This is the blog of Thomas Schmall. If you like the artworks you see,
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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.

The PR Push: A GameKings Video Interview

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Thomas | Games | Tags: , , |

The indie-game I’m working on is slowly getting closer to release… can you believe it? For all the Dutch-speaking readers, here is a very nice 20 minute video feature by GameKings about our whole Caromble! team.

I’m only seen a couple of times. Anyways it gives a good view into how we struggle work. One thing I find curious is that I always try to highlight the fact that I do the textures on paper (like I outlined in the stylized textures posting). I thought it’s an unique aspect of our game. But again – as in several interviews before – it didn’t end up in the feature. Not sure why… maybe to an average person that doesn’t seem unusual? Would be interested in opinions. I might scale down my focus on this topic in future interviews.

So yeah, learning lots about marketing. And we’re actually getting better at it. More stuff upcoming soon.

If you didn’t do so, please help us by voting on Greenlight for Caromble! About 2000 more votes to go.

Caromble team working

Team working really concentrated.

The “Vaslav” Costumes, Part I

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

This week the play “Vaslav” premiered in Amsterdam’s DeLaMar theater. So I’m posting the designs right now and skip some older projects. I saw it on Tuesday – and liked it a lot. It’s about the early 20th century Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky – often called the greatest dancer of all time.

Mainly it’s about his relationship to his mentor Sergei Diaghilev – which results in lots of monologues and dialogues about artists and their drives, intentions and pressures. I was surprised how short the piece felt, despite actually being two hours long and never letting go of this heavy topic.
The stage design was really cool too.

The costumes itself are very close to the authentic early 1900 Russian upper class style. Which was a nice continuation, since for Katia Kabanova I did late 18th century Russian dresses.

Vaslav Nijinsky in a simple dress for dancing.

The main role: Vaslav Nijinsky the russian dancer (played by Maarten Heijmans)

Upper class costume: Diaghilev 20th century coat and cane.

Diaghilev – played by Jeroen Krabbé.

Early 20th century pyjama.

Obviously some romance scenes going on there.

Russian upper class: creme dress with long black skirt.

Vaslav’s wife Romola (Noortje Herlaar).

Russian upper class costume: Fine dress.

Romola’s mother in a festive dress.

Upper class costume: Creme Summer Suit.

Vaslav in a suit – for a Mediterranean scene.

Russian upper class costume: Diaghilev with 1910s fur coat.

Diaghilev with a fur coat.

Russian 1910s costume: Servant Chauffeur dress.

Peter, the servant.

Scantily Clad Male Hero … Model Sheets

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

Some artworks from the game “Quest’n’Goblins”, that sadly didn’t see the light of day.

These are designs for the male hero (female one and some other stuff following in other posts). The “Model Sheet” is the final goal here, which means it’s not a marketing artwork, but directly for production: posed and dressed for being modeled in a 3D software.
I worked a lot with pencils for this project – especially for the early sketching. And then colored the final chosen ones. A very effective and fun workflow, that prevents the endless doodling and redoing that can come from working digital all the way.

Hero Pencil Sketches

Pencil sketches for the male hero design….

pencil sketch male hero

…of which the client chose the first design, which I then detailed out.

Hero Model Sheet

The final colored model sheet. There is not much armor – as those you would collect in the game.

Here is one little sketch that was left over:

Buff Goblin Pencil drawing

Not a model sheet – but I like this design of a buff goblin.

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