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Fallout NCR Poster

So here's a stand-alone image manipulation I made a while back of an NCR ranger from Fallout New Vegas. I'd made it for a poster for my brother's dorm room (Christmas present), and now that I've got some room on the site, I thought I'd put it up here. As with everything else, you're welcome to use it however, including to make posters (though I'd prefer it if you didn't turn around and sell them).

I wish I could say this was a painting, in fact, I'd originally planned to do it with oil on canvas, but I ran out of time before Christmas and ended up liking the image I'd hastily slapped together as a reference better anyways. I had been trying to paint straight from my imagination, but I have a lot of trouble doing that -- the way I imagine things is much better suited to writing than visual art, I guess; I tend to see a sort of nebulous big picture, and a great many small details, but if I focus in on them, they fade. This is fine for writing, since you can describe the big picture and small, important details, work them into the story ect, but I have a heck of a time drawing some of the complex things like cluttered cities or odd perspectives the way I imagine them, at least without a reference. I can't keep looking back at this shifting mental image as if it was real (check if the steam pipes I just drew are at the right angle and proportion, ect), and putting it on paper messes with the version I'm trying to picture for some reason. Anyways.

The image I put together to work from, for the record, was made from a photo of this kickawesome miniature (the fellow who created it has since given me permission to use it in the artwork). I added my brother's favorite in-game gun, the Rail Gun, and swapped out the luger-looking handgun the miniature had been holding for a Colt Navy. These were rough at first, like the rest of early edits, but I fixed up a bunch of the little details in the painting stage and gave the railgun some perspective.
I feel bad about the background -- I didn't think to source the images I used there at the time since it was just going to be a reference for the painting, so I don't really know where they came from. I don't normally put image manipulations on the site unless they're from footage I gathered myself or which were released under an open license but I guess this is a special case.

Anyways, when the reference was ready, I found I liked it quite a bit and debated whether or not to continue the physical painting, or just go digital. With the physical painting I didn't have much time, -- they take me longer and I wanted it to be somewhat dry before I tried to give it as a gift, whereas I could finish the digital painting much faster and could guarantee that it would look good. All I had to do was get it printed somewhere when it was done.

Once I decided to go that route, I went through and cleaned up the edges, and adjusted the positions of various layers (I remember the sky is made from three or four different images, and the sunset is from two, think the mountains are two as well; when I was painting, they were there for a sort of general effect and color scheme, but I made sure they blended properly this time around). Then I reddened the colors of pretty much everything, and adjusted the shadows and brightness of the different layers so they all matched and fit the sunset color scheme.*

When I liked how it looked, I flattened the image, scaled it up to a good resolution for a poster (5,000 px – I think I started bigger, but it kept crashing Artrage) and painted over everything with the oil brush and paint scraper and a bit with the airbrush. This took the longest, but it was the only way to make it look good at that scale, given the size of the images I'd worked from. Painting at that scale covered up all the bad/varying image resolution, pixelation, fuzzy edges and gaps, and sort of gave it that old movie poster look (at least when you look at the poster or the large version of the image).

All in all, I'm still pretty happy with it. Considering how much I've learned since I made it, there's only a few things that bother me.

* I know, I know, the shadows on the coat are a bit messed up and the hand on the railgun is wrong, sue me, I was in a hurry. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure the hand was just a snowmobile glove with the fingers cut off. That would be why the angle and fingers aren't holding it naturally. Didn't even notice that at the time. Seeing stuff you did wrong in an old project is sort of conflicting because it looks wrong, but hey, you've obviously learned since, so that's progress.

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