This is the blog of Thomas Schmall. If you like the artworks you see,
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The NXT Train Stops For No One!

Posted on August 13, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

Another little animation I recently finished:

Nxt Train Animation

The nxt train never stops!

Ok, ok, the topic for this animation is a bit… eh… specific (NXT doubling Peercoin’s market cap). But I’m still learning, so I thought it doesn’t matter. I liked the materials that I could use in this one. Didn’t expect it ending up in sooo much work.

I have to simplify more. And would be curious about critique – especially input on how to get the flying tiles to work better.
Anyways was fun – slowly getting the hang of a good animation workflow. But I have to get faster.

Inking from Memory

Posted on August 9, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

Recently I’m drawing more from memory than from reference. It’s an interesting exercise to pull those images out of the mind – they’re in there, but resisting.

Strangely – one can always see when it went wrong. Here are some of the better ones: A drawing from an event some months earlier, and some animals.

Bonfire drawing

Little get-together at the bonfire.

Dog drawings.

A couple of dogs

Animals from Memory.

Various animals from memory. Not showing the Iguana here, failed even after two weeks trying.

Animated Cursors and Subliminal Links

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Thomas | Discoveries | Tags: , , |

I did some windows cursor animations long long ago. Still love them after looking at them for 15 years – very relaxing, so if you’re up for a change, download them and check them out…. together with some link fun.

They cursors are easy to use: Just save the ani files, and change to them in your mouse settings. Here are up-scaled previews:

Relaxing Water - Mouse Cursor
This one is thought of as standard arrow. Careful, you might just watch the cursor all day!
Download the cursor here.

Relaxing Water - Mouse Cursor
A little working ant, fitting for “working in the background” arrow.
Download the cursor here. !

Some links as promised. First off the video analysis of Space Oddysey 2001 by Rob Ager. Stanley Kubrick apparently thought very deep about every scene – to the most minute details. Putting subliminal messages here and there – kinda mind blowing, especially the hidden IBM logos are stunning.
Should be a good lesson to artists, and how they can work with symbols – then again, Kubrick borrowed a lot himself from artists like Magritte.

Kubrick is not the only one good at hiding warnings for society in symbols. Studio Ghibli’s mastermind Hayao Miyazaki for example created the animation movie “Spirited Away” as a subliminal tale about children in today’s sexualized society.

Spirited Away Movie

The ghost keeps offering money to Chihiro.

Anyways, I’ll round this all up by destroying your eyesight forever.

Even Sinful Medieval Towns need Maps

Posted on July 25, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , , |

Two more artworks for a cancelled game playing in medieval times.

I already showed two character model sheets of “Quest’n’Goblins” earlier. Here is a little towns map – I tried to give it a medieval style by making a pencil version of it (tracing it on top of the monitor… good for your arm muscles).
The latter artwork is a scene from inside one of the infamous taverns of the village.

Medieval Town Map

The town’s map.

Tavern Inn Keeper

It’s a pretty rotten place.

Lith – a Cryptocurrency Game Logo

Posted on June 24, 2014 by Thomas | Games | Tags: , , , , |

I don’t even know how to write an easily understandable headline, this is quite new territory. I’m excited to show the logo I’ve made for Lith, a Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Game that will be based on a Cryptocurrency – which is a mouthful anyway you put it! And that’s just the start.

The gameplay of Lith will be heavily based on an in-game economy – basically having it’s own currency and allowing players to trade freely. Behind that stands the cryptocoin NXT, a kind of modernized Bitcoin. So at the end it will mean there is real value behind your actions.

Now add to that their unique funding: They use the NXT asset exchange to allow anyone to buy shares of the developer called D.O.R.C.S. – so if you think this sounds great, you can put money into it. Compared to a simple Kickstarter though, it will give you a share of the earnings if it will become a real success. I mean, not like with Occulus Rift, where fans funded it with two million dollar, and some weeks later the creator just shipped it off to Facebook and stuffed two billion bucks under his mattress.

Now, let’s not forgot about the logo!

You can read more on the idea on the NXT-forum, and support them if you think this is a great idea. You can see the DORCS asset online too.

Check out two screenshots and little video of a very early prototype below.

Lith Prototype Forest Lith Prototype Forest

Photoshop Animating Is Fun!

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , |

For a looooong time I wanted to try a bit of animation work. Doing my first steps here – learning how to go about it in Photoshop. By now that program is actually becoming quite good for animating.

Luckily I could connect the fun stuff with the useful, since Caromble needed some animations for effects. For example when objects are hit:

hit particle

A small hit.

And of course every game needs explosions. This animation will be played in an particle – so will be mixed and then combined with some more sparks and smoke particles.

particle explosion

Animation of a full blown explosion.

You can check out a screenshot of the explosion animation in Caromble. And find a bit more at my post about particles

If you want to give it a shot yourself, I can really recommend Alex Grigg’s Animation Tutorial. He did for example the absolutely fantastic “Phantom Limb” short movie in Photoshop. Another useful tool is AnimDessin2, which adds buttons to Photoshop, that will speed up the workflow.

