‘LAST OF US II’ Artist Shares His Creative Process

Naughty Dog Sr. Concept Artist on the Fundamentals of Design

In this episode of GameDay, we are joined by accomplished educator and Lead Concept Artist Aaron Limonick to discuss principles of design and watch as he translates a 2D sketch into 3D using Octane Render and our Ancients kit. Apart from The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 with Naughty Dog, Aaron’s vast professional experience includes work for Transformers: War for Cybertron, Jupiter Ascending, and numerous studios like Blur, Paramount, LEGO, and Disney. 

Similar to how he approached the cover art for our Machinery kit, Aaron walks us through his process of creating a rough value sketch, adding detail, loosely blocking in 3D, and experimentation with assets. Even if you are unfamiliar with Octane, his method of settling on a simple composition first and then fleshing out the minutiae can be used no matter what medium you choose to work in. 

Seattle Arrival Freeway by Limonick

Since he has a background in sketching and illustration, Aaron has come to appreciate that different tools can give you the ability to think in different ways. He believes artists have a lot to gain by embracing new skills like 3D, or falling back on the humble pen & paper. To the 2D purist, he says, “You’re already cheating if you’re in digital, so why not utilize 3D? It gives you more energy to spend on the creative part.” 

Likewise, for those who already work in 3D but are equally intimidated by illustration, Aaron points out artists like Richard Wright, who start in 3D and achieve painterly looks with sometimes minimal adjustments. As he builds out the geometry of his scene during the demo, Aaron shares the techniques that he uses to accomplish that effect. Oftentimes it means purposely making the image less perfect. It’s amazing what a single brushstroke over a hard edge can do to bring everything together.  

Looking over Aaron’s finished work, it can be easy to get caught up in the complexity of it all, but Aaron demonstrates that even in 30 minutes, and with just two materials, it’s possible to create compelling works of art. All it takes is perseverance and a willingness to try something new. 

About Aaron Limonick

About Aaron Limonick

Aaron Limonick was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been working as a concept artist in entertainment since 2004. After graduation from the illustration program at Art Center College of Design, he began working for Activision at Neversoft Entertainment. After working on several games, he moved to San Diego and worked at High Moon Studios for over 4 years. There, he worked on pitch artwork for multiple Vivendi Universal projects, as well as developing Transformers: War for Cybertron under Activision. He has worked for studios such as BLUR, Fuzzy Door, Mirada, LEGO, Disney, Rhythm and Hues, Method Studios, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox. Now, Aaron is working for Sony at Naughty Dog Inc. and has recently worked on The Last of Us II, along with doing live workshops in several different countries around the world.

You can see more of Aaron’s work at his website, Instagram, and ArtStation.

About GameDay

About GameDay

GameDay is a video series from KitBash3D featuring world-building demos and interviews with artists from projects like THE LAST OF US PART II, HALO, STAR WARS, AVATAR and many more. GameDay is hosted by KitBash3D founders Maxx & Banks and originally aired live in partnership with LightBox Expo.

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