The Art of Ryan Church

Many of you know of Ryan Church from his recent work on Star Trek which seems to be the bulk of the interests of the folks that come to the blog here, but Ryan’s work covers a broad range of organic as well as industrial designs. His skills and talents are incredibly displayed in his images created using primarily Painter and Photoshop.

I met Ryan about 10 years ago on an ILM animation project called “XO”. It had a brief but awesome run and some incredible art work was generated in the short time it was up and running. Everyone in the art department were still using pen and ink and other traditional media to render out their ideas and concepts. Ryan had a keen eye for the industrial side of things and was working on some pretty gnarly robot characters in the vane giant mechanical armor wrapped around soldier.  Mr. Church had some pretty awesome pencil skills that reminded me a lot of the tech version of (Crash McCreery) who is the king of graphite in the creature world!!! The show only lasted 9 more days after I got there and most of us went back to LA while Ryan stayed on to work on a possible CG version of Frankenstein. That one didn’t happen, but Star Wars did and somewhere along the way he lost his pencils and picked up a stylus and a new creative force was born. I am a big fan of so many of the illustrators and designers I work with and Ryan is one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy the sneak peak of some of his awesome work and be sure to visit his page regularly because there is always something new to see.!!!



War Of the Worlds

War Of the Worlds

Something cool from Star wars!!!

Something cool from Star wars!!!


Star wars the factory, WOOO feels pretty hot in there!

Star wars the factory, WOOO feels pretty hot in there!

THESE were the coolest things ever!!!!

THESE were the coolest things ever!!!!

23 Responses to “The Art of Ryan Church”

  1. 1 Joe McMullen (PepeWan)
    June 24, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Wow, his version of the Enterprise bridge looks much better than what appeared on screen.

  2. 2 Don
    June 24, 2009 at 7:19 am

    I’m also more partial to Ryan’s take on the Enterprise and the Kelvin than what we ended up with on film. Especially the Kelvin. His Engine Room is a nice take on that familiar place as well. Beats the heck out of The Brewery.

  3. 3 Melak
    June 24, 2009 at 7:58 am

    This is great, hopefully more of those disgruntled fans will realize that it’s not Ryans fault the new E ended up looking like she did.

    That big wheeled MRLS is fun, and I concur with Joe and Don above.

    And the picture of the drill striking the ocean is just way cool!

    • 4 Melak
      June 24, 2009 at 8:04 am

      I just had a look at the art on his page, and WOW the concepts for the black hole/vortex are so much cooler than what we saw in the movie!

  4. June 24, 2009 at 8:23 am

    John, surely you are kidding with that caption for Ryan’s Enterprise engine room concept? I suppose the brewery was OK onscreen, but Ryan’s engine room looks like a 23rd century steamworks… it’s a pity if the rumors of Paramount budget tightening are true and the brewery was done as a financial expediency.

  5. 7 Matt Wright
    June 24, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Scott, I’m 90% sure he’s kidding, I think that’s John’s humor not translating well to a little photo caption 😉

  6. 8 Big Will Cox
    June 24, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I really like Ryan’s idea for the Enterprise Engine Room. Maybe they will have the money to incorporate it into the next film instead of shooting the scenes at a Budweiser Plant.

  7. 9 evil_genius_180
    June 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Ryan Church is awesome. Unfortunately, I never heard of him before he designed the much debated newfangled Enterprise. However, since you’ve had the link to his site in your links area, I’ve been over there several times and seen the great art and read about the man himself. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he’s worked on many movies I like. I can’t wait to see some of his great concept art come alive in the new Transformers movie. 🙂

  8. June 24, 2009 at 10:03 am

    His concept art is really stunning. I haven’t seen that many artists do completely colored, full-size paintings of their movie work. I’ll reiterate for the n-th time, this new movie really needs a smashingly good “Making Of” book with the story of how this radical movie came to be. Even better if it is as frank and honest as the first “Making of Star Trek”.

    I agree that the bridge looks better in this concept than on screen. That may have something to do with JJ’s preferred lighting and effects, I reckon. Without the bright flares and the piercing spotlights, the set actually seems pretty similar to the concept up there.

    • 11 johneaves
      June 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm

      Man wouldn’t that be great to have that book!! To have all of Neville’s, Ryan’s and Jim’s work would be really cool!!!

  9. 12 Freak
    June 24, 2009 at 11:52 am

    The “Something cool from Star wars!!!” reminds me of the defence ring around Earth and the Moon in Starship Troopers.

