Join Michael Winkelmann for an in-depth discussion in this video In depth: Creating an Everyday, part of The Creative Spark: Beeple, Everyday Artist.
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So yeah, we're working on the Everyday Project where basically I take and draw out a picture everyday and just from start to finish. Concept to completion basically to get used to that every aspect of a project in terms of starting a project, choosing an idea, going with it. And then, you know, actually making it. So basically right now I'm going to be sketching out a concept in Adobe Ideas. And then I can take that and, you know, take it to the computer, and model it using ZBrush and then from there I'll be able to take that model into Cinema 4D. And then render that out and then maybe do some post work in, in Photoshop and then and then that's pretty much it.
Here's today, we'll see (LAUGH), we'll see how she turns out. Today I was thinking just, I don't know just like, these like towers, and I'm not sure how I would like to make them, and obviously my drawing skills are not the greatest. And this is just sort of a, a rough idea and something I do occasionally just to, to sort of get a feel for what's in my head. These towers with these sort of blob things coming out.
I mean, it's not the most illustrative or narrative idea, but I was just thinking, something with these like, gooey blob things coming out. And I had two ideas, one being if this, this area or the, the tower that they're in would be more sort of jagged and then the blobs would be more sort of glossy.
just to kind of have like a contrast between the like glossy look of these like gooey things coming out of this tower. And that's sort of the, the idea with these is I don't know, like I don't have a huge idea starting out, what it's going to look like. It, I may do this, I mean, there's a very good chance that I may do this, and it's like, wow, that doesn't look, or I can't get it to look how I want. And so in the end, It will look totally different than this. Or I'll spend, you know, two hours making it look just like this, and then in the last like two seconds in Photoshop I'll do something like mirror it.
Or switch this around and the end-product will look nothing like this. I'm a strong believer in just because you spent a bunch of time on something doesn't mean that's the best thing. Like, and I think that's something sometimes people have a hard time letting go of, oh I just spent two hours drawing like this. It's like, well, if in the end of that two hours, it looks like crap, then it looks like crap. I'm fine doing what I think is best for the end result even if I put a bunch of time into something and it just didn't work out.
So I usually spend maybe an hour to two hours every day and do this and I've been doing that for six years. So now that we've got it in sync to the cloud I can take that, and, and sort of take that into ZBrush and go from there. So, ZBrush is more of a program just for doing sort of 3D modeling and making you know, sort of meshes they're called. And then in Cinema 4D, that's where you can take that 3D model that you just made, and apply, you know, lighting to it.
Or, you know, a different texture if you want to say, make it, okay, I want this to be red, and I want the, the other part could be, you know, more of a darker color. And this is where you could also animate it if you wanted to, and apply any other sort of effects that you wanted to. So I'm just trying to make these look somewhat, they're all getting all blobbed out, like that.
I wanted them to look a little more smooth. There's probably a better way to do this using Z, ZSpheres would probably be have been a better way to do that. If I had more time, and I knew better what I'm doing. But if I went back to do it using ZSpheres it could take me just as long and might not turn out at all. So this method, however imperfect, is probably the route that I'm going to have to go. And I guess I don't know how other artists work, but I think sometimes people don't realize how much comes from chance or people's, how much people don't know.
And they're just trying to like, hide that, you know what I mean? Like, it just, like I obviously am an extreme like, beginner with this program. You know, so I'm trying to like, do everything I can to hide that fact, and I think that will change my work in a way that. You know, if I knew this program inside and out I would do things differently and it might look more like everybody who already knows this program.
You know what I mean. Instead of me coming at it from a, basically, like beginners perspective. I would do things not the correct way, and that sort of makes things look a certain way. So I think, and that's not always necessarily bad, and I think, you know, sometimes that's almost a good thing in a way. Because it will make your stuff look different. Okay, so, I think that looks decent or more specifically as good as it's going to look. Okay, so now we've got the mountain in Cinema 4D. In Cinema 4D that's where you can take that 3D model that you just made and apply, you know, lighting to it.
Or, you know, a different texture if you want to say, make it, okay I want this to be red. And I want the, the other part to be, you know, more of a darker color. And this is where you could also animate it if you wanted to. So from here, I'm going to maybe try to put like a reflection on these. (NOISE) I'll put another light in the back just to, so that side doesn't look so, get lost in the darkness.