And here a different simple animation. It’s really fun – so more to come.

NXT marriage

Don’t miss the nxt train!

Female Hero Model Sheet

Posted on May 28, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , , , |

Since I posted the male model sheet earlier, I have to follow up with the female one.

Female hero model sheet.

First the final outcome in color. There is not much clothing and weapons – since this was supposed to by dynamic in the game, depending on what items you collect.

Heroine Pencil Sketches

And here are some early pencil sketches, starting with offering different designs.

Heroine design pencil sketch

And then detailing the chosen one.

And here a bonus character artwork:

Mysterious character Portrait

Mysterious! Who is it? Will we ever find out? … well no, the game was cancelled.

Machiya Painting: The Path

Posted on May 22, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , , , , |

One more painting of my Kyoto Art-In-Residence that I didn’t post yet. It’s about time. This is the tallest and the one I spend most time planning – I’ll show some sketches here.

Only discovered this area in the last week of my stay. Some areas of Kyoto are crazy mazes – none of it can be seen on maps. Around every corner is something surprising. I tried to put my journey through one of those back-alley paths into the painting.

Machiya Painting: The Path (Kyoto Back Alley)

“Machiya: The Path”, oil on 50 by 60 cm linen canvas


I started the whole thing with getting impressions of different areas and angles, that I planed to combine.

Ink sketches for painting

The first sketches – getting an impression of the different parts of the path.

To show what I mean, I combined some photos of the whole way into an animation.

Painting Positions Animation

Animation of the positions I took for painting (still image).

It took quite some planning to figure out how to stitch the elements together. The path could have gone straight, or bend up or down. I’ve decided to use some dynamic progression to show movement.

More sketches of back-alley

More sketches …. and a little lunch-bag from the neighbors there.

Then I basically just had to haul my easel around from spot to spot and paint each part.
Here is an in-between step of my painting process (you can see more palettes I use for paintings, and work in progress steps in the tags).

machiya Work in Progress - and Palette

The setup with an early version of the image and the colors I used for mixing.

Caromble gets Greenlight!

Posted on May 1, 2014 by Thomas | Games | Tags: , |

Just a little note about the Indie-Game I’ve been working on: Caromble! just got the OK from Steam!

That means that we are on a gaming platform where we can sell to a big audience. That was an important milestone for us. We will still have to see how much it helps – as a lot of games go through the process. But either way, it was a tough fight – and now we can put our efforts on finishing – and the marketing for the actual sales. Thanks to everyone for voting for us!

Caromble game on Steam

Steam, here we come!

Also, There is a little update on the Logo. I changed the sphere, that looks now as in the game. Plus some tweaks on the typography with input from a professional. Here it is with a little chromatic-aberration effect that our programmers added.

Vaslav Costumes – Part II

Posted on April 16, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , |

On to the other half of the Vaslav costumes (see the first dresses for the Vaslav play here). I can also go and quote some nice reviews.

Diaghilev in the suit


I should note that as with all the other theater costume projects the designer is Yan Tax. I paint them after his directions. Still of course checking for any reviews if they say anything about the costumes! Being glad that almost all mention them – and always positively:

  • Theaterparadijs says: “The costumes of Yan Tax are an especially beautiful representation of the time in which the theater piece is set – which gives the actors an extra dimension.”
    (De kostuums van Yan Tax zijn een bijzonder mooie weergave van de tijd waarin dit toneelstuk zich afspeelt en geven hiermee de acteurs een extra dimensie…)
  • Volkskrant says: “…is totally perfectly produced, exemplary in dresses, decoration and light.”
    (…is het allemaal perfect geproduceerd, voorbeeldig in aankleding, decor en licht.)
  • Parool says: “Yan Tax (costumes) created impeccable evening dresses for the men and fittingly boisterous gowns for the ladies.”
    (Yan Tax (kostuums) bedacht onberispelijke rokkostuums voor de heren en gepast uitzinnige jurken voor de dames.)

Here are some nice photos I found on the DeLaMar Theater’s Facebook page:

Romola's Mother - in gown

Romola’s Mother
(you can see the costume drawing in the last post)


Vaslav and Diaghilev

Vaslav in dancers dress


On to the drawings:

Russian upper class costume: Diaghilev with fur coat and top hat.

Diaghilev with a fur coat.

Early 20th century - upper class costume: Emilia in a stylish white coat with pattern.

Emilia in an stylish white coat with pattern.

1910s beautiful gown: Romola in a nice evening dress.

Romola in a festive dress.

1910s - upper class tuxedo: Vaslav in an evening suit.

Vaslav in an evening suit.

Early 20th century - upper class costume: Vaslav in tuxedo and coat.

Vaslav in a black coat.

Vaslav in a early 20th century dancers dress.

Vaslav in a dancers dress.

Russian early 20th century costume: The servant in simple coat and cap.

The servant with simple coat and cap.

Russian upper class costume: 1920s Festive Gown.

Romola dressed for a ballet premiere.

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