View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Todd A McCullough

10 October 2004, 01:53 AM
Todd A McCullough has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

10 October 2004, 02:05 AM (

Early thumbnails that I was surprised started to flesh out the story and design I wanted.

10 October 2004, 02:08 AM (

The second set of thumbnails that work well. I'm happy with how these are set up. And it looks like I could possibly apply 2 different space opera stories to it. I'm going to fool around some more and then pick one.

10 October 2004, 08:59 PM (

I think I'll be in the concept stage for a little while anyway. For me I really need to flesh out the world where my Opera will be taking place. I'm not sure if this will get used for the final piece, but I think it definitely helps me to see 2 of my characters a little more clearly.

10 October 2004, 02:22 AM (

I'm pretty happy with the layout. I feel its a little cliche, but I think I'll use it as is. But I'm going to sit back from it for a bit and think on it some more and see if I figure something better out.

10 October 2004, 02:47 AM
BigBlue! I love the third one with the huge robot. The lighting makes it appear large and overpowering.

But the upper bod does that on its own

10 October 2004, 02:48 AM

good start, I like the character screaming...what is the idea behind your peice?

10 October 2004, 01:54 PM
Thanks guys!

@HieSpike; The story is currently evolving. But so far what's happening at this time in the image is that there is an invasion taking place on this planet. At the forefront is this guy on the B.B.O (Big Black Orb) who is the screaming guy in the image at top. That's an early sketch of him at the top. Maybe before he learned to harness the B.B.O. I'm not sure about the B.B.O yet. Maybe its dark energy? But on the planet are two of the most powerful robots in the known universe. The big one on the left and the smaller one on the right. These two aren't really buddies but they are working together now. And with them is the girl who has a strange connection to the guy on the B.B.O. There would be definitely more characters to the story but I so far haven't concepted anyone else yet.

The big on the left and the girl are going to be moved closer to center and further away from the camera so he isn't cropped so badly. The monolithic building in the back is going to move center too, and I'll shrink down the building building the B.B.O so it isn't so phallic. No big dinks! :)


10 October 2004, 04:17 PM (

I changed around the layout.

10 October 2004, 04:20 PM
Unfortunately I forgot I had to go into work today, so I won't be getting much done. It is Hallowe'en so I've got to carve a pumpkin tonight. Aside from that I think I'm finished with my concept submissions, I'm going to start work on the individual elements now and post more of the wips directly here. Modelling will be starting soon.

10 October 2004, 09:32 PM
hey, I like how your sketches evolved.
The three characters ( 2 robots, a big one and a little one, and a girl) are funny. Nice idea.
I`m curious where all this story will lead you.
Kep it up! :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 03:56 PM
Thanks PROctavian. I hope it all works out in the end. Certainly have to make it look a hell of a lot better in the finished version than these concepts.


11 November 2004, 04:20 AM
I started modelling tonight. I've started to put down the elements. Not sure if this is the best way to start, but what the hell. I'll break them up a little later in order to render them seperately and keep the illusion of depth. I don't want the orb casting a shadow on the land should be off in the distance. :)

11 November 2004, 06:57 AM
wow.. what a start keep it up very cool

11 November 2004, 02:29 PM
Thanks man. I'm not stopping now!

11 November 2004, 04:46 PM
Nice sketches man keep going.
Hope to see more...


11 November 2004, 05:50 PM
Thanks dude. Hoping to jump on it again tonight after work. I really want to finish this. I've only done 2D challenges before, so this might be a big leap.


11 November 2004, 05:26 AM (

This is the beginning for my modelling of the motherships that will be bringing in the troops down to the planet's surface.

I figure in the future that it would be a huge undertaking to build massive spaceships, so I imagined that these beings find small moons and asteroids mine into them and make them into their ships. They also attach drives and other machinery onto the surface to move and protect them.

Currently working on this one. Not much machinery, and whats there needs a lot of work.

I spent most of the time working on the shader, which I eventually rendered to texture and fiddled with in photoshop. The shader was just getting to big to try and create a lot of variety in the craters.

11 November 2004, 05:42 AM
i really like the screaming guy. i guess placing a human close to the foreground will compromise the epic-ness of it all, so i have resigned to understand the direction your composition is taking. :)

if the moon mothership is a production facility of sorts, you could have a few ships flying in and out of the myriad portholes..or have one hole that is the main landing bay and the rest are little entry points for smaller maintenance elevators!

ignore me. just blab jerking. [besides, this is my 30th post and now i can get my avatar up. who cares about the moon anyways. jk.:D]

11 November 2004, 01:45 PM
Dahiya you bugger! I feel so used. I hope stepping on the little people doesn't cause you any misfortune in the future. ;)

Thanks for feedback. There will be ships dropping out from the bottom, but I'm not sure what will be done with the rest of the surface, I was thinking of ships flying in and out of other areas too. As for the composition, I think I'll still be refinning it.

For sure I'm shrinking down the machinery.

Now I'm off to work!


11 November 2004, 03:01 PM
lol! little peeps? who cares about little peeps? this is my 33rd post!
oooh nirvana!! :D

good luck mate. looking forward to updates.

11 November 2004, 05:24 AM (

I worked on some of the elements tonight. Put them together to see how they currently work out. I'm pretty happy with the result so far.

