Wednesday, April 26, 2017

1 Week To Go Before We Kickstart

We're just under a week away from the Inc Kickstarter (Tuesday, May 2nd at 10am PST), and this update we'd like to share with you the initial rewards we have available. Of course, the base reward is the "Just Give Me The Book", which is a single book for $20. But we have higher rewards levels available, and hopefully we've come up with an interesting variety of rewards that you find tempting. If there are other rewards you'd love to see, feel free to comment, if enough people want something we'll certainly consider adding rewards.

We hope you will join us next week for the big event, let's get this book printed and released!

Thanks again for all the support, without you, this project would not be possible!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2 Weeks Until The Inc Kickstarter

So we're two weeks away from the Inc Kickstarter, and first off a huge thank you for all the support we've received, all the messages, the comments, the feedback, the shares, all of it gives us so much inspiration to make this thing happen, and make the experience as special as possible.

We wanted to give you a small sneak peak at the interior of the book. A lot of time and energy has gone into the layout, and we'd especially like to thank our final layout artist Paul J. Salamoff, he took the earlier rough designs and really made them sing. His strong attention to detail and collaborative attitude was a godsend. The person who lays out your book is just as important (if not more so) as any contributing artist, and we thank Paul for all his hard work.

Next week we'll reveal some of the reward tiers for the kickstarter. The lowest tier of course is "Just Give Me The Book", which is a single book for $20. But from there we have a lot of extra special gifts to check out. More next week. In the meantime, thanks again for all the support!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kickstarting The Story Of Inc!

That's right, The Inc Book Project will be coming to Kickstarter on May 2nd! For those of you who have been following us know, we've been working hard to get the book through the publishing stage of the project. We've learned a lot from this process, but after too many delays, we've decided that the audience has waited long enough, and its time to get this thing printed and into your ever patient hands.

The book has 3 parts, Part 1 is an illustrated novel, which tells the story in the form of a journal with paintings of all the key moments in the story. Part 2 is the World of Inc, which shows off all the main characters, environments, vehicles and aliens of the story in the same format as any art of book. Part 3 is the Making of Inc, which contains tutorials showing how much of the artwork in the book was made. Also included is a link to over 2 hours of video tutorials. The 184 page book contains well over 200 paintings, sketches, and 3d renders. 12 Amazing artists and writers contributed to the book.

All the art is done, the writing is done, the book has been laid out, the only remaining tasks to do are to print the book and distribute it. And that's where you guys come in.

When you print a book, you pay an amount per book. The more books you print, the less you have to pay per book. And its not like a small discount, it's a huge deal. If you print 1000 books instead of 50 books, the difference in price per book can be 5 times cheaper.

We need to sell a minimum of 1000 copies of the book to make the math work, and get the price of the book down to the $20 sale price. We have already chosen our printing company, and have set up our distribution network, all we need now is the money to let us pull the lever, get the book printed and release Inc to the public. And we hope you will be a part of this goal!

As well as buying the book for the low price of $20, there will also be many reward tiers, stretch goals, incentives, all of the stuff you know and love from the kickstarting process. After the month long Kickstarter, if we fund, it'll be a quick 3 month wait to get the books printed, shipped to our distributor, and then shipped directly to you.

We'll post more details in the weeks to come leading up to the kickstart day, but in the meantime, I hope you're as excited as we are, and if you have any questions as all, please feel free to comment, we want to hear your feedback so we can provide you the best experience. Thanks for waiting patiently for us, we're biased of course but we feel it'll be worth the wait.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Thanks for everyone who attended the IAMAG Master Classes 2017

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Patrice and Ben for organizing and inviting me as a speaker to the IAMAG 2017 Master Classes, I had a great time. Also a huge thanks to everyone who watched and gave me feedback on my talk: "The Story Of Inc: Developing Your IP with an Illustrated Novel", all the students who came by to get a critique, and all the other speakers, who not only gave excellent talks, but were also extra cool at the dinners and hang out events afterwards. Here's a few highlights from the show...

