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Russell_Collins
10-19-2004, 08:46 PM
Russell Collins has entered the Grand Space Opera 2D.

Challenge Page (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/grandspaceopera/view_entries.php?challenger=4192)

Latest Update: Coloring WIP: ummm, can you say "roadblock"?
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105725529_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105725529_large.jpg)

So, I'm not exactly healthy right now after 3 liters of mountain Dew, my brain, awake though it may be, is rebelling vigorously against me by shuttering all the bright ideas I had for rich details I could add to this image. I've tried to see how it looks with more dramatic lighting (wherein I can skip plunking in rigorous details everywhere).

I realize that I'm not a designer of cool machinery by nature. I'm a fan of the old school chunky style for its simplicity (not in the Apple sense of the term but in the Atari sense of the term). You'll notice toggle switches on the console right next to a holographic image (anachronistic, perhaps?). Basically, I'm a character dude, not a rigorously detailed environment dude and so I'm stuck ONCE AGAIN.

I'm hoping some of you can help me out by giving me just the prod I need to keep from losing all my mountain-dew-induced momentum.

Russell_Collins
10-27-2004, 06:29 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1098858568_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1098858568_large.jpg)

This is just me playing with the 1960's method of coming up with alien characters for tv or movies: take somebody who looks a little different and then give them obnoxious make-up. Not sure if I'll use it, but the thought is what is motivating much of the look of what is to come.

Russell_Collins
10-27-2004, 06:35 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1098858909_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1098858909_large.jpg)

Here is a rough concept sketch for the "main character" or protagonist of my particular Grand Space Opera (at least in concept anyway). Naturally, he'll be a pilot and wear a sort of pilotesque costume. Here is where I might diverge slightly from my 1960's era feel a little bit.

Russell_Collins
10-27-2004, 06:40 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1098859242_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1098859242_large.jpg)

So this is what it comes to: a Drew Struzan rip-off in progress. I feel so ashamed. Ha ha ha! Actually, the dude sets the bar so high for movie posters, I can't really call it a rip-off unless mine looks at least half as good as his stuff. Anyhoo, I'm not sure if I will really stick to the 1960's movie motif and make a movie poster (and then sell out to merchandizing like a certain Mr Lucas), but at least this is entertaining for me to work through as if I would. Now all I need is to take a cue from Disney and come up with a little animal side-kick and my merchandizing empire will be complete!

Russell_Collins
11-06-2004, 08:20 AM
Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm steadily trying to talk my friend Steve Snoey into entering this contest and neglecting my own work at the same time. I guess I'm a better middle-manager than artist, eh. :P I will post new work soon though so if anyone among the crickets is looking, you'll have more too see.

Squibbit
11-06-2004, 08:26 AM
yea these ideas looked cool , would want to see more !

JARhead
11-08-2004, 01:09 AM
Love the idea of 1960's look. For a suggestion for an animal, a monkey would be ideal. That tip is free of corse, but if you ever do get your "Empire," going, dont be afriad to pass some money my way :)

Russell_Collins
11-11-2004, 05:44 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1100155452_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1100155452_large.jpg)

Here is the newest image. I've tightened up some of the details and tried some ideas about how to represent things. So far, I think the biggest challenge I have left is the one I started with: what the heck is going on? I have to figure out how to convey struggle and relate the foreground figures to the background action. I have a few ideas but for now, I'm happy just getting my referenced starfield effects to look good.

Russell_Collins
11-11-2004, 05:58 AM
Love the idea of 1960's look. For a suggestion for an animal, a monkey would be ideal. That tip is free of corse, but if you ever do get your "Empire," going, dont be afriad to pass some money my way :)
Maybe I should change that nebular face into a monkey's face... "nebular monkeys"... I smell "spin-offs" and "sequels". Unless I of course get sued by a band having the same name. :D

robinayles
11-12-2004, 10:43 PM
I have nothing against monkeys personally...but please don't go there. It is looking really amazing like it is. I'd just keep fleshing out the details. Way to go!!:thumbsup:

Russell_Collins
11-12-2004, 10:54 PM
Don't worry Robin, I'm only joking about the animal sidekick and licensing stuff. It is all part of a sort of back-handed humor about George Lucas' excessive product licensing and Disney's saccharine marketing behemoth. I am above temptation when it comes to that particular dark side of the force since my stuff's not good enough :scream:

I'll post more updates soon. For now, I'm trying to make some money off doing a cd/dvd/poster art gig for a band.

JARhead
11-13-2004, 06:59 AM
thats looks top notch.

The only thing I dont like is that it looks like the guy in red is about to throw a punch. Hes pretty far away to throw a punch. Perhaps if he was holding something, or he had both hands on the sword. Other wise its looking really good.