11 November 2004, 05:28 AM
I'm going to vary to vary up the moons and asteroids but modifying the meshes. I'll add little gun turrets too I think. I think more of them would be in order also.
I'm going to move on for a bit and start modelling the city. The foreground elements, characters, Orb and Monolith will be started later.


11 November 2004, 11:06 AM
He Gamoron, long time no see.

I hope you keep the light colours in for the final piece. It's nice to see something lightly coloured next to all the entries with black skys :)

11 November 2004, 04:17 PM
jeroentje! How's it going? I don't seem to have the time to spend around here like I used to. Since getting a job, I come home and mope around, procrastinating about doing personal work. Hopefully things are changing with this.
Definitely plan on keeping the lighter colours. I'm trying to keep away from the darkness of space as much as possible.

Cheers! :)

11 November 2004, 02:53 AM (

Started painting the clouds tonight. I'm moving from milestone to milestone because I like to get fresh perspectives after taking a break from each component. Fresh eyes are always good.

Crits on all aspects are welcome.

11 November 2004, 03:27 AM
Todd, I really like the early storyboards -- the screaming guy is particularly evocative -- and the painted backdrop has a nice, almost anime feel to it. I would strongly urge you to follow up on your instinct concerning the asteroids: they really need to be less uniform, and I would go so far as to suggest looking at NASA's pictures from the Cassini space probe to get a better sense of the extreme variation you usually get in these things. I can understand the compositional reasons for wanting to keep them relatively spherical, but perhaps you can use more realistic shapes and maintain the composition by constructing a mechanical framework for the asteroids -- perhaps something like a partial Fuller dome as a rigging for the thrusters, with the asteroid body itself as the "heat shield" for entry into a planet's atmosphere. Just a thought ...

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how this develops. Keep at it! :-)

11 November 2004, 01:43 PM
realy nice sky; an inspiration for my work and the background i want to add to my work. amazing spheres to!:thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 04:20 PM
@Smooth-Criminal - Thanks man. Glad I can help.

@nuclearman - Michael. Thanks for taking the time to look at my entry. Much appreciated, especially the feedback. I am going to follow your advice to the "t" and look into all areas you suggested. I have been planning on varying up the shapes, just need to take time from each area of the image. Otherwise I have a tendancy to finish things before they are actually finished. Its better for me to do an iteration and come back to it later. Are you suggesting that the fuller dome would surround the irregular shape of the asteroid?


11 November 2004, 05:51 PM
Todd, what I had in mind was a lattice-like dome anchored to one side of an irregularly-shaped asteroid, with the thrusters attached to the lattice. If the lattice had wide enough spacing -- think "like a soccer ball" -- then you could put something basically like a gyroscope within the gap, with the thruster emerging from this, which would enable the thrusters to have a great deal more directional freedome than if they were anchored directly to the asteroid. (I'll refrain from the obvious jokes about what you get when you combine a hemisphere with an asteroid.)

Take a look at the following reference pic:

Now imagine a dome-like lattice emerging from the top indentation. The structure would be protected from the more extreme thermal effects of entry into an atmosphere by the asteroid itself. Just as importantly, it provides a framework for doing some more visually-interesting things than simply sticking thrusters directly on the rock portion. Worth a try, I'd wager. :-)

11 November 2004, 08:55 PM (

I think I'll be in the concept stage for a little while anyway. For me I really need to flesh out the world where my Opera will be taking place. I'm not sure if this will get used for the final piece, but I think it definitely helps me to see 2 of my characters a little more clearly.

Todd, I really like this illustration. I would love to see this in the foreground of your concept. Whatever you decide, I'm confident that it's going to be an immersive experience to look at!
Nice work.


11 November 2004, 09:25 PM
@ Michael - Cool stuff. I'm going to have to see what I can do with it. I like the idea of the mothership inverting itself on entry, because that was sort of the idea I had anyway. But this Fuller Dome and gyroscope changes everything. I'm thinking I would like to a combination of these things, but will definitely experiment with all possibilities. Great suggestions. Thanks a bunch!

@ Daniel - thank you. I was pretty happy with this layout too, but I'm not sure if it will get used. I felt it showed an interesting moment between the two robots. I'm not sure it works for the current scene though. Certainly I have to rework the action among the characters, not really very interesting at all currently. The beauty is that after this is all done I can return to this story and do other images. I'll see what I can do about improving the current layout.

Cheers guys.

11 November 2004, 12:54 PM
What A Concept

11 November 2004, 06:44 PM
Hope that means you like it. :)

11 November 2004, 04:42 PM
Playing Halo 2. Challenge on hold..................................................

action pending

11 November 2004, 04:42 AM (

I took a b9reak from Halo 2 and did some final touches to my clouds. Painted in Painter and Photoshop.

11 November 2004, 02:05 AM

Those clouds are looking great. I would only recommend that they be a bit softer on the inside (not the edges) and there is a wierd part where the clouds touch the planet in the sky. It makes the planet look not round. I can show you what I'm talking about if you don't see it.

good luck, peace

11 November 2004, 02:07 AM
I love the feeling of this concept. It has a kinda classic sci-fi mixed with anime type feeling. Very neat. The painting of the sky is beautiful and I look forward to seeing more updates from you. Keep up the good work!

12 December 2004, 04:38 AM
I'll be getting back to this soon. Busy week at work, and admittedly Half Life 2 did some damage to production time. :)

HieSpike I don't see it. Draw me a picture man!


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