- Goro's VR talk: First off Goro is just the most enthusiastic guy ever, seeing him work in Quill in VR was just a pleasure, how fast and natural he was, he gives a really great sense of where the tech is going in the future. If you haven't painted or sculpted in VR yet, find a way to do it, it's fantastic.
- Dan Roarty's talk: Trying to pull off texturing a realistic human head in 60 min is no small feat. And don't worry Dan, mudbox is awesome, you don't have to apologize for not being a zbrush user.
- Nikolai Lockertsen's talk: I learned a whole ton of tips on using Procreate for my sketching. Love the perspective assist. And he's a super nice guy too.
- Sandra Pilny-Lockertsen: Many talented artists who didn't give a talk also attended, and had many great discussions with them about life and art. It was really interesting hearing about the similarities and differences making films in a small market like Norway vs the large US market. And just learning in general more about the story boarding process.
- Mike Blum's talk: With all the focus on big prominent blockbuster animation, it's easy to forget sometimes that there's a huge amount of smaller animation going on for Comedy Central, Adult Swim etc. There's a lot of talented people in this space showing off alternative styles and ideas that really should get more attention.
- Andrew Schmidt's talk on directing, I knew Andrew from Pixar but it was great hearing about what he's been up to since he left for a career in directing animated TV for dreamworks. A lot of great advice on what directing is really about.
- Ryan Church's talk: The sheer volume of quality work Ryan showed at the talk was incredible, honestly, only a hand full of images end up in the art of book, wish they were all there.
- Nathan Fowkes: The thing I've loved about Nathan's work for so many years is how rough and brushy it feels, he captures light with just a few strokes of his traditional or digital brush. And I found out he's also a big hard scifi fan :) Nathan does a lot of teaching, if you ever get the chance to take one of his courses, I can pretty much guarantee you will learn tons.
- Sadly, due to scheduling, I was unable to see all of the talks. I was able to see about 15 min each of Ash Thorp's talk and Jason Scheier's talk, Ash's talk about his current projects and inspiration started off really strong (and he's an Eastman & Laird TMNT fan!), and my wife who got to watch all of Jason's talk and she said it was excellent. The part I saw was great, I love analyzing film. I got to hear some of Allan McKay's talk from back stage, and he got into a lot of nitty gritty about the business of VFX, a topic that doesn't get discussed enough, it's so important. And I was really bummed to miss Marc Simonetti and Raphael Lacoste's talks because I was manning the portfolio review area, both are spectacular artists who I've followed for a long time, and I got a chance to hang out with Marc a bunch in the evenings and he's a super nice guy. Thank goodness we can watch the talks on video afterwards. Not as great as seeing them live, but will work in a pinch, I look forward to watching them all.

- Ian McQue's Q&A: It was awesome hearing this guy's professional story, a story of too many sequels that finally persuaded him to find creative freedom in his own artistic projects, and those projects ended up being wildly successful, which sent him down the path of fulltime freelance. A good lesson for us all.

Student Portfolio Review:
- I got the chance to review and critique dozens of student portfolios, and I found it really interesting. There's certain strong points that I saw in most of the portfolios, but also the same things that need work kept appearing again and again (cinematic lighting, variation in line weight, portfolio organization, etc). I have a much better understanding now of where the schools are excelling and where the schools may be lacking, and hopefully that knowledge will help me focus some of my educational materials a bit more to help out in those areas.

Also met so many other amazing professionals at the parties, students, people's significant others, people's kids. Thanks to everyone for coming. There was some discussion about whether the conference should expand (it was 21 presenters and about 300 people), but I felt that the size was kind of perfect, it allowed everyone to make real bonds with each other, get a chance to talk to each other frequently more than once, compare notes, it just felt more personal than say a 70,000 person siggraph.

If you didn't attend, you can buy access to the recordings of the talks here: Learn all about how the team made the Inc Book Project, and 20 other great talks by professional artists!

I can only imagine next year will be even more kickass.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Neil Blevins At IAMAG Master Classes In 1 Week

Hey everyone. So this coming Sunday (March 19th) is the weekend I'll be at IAMAG 2017 in Paris France giving an hour long presentation called "Developing Your IP with an Illustrated Novel". It will cover the creation process of the Inc Book project, I will be discussing how we made the imagery, wrote the story, talking about all the things you need to know about making your own book, working with publishers, business considerations, showing off a ton of never before seen art from Inc, and if there's time at the end, perhaps a live painting demo. The conference will feature 21 artists in total, some amazingly talented people will be there (Ryan Church, James Clyne, Ian McQue, Raphael Lacoste, and many more), artists from all different walks of life. Check out the official site below, come grab a last minute ticket, and hope to see everyone there!

Monday, February 27, 2017

"Inc" Visual Development Book Project Update #18 Feb 2017

I know its been awhile since you last heard from us, and we profusely apologize. It's so weird, we finished the book Oct 2015, and we figured it would be a 6-8 month window for the publishing process to complete and the book would get released, we never expected the process to take 1.5 years. We should have listened to our friends who warned us that a book can take as much as 2 years to make its way through the publishing system. If we could wave a magic wand and get the book to you today, we would. But all we can do is say thank you so much for your patience, and promise that the final result will be worth the wait.

So just a quick note to say things are still progressing, and a few bits of artwork to wet your appetite.

Check out the two turntables of the Inc The Robot model, smooth and textured, available here:

And a finished still from the second act...

"We were now heading straight for the mothership, hugging it as dangerously close as possible, sending the remaining probe smashing back into the huge ship that had launched it."