Russell_Collins
11-13-2004, 07:04 AM
JARhead: you're right, it would be a really long distance for a punch to be thrown. Originally, I had intended him to be holding some sort of "Spaceman Spiff" vintage blaster or something, but as you can see from the barely visible blue light on the red-suited guy's right, there is going to be a light source where his hand is. I'm thinking of giving him some sort of "Infinity Gauntlet" kind of thing because I desperately want to try and tie the foreground action to the background more strongly. I'm also thinking of turning that green/blue moon into a fleet of space vehicles and involving them into the scene somehow.

walrus
11-13-2004, 01:43 PM
Hey, it's looking good so far, it'll be great to see how this progresses. I like the fact that, like a good movie poster, you're really focusing in on the human element.

I'm steadily trying to talk my friend Steve Snoey into entering this contest and neglecting my own work at the same time. I guess I'm a better middle-manager than artist, eh. :P

I'd say so: I don't know how you've fared with your friend, but you managed to talk me into joining this thing! :-)

anyhow, best of luck, I'll definitely stay tuned...

-mike/walrus

Russell_Collins
11-17-2004, 09:38 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1100687931_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1100687931_large.jpg)

So, I was thinking... "...the picture I've made so far just got uninteresting to me, maybe I should go a new direction."

I admit I got inspired by a visit to a certain Jon Foster's website but beyond that, this started out mostly as a random doodle. Now that I've gotten to liking it, I'm thinking I should use this guy as a villian of some sort; an evil, twisted robotic scientist bent on galactic conquest or something of similar cheesey-quality. As you may have guessed, I'd watch Spaceballs before Event Horizon any day.

walrus
11-17-2004, 04:17 PM
It's an interesting direction to move in, Russell. The head feels a little too large for the body and pasted on a bit, but I'm sure with additional passes that the two will integrate more. And of course I love the multiple legs on him! Look forward to seeing how you tie this all in together!


-mike

Kraull
11-17-2004, 04:33 PM
What a freaky little scientist!!! I wonder what experimental monsters he could have created... Cool sketch by the way!

Blackarts
11-17-2004, 05:00 PM
At this point I would read him more of a worker drone than an evil galactic scientist, so I think there are a few things you can do to push it in that direction. I think the idea is good, but he needs to be more intimidating. Maybe scaling up the body might help, and using a darker metal instead of silver. Are those his eyeballs or is he wearing goggles? I woudl suggest showing his crazy eyes somehow - capture the madness! Anwyays, this is obviously early exploration, so keep going!

/d

Russell_Collins
11-18-2004, 03:14 AM
Yeah, I wasn't actually drawing this at the beginning with the contest in mind, but I think I can use him somehow (drone idea is a good one). I was also thinking something along the lines of that scene in Spaceballs where Colonel Sanders (pfffft! :D ) comes in on Dark Helmet "playing with his dolls again" except it would be this guy playing with models of planets on a galactic chart or something. I dunno, it will happen.

Russell_Collins
11-19-2004, 09:26 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1100859973_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1100859973_large.jpg)

So I took your advice, Blackarts, and tweaked it using the robotic dudes as more "evil drone" than "evil scientist" though kept some of the same sorts of activities.

I know it is hard to tell because the smallest sketch is also the most detailed sketch, but I think this is a much better composition than the first one I tried. My note, if they help to decipher what that thumbnail says at all, starting from the word "Heroine" at the top and working down counter-clockwise are: "Green/Red Lightsource", "Hologram Map", "Hero at the door", "Main Drone/Dr. Badguy", "Possible 2nd Drone", "View Window/Screen Throne? Lab?", and finally the all-too-necessary ".007 Laser".

I think this on will be a lot more fun to put together than the poster idea.

Gord-MacDonald
11-27-2004, 01:23 PM
Interesting start - I look forward to seeing more.

walrus
11-27-2004, 06:26 PM
Hey, Russell, yet another new idea, I see. Yet this feels very "pulp," and definitely in keeping with the themes that you've already been exploring. I can vaguely amke out what's going on. It's a shame that the hero only gets a head-shot.... Have you thought about pulling the camera out so that you can see more of his body? Hmm, but then everything else will be smaller. Anyhow, it's really feeling like Space opera in the classic sense of the words. Good luck as you continue forwards!

-mike

CodeNothing
11-28-2004, 12:52 AM
realy wierd man....

the spacy theme one seems very dated to me. I would expect to see it on the cover of an 80's sci fi paperback novel. The machanical legs guy seems much more interesting. I wouldent suggest puting characters floating in space from now on, its just not very pleasing to the eye. people like to see characters in there natural environments.

Russell_Collins
12-04-2004, 06:54 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1102146844_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1102146844_large.jpg)

Well, here is the composition in progress. I'm not very good with highly cinematic angles so I'm hoping that everything lines up nicely as this progresses. Thankfully I can place the elements that the eyes key-in on in different layers to adjust later but then again, I'm not very good at angles so it could just make the whole thing moot.

Speaking of layers, I've got the hero character on his own layer so I can move him further into or out of the scene. Any recommendations as to what to do with him as pictured here?

Lighting is going to be the next big learning process for me on this one since I'm going to try and make the inner room have depth and yet be much brighter than the hallway.

