top of the most delicious ice cream that is Industrial Light and Magic. It made the decision to leave ILM one of the hardest and scariest decisions I've faced. But, it is paying off big. I'm now working for one of the most amazing companies in the world and I'm learning so much, well beyond what I thought I could do. I'm once again unsure of myself. The ripples of self-doubt that rumbled in my stomach are once again present for me to tackle and conquer. It truly is an awesome feeling.


My farwell card from the folks at Industrial Light and Magic

Wishing everyone a great 2013!

Future Police by Giovanni Nakpil

Inspired by the works of Kenneth Scott, Mike Nash, Anthony Jones and a lot of the artist at "Nothin' but Mech", I've been in a very hard surface frame of mind lately. I started this during today's lunch session  and fiddled with it here at home, unable to stop.