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Featured Artist of the Month

KovuLKD

We've got something a little bit different this month: an artist whose main claim to fame isn't just his artwork (though that itself is impressive, to be sure)—but an entire piece of software that he's written to allow himself and other artists to create 3D animated scenes starring their own characters.

The link to KovuLKD's already-quite-famous program (or "game", as most refer to it, though it's surely more than that) is here.

O mai. C|

So you guys decided i wasn't busy enough and wanted me to type up a speech. >:| But CCCC| You're all made of pure awesome.

I feel the first thank you must go to Brian. And as i've said before, Sir, your dedication and achievements in this community have been truly inspiring, and i dare not even imagine all the hardwork you've put yourself through. I've watched this place grow since 2004, and to understand that this site started even before 2001, and maintaining it all this while, is beyond what i can imagine. You have created a wonderful community where i've came to know many awesome people, and i can never thank you enough for all the work you've done.

And to the rest of you crazy people who joined forces to put my name on the front page, and all of you whom i've met, talked to, laughed with, became llamas with and all: Thank You. Every single one of you have changed my life, in one way or another, some particularly significant `~` and i cannot truly ask for more than what i've become, thanks to all of you.

The Lion King is the first significant thing i've found a liking for, though it barely began towards the end of 2003, when i watched the movie again. For some reason it was more inspiring watching it nine years after the original movie release, with Kovu being my fave character for... some reason. But it's always awesome to finally have something you'd declare that you have a liking for. At least my family knows what to get me for my birthday now LOL. Along with the inspiration came the very first thing i wanted to create: An online TLK-themed game. But my motivation was short and my programming skills were shabby, so the idea didn't last for long, until four years later when i'm finally done with junior college and military service. I decided i wanted to create something for everyone, for all the awesome people i've known in this place...and so i did. The first release was for Aquanite's birthday `~` and since then it gained more attention than i expected it would, and it continued to grow till it became what it is now. And all these happened in no more than two weeks LOL but it shall definitely go much further.

So i'll go back to thanking everyone again: Disney for creating the amazing TLK, Hans Zimmer for the breathtaking musical scores, Brian for this wonderful place for us to get together and share our talents, FuzzyLKD for allowing me to steal the last three initials of his name LOL and all you awesome artists, friends, from here, Lea, and all the places i've been. This has been of greatest honour to me, and is definitely something to remember.

Thank you, thank you all. C|
A close look at KovuLKD's work must necessarily focus on the game he created, since that's what has garnered him so much notoriety in recent weeks. An example of the animation created by it is third from the top at left; allowing users the opportunity to create their own lion characters by modifying stock textures and basic shapes to match what they've already been working with in more traditional media, this "game" amounts to a means for artists to see their creations come to life. Short of the significant hassle and effort of mastering the art of animation, KovuLKD's software is probably the best and easiest way to take a created character from still images and convert it to a moving figure that exists in an interactive 3D universe, helping artists to visualize the character in context and even to work out difficult poses for traditional 2D art.

However, even though the software is KovuLKD's most visible recent achievement, we would be remiss not to look at his traditional art as well. Simply put, it's fantastic. Just look at the vibrant, character-filled scenes and portraits to the right. With rich, digitally colored backgrounds and characters that portray a deep understanding of both anatomy and expression, this is some of the best 2D Lion King fan-art you'll find anywhere. And it's not just the artistic aspects that are masterful; KovuLKD also has a deep understanding of the technical side of the craft (as befits someone who writes his own software, naturally)—as evident in the "JPEG Kills All" comic at right, he's able to make the tools of his medium sing and dance and even serve as the butt of a joke.

A little retrospective travel through KovuLKD's gallery will reveal a four-year history of increasingly confident art, with a style evolving toward a much more fluid, organic digital look. Yet there's always been a strong foundation there, a terrific understanding of color and composition, and a willingness to take on the challenge of just about anyone's character in a portrait done in Sketcher or elsewhere. As with many of the most ambitious artists, you'll never see a portrait pose or concept repeated—KovuLKD is clearly driven by the impulse for artistic originality and the breaking of new ground, which is why we know this is only the beginning of his artistic career.

Please do check out his game, if you're interested (remember, it's in rapid development, and thus is only for the technically inclined and adventurous); and at the very least, congratulate KovuLKD on his achievement!



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