    I have say that Engine room look really sweet and would have been much better than the Bud Factory.

    I am also loving the Btidge. It a shame that JJ loves to use lenes flairs as this ruined it a little. Lenes flairs are great when done right, but in the new film their is just way to many.

    As for the picture of the drill firing into the bay. I would love to get a bit print of that, so I could stick it up on my Living room.

  10. June 24, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Really love his work, I remember looking ta his star Wars stuff before Star Trek, he’s definatly got his own style.

    I just got Painter, since I’ve noticed alot of the concept artists are using it (I thought they were doing these on paper!), I must say its absolutly awesome, i’ve already told my misses that I’m getting a digital pen tomorrow morning, no more piles of paer around on my desk now I’ve discovered that beauty!

    • June 24, 2009 at 11:58 am

      It’s worth a look through the tutorials on deviantArt.com once you get your tablet, there are lots of tips and tricks to pick up. 🙂

    • 15 johneaves
      June 24, 2009 at 12:38 pm

      Awesome.. I just started a painter class and it is pretty cool!!! and extremely challenging!!

      • June 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

        Well I’m of to a CGI school tomorrow, going to enquire about potential sponsers, its amazing how much the price of these classes are these days, I remember when they just wanted volenteers to teach! lol

        Really looking forward to what you produce in Painter john 🙂

  11. June 24, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Yeah, there’s definitely something about that sketch that’s missing from the version in the film. I prefer the earthier colours used here, makes it feel more like a military control room than the garishly white version we got.

    Funny though, I really liked the Kelvin in the movie, but now I’ve seen how it could have been I’m a bit disappointed it didn’t turn out how it was in the concept sketch. That’s pretty sexy.

  12. June 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I love his renderings of the Enterprise Bridge and Engine Room. Much superior than what we got in screen, IMO.

  13. 19 davidp75
    June 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I love Ryan’s bridge better than the movie set, too. I think the biggest difference is that Ryan’s image presents a much more subdued ambient light and doesn’t have outward facing spotlights at eye-level. Also, the final set seemed larger and more spacious than Ryan’s design.

    I like how Ryan’s engineering design recollects the twin diesel engines in old U-boats. Maybe for the next film they can somehow mix this design with the industrial look of the film’s brewery sets.

  14. 20 DeanneM
    June 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I’ll just chime in with lots of love for the bridge concept. I mentioned it before on another post; that is just a thing of beauty!!

    One of my favorite wallpapers right now is his Enterprise that wasn’t used…I think I’ve mentioned that a few times before, too! Wow, is that a beautiful render!!

    Were those “big wheels” from Star Wars something he thought up from scratch? Those are super cool fantastico!

    I’m liking this post…too bad I didn’t see it earlier.

  15. 21 Scott D
    June 26, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Ryan sure has a lot of talent.

  16. 22 Landmines
    June 27, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Ryan Church is an incredible artist, beautiful work.

    “I love Ryan’s bridge better than the movie set, too. I think the biggest difference is that Ryan’s image presents a much more subdued ambient light and doesn’t have outward facing spotlights at eye-level. Also, the final set seemed larger and more spacious than Ryan’s design.”

    Well said. I thought it was slightly odd to have lights facing out from the walls presumably right into the crew’s faces (presumably because I didn’t actually notice them in the movie, only when I looked at the bridge tour on the official movie site)…they did go slightly overboard with the lighting. Does appear more compact which I like, I felt the cast was a little lost in that seemingly huge bridge.

    It’s also somewhat less cluttered than in the movie — none of the “barcode scanners” on top of the consoles, a much cleaner design I think (though I’m not sure the two consoles on either side of the nav. console are necessary). Anyway, interesting how similar the bridge was in concept and in execution; smallish changes made a big difference.

    Like the engineering too, hoping they can get something like that in the next movie — I’m not sure we really ever saw main engineering in the movie…or they could explain it by saying the ship was new so all the walls weren’t in…or something…

    By the way John, came across your site a couple weeks ago and I’ve been checking it out since — awesome stuff!

  17. July 21, 2009 at 5:37 am

    Hello dear Johneaves, my name is Lazarini from brazil and I ´ve been following Ryan Church artworks website a long time ago, I always think about how this Amazing artist do these artworks so Incredubles?!!! I would like leave here my opnion about these fantastic and amazing artist Ryan and his artworks!!!

    keep it up!!!!!

    from Brazil

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June 2009

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