I don't really like this red. Maybe just like a white. So now we've got sort of a lower resolution copy of the structure that they're in. So we can give it more of like like kind of a textured look. Hm, actually, I don't know how much I like that. So, with having such a, such a vague idea it's a lot of experimentation. In terms of, you know, by the end I'll usually have 50 to, I don't know, 100 different renders.
Here where it's, you can kind of go through and see the sort of evolution of like you know, changing things here. And a lot of it is just sort of, like guessing and checking, and this I thought it would look cool but I don't like the way these, like, little holes look around the blobs. And I don't really like the look of this very shiny things with this very square looking thing. It doesn't fit the way I thought it would fit. So, we got to go back to it looking more like, more rounded.
So that's basically the mentality there. I also would kind of like to have some more of those other little mountain things, so I think I'm going to take and sculpt out a few more quick little, little mountains. Every day is I think one of the things I really like about them is that you do have a lot of freedom in terms of, you know, I'm going to going to be done with this project in an hour. So it's just something where you kind of can try out and it gives you a good base of tiny ideas that you can then maybe be like oh, you know what? I kind of like that thing I did two weeks ago, let me sort of expand on the idea. Whether that be to expand on the idea, idea to a VJ clip, or a, you know, full video or something like that.
But it sort of, it's a great testing ground because it's low commitment in terms of, you know, I'm only going to get so far in this idea before I realize, okay, it's crap. Like, there's nothing, there's nothing here. Like, yeah I tried it, it didn't work how I thought it was going to. Didn't look, or this or that didn't work. You know, so you've got a tiny amount of time invested in it, versus, you know, something that oh, I spent, you know, the last two months on. And then I realized you know I don't really like the look of this, or it didn't really turn out how I thought it was going to turn out. So, I think that's one of the, the big advantages of them. So I'm trying to see if I can get some more interesting lighting with this. because I don't really, I don't really like the way it. Move the lamp.
You could put in a volumetric lighting that sort of lights up all of the area around it. You can actually sort of see the light. sort of like if you were lighting through like a, or you had like, fog kind of, so you can see sort of a like, light source. And you can also add a depth of field.
So that's basically, you can sort of, with the camera there, set the focal point. And then you can see the stuff in the background is a little more out of focus. And the, the settings are just like a regular camera in terms of if I put the F stop down it'll be, it'll have a more shallow depth of focus. So you can sort of, in going through the old ones you can sort of heavy it and tweak things to your liking. It'd be kind of cool if they were in like, foreground. So I'll move them to foreground a little more.
I think that's one thing that I don't have in my compositions very much, is stuff like in the foreground out of focus. For some reason it always looks weird to me. I feel like it would probably help things have a much better sense of depth, if I have more, more stuff in the foreground. You know, I feel like, you know, if I would’ve went to like art school or whatever or film school or something like that.
I obviously would have learned about, you know, how to like composition a shot, whereas this is sort of like, things that I have to slowly pick up, you know? And certain things that are probably like completely obvious to somebody who's had, you know, six months of film school, to me it's not at all obvious. That it's like, it takes a long time for me to sort of like, intuitively figure out like, oh you know, if I did this it would make, give it more depth. Or it would make it look, you know, a certain way.
So, I think that also has a huge effect on my style. I mean, obviously I think that's a good way to learn is by, you know, just doing stuff in terms of getting used to what this effect does or what that effect does on the, you know, look of the picture and how that's going to make things look. So I think maybe with that we can stop this down a little bit.
And I think anybody who's used a, you know, digital SLR, a lot of these controls will, you know, at least in terms of the camera stuff would be pretty intuitive to them. I think what's nice about them is they mimic real world cameras without the limitations of real world cameras. You know, so the light right now how the light is I can stop it down. But everything is lit the exact same, you know, and certain, and you can set it so those, that would effect the brightness of the scene. But you can also turn that off so that it doesn't effect the brightness of the scene.
And you can play with the depth of field without having to like, okay, well now I need to adjust the light, and now this, you know what I mean? Sometimes, very rarely it will sort of click and it'll just be like, I'll realize that I'm like, just, I'm not doing anything. Like, I'm just making tiny, tiny changes. And like, it's not really changing anything. And I'll be like, okay this is dumb. Like, I'm not I'm just like moving the curves, you know, up and down tiny amounts.