Colorwise, I like how it is setting up but there isn't much cohesiveness yet. I hope that changes with the lighting effects I want to imply...

Squibbit
12-04-2004, 07:21 AM
Fun pic !Splendid start you got there!
I'm even less good with lighting than you so can't help you there...
might have a few suggestions , tho ...

so how about :

- a lit "top secret" sign above the door
- a tiny biomechanical guard dog , lying on its side on the floor, its jaws locked
on one of the spider dudes legs
- red alarm light in the corridor
- a heavy guard robot behind the hero
- other mysterious objects in different sorts of containers behind the spider dude,
if it's a storage room or showroom.
- I'd definitely keep the spider-dude weaponless... makes u think of what the spider
form can do in combat, for example
-a hole in the wall or ceiling...an open cargo box... an open ventilation shaft...
to show where the spider thingy had gotten into the room

I don't really have much now , that pic's so cool to begin with, the head-on-a-plate
thing and all :)

Russell_Collins
12-04-2004, 07:57 AM
I like your ideas but the way I was thinking of the scene was as a "rescue" with a heroine strapped helplessly to a table with a laser cutting beam aimed at her by another one of the drones in the background.

However, the idea of an invading force of drones is interesting too. I wonder if it would be too graphic to have the decappitated corpse of a scientist laying on the floor somewhere and signs implying that the robot ripped his head off and attached it to itself so it could use the scientist's brain for it's nefarious plans...

It might not be too gruesome, but then where would I put the damsel in distress and the laser beam? Decisions, decisions...

Russell_Collins
01-12-2005, 01:00 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105495244_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105495244_large.jpg)

I put this part off for a long LONG time because I am mortally afraid of lighting. Not "lightning", but the bain of those unaccustomed to cinematic effects in drawings made without reference. So, since I have been such a chicken, I've let this part slip (along with all the other details I should have been adding all along) until the last week. Well, I just got a job doing tech support for a software company so all my free time from being unemployed is about to dry up and I'll really have no excuse. I really wish I had the bandwidth to have spent more time viewing and commenting on other people's threads but oh well. Good luck on the home stretch everybody!

walrus
01-12-2005, 01:28 AM
Good to see you back, Russell! The face is refining nicely. Now you had better finish this. I mean it!
:-)

-mike

Russell_Collins
01-12-2005, 01:37 AM
Yeah, I'm on it! I just need to get a case of Mountain Dew and some microwave popcorn and get to it. For now, I'm playing catch-up and family-computer tech support. Yours is looking amazing dude! I'm very glad you decided to enter the challenge.

Russell_Collins
01-14-2005, 10:00 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105700455_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105700455_large.jpg)

Some days you realize that no matter how much you love your girlfriend, no matter how excited you get about a subject, no matter HOW MANY MONTHS YOU HAVE BEFORE THE DEADLINE... ...some days you realize your true muse is pressure. That looming deadline is more inspirational than anything else and I'm finally back on a roll. The fine details are killing me though and I'm basically going to be pulling an "all-nighter" since I've got a wedding to attend this weekend and RIGHT NOW is the only time I will have to work on this.

What do you think about the progress? Anybody still out there or are you all back at your desks sweating the last-minute details like I am? :D

Russell_Collins
01-14-2005, 04:58 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105725529_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/6/4192/4192_1105725529_large.jpg)

So, I'm not exactly healthy right now after 3 liters of mountain Dew, my brain, awake though it may be, is rebelling vigorously against me by shuttering all the bright ideas I had for rich details I could add to this image. I've tried to see how it looks with more dramatic lighting (wherein I can skip plunking in rigorous details everywhere).

I realize that I'm not a designer of cool machinery by nature. I'm a fan of the old school chunky style for its simplicity (not in the Apple sense of the term but in the Atari sense of the term). You'll notice toggle switches on the console right next to a holographic image (anachronistic, perhaps?). Basically, I'm a character dude, not a rigorously detailed environment dude and so I'm stuck ONCE AGAIN.

I'm hoping some of you can help me out by giving me just the prod I need to keep from losing all my mountain-dew-induced momentum.

Ilikesoup
01-14-2005, 07:54 PM
Russell, put down the bottle and go to sleep. Though it may be an urban legend, I've heard that the yellow dye kills your sperm. You've made some great progress -- the Caution sign is brilliant. I don't understand why the laser is cutting around the girl, though. Are they using her to make She Hulk cookies? :D But seriously, you might want to put a clamp on her neck and brackets on either side of her head. What if there was a red target on her forehead? You could have a monitor with a big "4" as though the laser is in countdown to lobotomy. Tom Selleck has to work fast!

Russell_Collins
01-17-2005, 12:37 AM
Well, here we are come to the end of things and I didn't manage to finish. I'm not going to whine and say "if only" or anything like that. I AM going to congratulate the people who gave this their best shot even though I didn't do the same. Good luck to everyone who finished with a satisfying effort. I've enjoyed watching your work. Bring on the next one!

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