Where it's like in the last three minutes, I haven't made any changes to it, it's just, like, it's like, okay, this is pretty much done. So now I'm going to, I'm going to, you know, take what I have, basically put the settings up higher in terms of a higher resolution. Higher quality, in terms of the depth of field like, blurring the anti aliasing, I think, is a little higher. and then basically render out a single image with an alpha channel. So that I can then take that into Photoshop and do any sort of, like, post processing.
Maybe add a background, or, you know, tweak the colors a little bit. Or, put, like, sort of a texture on it, or, or stuff like that just to, to finish things. So I just kind of have to get my settings set up to save it for a file. And then basically hit render and, and then wait. (LAUGH). Okay so now it is 28 minutes and 43 seconds later and it is done rendering. So now we're going to take this picture with its alpha channel into Photoshop. And we can do some sort of post effects.
And any sort of color correction or, you know, texturing we want to do and finish her up. Now we've got it. And we'll just start out with a hm, maybe like a dark blue background. Let's see how that looks. Maybe something a little darker figure out a way, I kind of, kind of like this portion, more.
Maybe some star type, maybe some clouds in the background. There's a site out there called cgtextures.com. They've actually got, I think you can, you can download 15 meg for free every day. So when I first started out, everyday I just went on there and downloaded 15 meg worth of textures. And then after a while I got a, actually got a like paid account just because you can download a little.
I needed more one day. So, I could download this sky texture, save this so that you've got it for the future. And then basically put that in the background here and place that texture in the background and see how that looks. I'm not really feeling that. yeah I don't want this one either. Maybe if it was a little darker.
So then a lot of times just to make things look a, give it a little more texture, I'll bring in some sort of, you know like, maybe like a plaster texture or something. Just to give it, just so it doesn't look quite so perfect. (SOUND). Kind of an older look. Trying a bunch of stuff to see what, what sort of sticks. I don’t know if I like that yellowish look to it. See I just kind of sort of experimenting to see what, what kind of, won't work so it doesn't work.
And, maybe it would be interesting to put more of like a blur, erase pieces of it. And there's a plug-in that's primarily for video stuff. This Magic Bullet Looks. Sometimes I'll see if there's anything in there.
kind of look like that. Actually, that's not bad. Kind of like a darker, darker look to it. Not quite so blue. Sometimes like if I wanted to put in like a lens flare or something like that I would take it into After Effects. And, you know, they've got like a really nice optical flares thing from, a video called pilot that will, you can add lens flares and do all kinds of stuff like that.
Or if I want to do like a, like a certain affects, like, there's like a star glow effect that you can only do in, I think you can only do it in After Effects. So, now that I've sort of wrapped up any sort of like, post-work and sort of added like a, you know, a kind of a frame around it. then I, I'll basically, you know, save that file, and just save it as a regular JPEG, and then pretty much post it online immediately.
And I think, sort of, the reasoning behind that is, you know. As soon as I post it online, it's done. So that's kind of the, the ultimate cutoff, in terms of putting it out there. And that's, you know, an in, an integral part of the everyday process just because, you know, you started with a concept and you tried your best to make it something, you know? To try and envision that concept and then at the end you're done and you put it out and you can get, you know, feedback from people and see what, what they like, what they didn't like. And, you know, move on and try and do something hopefully better the next day. So that's sort of the basic concept.
And also by putting stuff, by releasing stuff, it helps you be okay. I feel like releasing stuff that maybe isn't, you know, this isn't my best work, I don't love this. so, it gets you okay with like, you know this isn't the best thing, but you know, I'll hopefully do better tomorrow and kind of move on from that. And I feel like sometimes people get super paralyzed by like, oh well this has to be perfect and I'm not going to release it until it's perfect. And then they never release anything, so it's sort of like there's no way with, with this that, you know, if you're doing something everyday and that's your deadline.
That's not going to happen. You'll, you'll get used to like releasing stuff and you'll, you'll see that that's a good thing, not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, that's just sort of my philosophy. So, now it's uploaded on the site, it looks like that is number 2,090.
Follow Beeple in this installment of The Creative Spark, as he creates his 2,090th Everyday and shares what he has learned over the years with this project. In the Extended Features, Beeple breaks down his projects and reveals the techniques behind his popular series of VJ clips—free short, animated, abstract visuals for VJs and creative professionals.